What Is Application Security?

White Tablet Computer on Apple Magic Keyboard Near Apple Magic MouseApplication security involves a process that allows companies to find security vulnerabilities and protect their applications against them. IT teams look at vulnerabilities and use past events as a way to assess the risk of other potential risks. 

This post covers more about what application security is, along with the risks and measures that can be taken to keep your applications more secure. 

Application Security Explained

Application security teams work within organizations to prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to confidential data. They work to also prevent modifications from being made by users who have the proper authentication too. 

Application security testing lets you find all users who are authorized. It also lets you know the level of access that they have. This can be useful for helping you identify if certain users are authorized to be accessing certain data. 

IT teams are also able to find all of the vital assets within a business to ensure that they’re properly secure. In addition to this, teams can identify vulnerabilities within an application to put better measures in place to prevent the vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Application security allows organizations to put actionable plans into effect that reduce the risk of threats whilst also allowing teams to remediate attacks if they occur. Being able to view security threats and repair vulnerabilities in real-time is what makes application security so effective. 

Application Security Risks

There’s a wide variety of web application security risks that can create major problems if companies aren’t well equipped to combat them. Some of the most common application security risks include the following: 

Cross-Site Scripting 

Cross-site scripting is a security risk that grants cybercriminals the chance to inject scripts within a webpage. As a result, they can gain access to data that should be kept confidential. 

One of the most common ways they achieve this is by using HTML tags on comments on a website. Users may then discover data that lets them access user accounts through their session cookies. 

Denial of Service

Denial of service allows attackers to create traffic to a server that gets flagged as illegitimate. This then leads to genuine users being unable to access their accounts and servers can be shut down as a result. 

SQL Injection 

SQL injection involves cybercriminals exploiting security flaws within a database. Within these databases, attackers can gain information about passwords and usernames, as well as enabling them to delete or alter data. 

Memory Manipulation 

Memory manipulation happens when attacks are carried out in an app that leads to some of its memory being altered. This can lead to software failures and behavior that’s unexpected. 

Cross-Site Request Forgery 

Cross-site request forgery enables cybercriminals to pretend to be authorized users by manipulating them to carry out authorized requests. Users that have high-level authorizations are common targets due to how they have more permissions to access data. 

Once a hacker gets into the account, they’re able to delete or change the data and cause irreversible damage. 

Buffer Overflow

A buffer overflow occurs when cybercriminals inject code with malicious content into a memory element of a company’s system. Once this memory area gets overflown with code, it can cause certain elements of the memory app to be overwritten. This can result in more vulnerabilities being exposed to hackers. 

Understanding Web Application Security 

There are several application security methods that companies should be putting in place to prevent hackers from gaining access to data and causing permanent damage. 

Application Security Testing Tools

Application security testing tools are crucial for enabling you to discover vulnerabilities within your applications. Vulnerability scanners can automate this process to prevent IT teams from manually going through each vulnerability themselves. They can simply be given a notification when a vulnerability happens.

WAF (Web Application Firewall)

WAF enables companies to put a layer of protection between the outside world and the server. This helps to protect servers from malicious traffic and attacks. 

DDoS Mitigation

DDoS mitigation tactics involve using the application’s security tools to let you know when requests are legitimate. You can do this without experiencing any service interruptions. 

Web Application Breaches 

Cybercriminals can gain a lot from well application security breaches. It’s common for organizations to not even realize when hackers have gained entry into their network. After months have passed, hackers will have been able to steal all the data they need and leave it undetected. 

Permanent damage can be caused to companies as they can steal personal records from customers. Therefore, companies need to keep a close eye on the strength of their web applications. 

Some of the warning signs of web application security threats include unusual log messages, new users being added, files being changed, and applications running slower than usual. 

Large organizations are under a lot of threats when it comes to their web applications. Some of the steps that IT teams can take to prevent web application security threats include identifying, containing, removal, and recovery. 

Companies must make sure that all of the breaches have been identified accurately by carrying out validating procedures. This is to ensure that there are no false positives. 

Once the threat has been accurately identified, IT teams must work to minimize the lasting effects of the breach. One of the first steps towards this is to make a backup of data from the specific server that has been affected. 

All of the services being run on the machine that’s hosting the server should be checked to see if the vulnerability has been exploited any further. After you’ve successfully discovered the extent of the threat, you can remove it. 

This is achieved by updating passwords for accounts within the system that was affected. The OS backdoor and network channels that were impacted should also be removed. The whole system can then be put through malware and antivirus software. 

You can then use the backed-up data to restore the web page and replace the affected page with a notification that the page is being restored. 

Conclusion

Companies are coming under more and more cyber attacks and it can seem difficult trying to keep your data and confidential information secure. However, application security can be one of the factors that help to prevent cyber attacks from causing lasting damage.

After reading through our post about application security, you’ll be able to have a better idea about what it involves and how to implement it within your company. 


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