Tips To Boost Application Security

Tips To Boost Application Security 2
Post Menu and Details.
  1. Tracking Assets
  2. Threat Assessments
  3. Prioritization
  4. Penetration Testing
  5. Patching
  6. Managing Containers
  7. Encryption
  8. Conclusion

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Reading time: ~4 minutes

Software developers often find that applications are among the trickiest aspects to keep secure. Developers are coming under more pressure to create complex software and release it within shorter time frames which causes them to use more third-party libraries.

While this can be an effective way to work faster and smarter, it can also leave applications more vulnerable to risks. This is especially the case when it comes to using open-source elements.

Due to these new pressures, the security aspect is something that can sometimes be left in the dust. This post covers some of the factors to keep in mind when it comes to using software applications and keeping them secure throughout the developmental process.

Tracking Assets

One of the first steps organizations can take to securing their applications is gaining a better understanding of what they have. For example, you’ll want to know the types of servers that are being used for certain apps or the kind of open-source elements that are included within your app.

Failing to track your assets and not properly keep up to date with protecting data can lead to fines. Therefore, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by keeping track of assets and this can be achieved using automated processes.

Whilst you’re going through the process of tracking assets, it’s a good idea to also classify them into a hierarchy of importance with the top elements being the ones that have the biggest impact on your organization.

Threat Assessments

After giving your organization a better understanding of which assets you have, you can have an easier time knowing which elements require the most protection. You can do this by carrying out threat assessments.

Security teams and developers should have an idea about how hackers could potentially breach the system. As a result, the right kinds of security measures can be put in place.

Carrying out a thorough threat assessment lets you know whether you need to implement more tools or different tactics to prevent hackers from gaining access to your system. You should also be aware that it’s not going to be realistic to expect there to be zero vulnerabilities.

Cybercriminals are way more creative than one can expect, they are constantly coming up with new ways to infiltrate systems. As a result, your best bet is to carry out threat assessments and make changes as you go.

Prioritization

It’s more common nowadays for organizations to have big lists of vulnerabilities which can make it difficult for security teams to trawl through and fix. Prioritizing the vulnerabilities by severity can help security teams work more productively to remove the biggest threats first and work their way down.

Threat assessments are a big part of prioritization as they let you know where threats are located and how much they could impact the company.

Most organizations implement technology that automatically scans and prioritizes security risks for you. This saves developers and IT teams a lot of time and hassle and prevents them from having to go through every vulnerability and rank them manually.

Instead, they can focus their efforts on the security risks that are at the top of the list and work on the lower risk elements at a later stage.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing works by going through a written code and attempting to find vulnerabilities. Many penetration testers get themselves into the mindset of a hacker to try and breach the system in a range of different ways.

When they come across any weak areas, they can provide you with a report and your organization can make those points stronger to prevent hackers from using them as access points.

There are freelancers of professional firms that carry out pen-testing for companies. Carrying out pen-testing is an additional cost but it can be worth it to prevent serious breaches in the future.

Patching

Patching your operating systems and third-party software with the latest updates is crucial for application security. If you’re behind on these updates, you’re leaving your apps more exposed to security vulnerabilities.

Developers use the open-source community or commercial companies to patch software. When there’s a vulnerability that has been exposed, it’s usually reported and developers can go on databases to find what these vulnerabilities are and patch the software to be up to date.

Developers often use automated systems to stay on top of patch updates as it can be difficult trying to keep track of all the latest versions.

Managing Containers

Organizations have been integrating containers in their applications more in recent years due to how they’re easy to deploy, test, and build. Generally speaking, containers have a smaller chance of security vulnerabilities due to how the environments that they operate in are self-contained.

Having said that, security breaches can still happen and the code that’s inside containers can be compromised without enough security.

Using tools that run scans with automated features is the easiest and most effective way to find out whether there are security vulnerabilities. Organizations also sign their images with tools, such as Shared Access Signature, to secure their containers even more.

Encryption

Encrypting data is imperative and among one of the necessities when it comes to securing your applications. Without encryption, organizations are unable to manage heavy traffic which makes it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to their system and find sensitive data.

Organizations that store information on their customers’ passwords and usernames should always use encryption to keep this information safe.

One of the first steps to ensuring that you properly encrypt your applications is to check that you’re using an SSL certificate that’s up to date.

Conclusion

It’s important for organizations to take their application security seriously as it can prevent a whole load of issues. It keeps you more protected from legal liability and also ensures that cybercriminals have a harder time gaining access to your sensitive data and code.

Using application security the right way can keep you one step ahead of cybercriminals and makes it more difficult for them to steal data and code. Be sure to implement the tips mentioned throughout this post to keep your application security tight.

 

Thank you for reading!

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