Web Application Security: All You Need to Know

Web Application Security: All You Need to Know

Web Application Security is a process by which websites, online services, and web applications are protected from different security threats that exploit vulnerabilities. Web application penetration testing and security is an essential component of every web-based business. Owing to the global nature of internet, websites are exposed to different locations and are prone to attacks on various levels of scale and complexity. Also known as Web AppSec, this process enables websites to function as expected even in threat conditions.

While attacks may range from database manipulation to network disruption, the most common targets for web application attacks are content management systems (like WordPress), database administration tools (like phpMyAdmin) and SaaS Applications.

Let’s explore the vulnerabilities that are most commonly exploited or the methods of attack:

  1. Cross Site Scripting or XSS – is a client side code injection attack in which malicious scripts are injected into a web page to access important information.
  1. SQL injection – is one of the most commonly used web attack methods that destroys databases. Malicious codes are made in SQL statements which either modifies or creates new user permissions or manipulates/destroys sensitive data.
  2. Denial of service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – One of the most intimidating attacks on web pages, causing heavy system malfunctions and cost implications. DoS is a denial of server attack wherein a target URL is flooded with requests that it cannot handle. Distributed Denial of Service is when multiple systems carry out a DoS attack on a single system infecting it completely.

Best Practices for Mitigation

Cyber-attacks are quite rampant and can cause businesses, both big and small, to struggle for existence.  According to recent security research, most companies have poor cyber security practices and unprotected data, making them easy prey to threats and attacks. In the absence of a mitigation strategy or a cyber-security incident response plan, even having preventive security measures like software updates from time-to-time wouldn’t work.  Since hackers continuously develop sophisticated methods of carrying out attacks, mitigation practices that cover every base must be in place.

Let us take a look at some of the best practices that will mitigate attacks:

Create a Security Blueprint:  For websites to function optimally at all times, it has to be protected from malware and hackers by creating efficient security blueprint like cloud firewall web applications. As the name suggests, they are cloud-deployed, software-based network services that form a virtual barrier in private networks, thus stopping or mitigating unwanted access to the same. They are basically of two types: SaaS Firewalls and Next-Generation Firewalls. They protect your cloud servers from attacks, both internally and externally.

Prioritize Web Applications and Vulnerabilities:  In many cases reported, cyber-attacks are not initially visible or imminent.  It is recommended to have incident response plans in place that discover, monitor and detect malicious activities that infect your systems. When an attack happens, automated security tools should be able to identify and remove all traces of the threat so that business is restored or is ongoing as usual. A successful cyber-attack can cause chaos in businesses causing huge losses of resources. Hence, it calls for necessary action to have comprehensive cyber security measures and website vulnerability scanners in place and ensure that all stakeholders have complete knowledge about it.

Use Cookies securely – Cookies are pieces of code that are used to track online activity. Although they are helpful to remember useful information about specific users, they can be potential threats to your security. By following certain steps, however, this can be safely avoided.  Using anti-malware software on systems, disabling the storage of cookies in your browser, never accepting cookies on websites and never sharing important information on public computers – are some of them that can help you be safe with cookies.

Host MFP are your ideal partners for website application security testing and maintenance. With affordable plans that cater to all your needs of a robust monitoring security system, we will ensure all threats are kept away from disrupting your businesses. We also provide SSL certificates for e-commerce websites.

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