Beginner Guide to Web Application Security

Beginner Guide to Web Application Security

We as humans are a product of consistent revolution, and the technologies we develop in our wake are nothing less than our intricate code of living that is based on continuous up-gradation. Multiple web applications, tools, and software are continuously developed, configured, and updated regularly. Although these technological revolutions have changed the way we conduct business and attend to our day to day needs of information.

Multiple corporations and industries have shifted from conventional ways of dealing with data and achieving it into digital data centers to cloud-based integrated servers. Not only these provide exceptional information security but also make access to that information pretty straightforward and easy. Since we have upgraded to the modern means of web display that is Web 2.0 and HTML5 based technologies, the demands of the customers have also reached sky-high as they require preliminary access to the available information in real-time. 

This tempts multiple illicit hackers and cybercriminals to come up with new and updated cyber attacks to steal such valuable information such as personal and financial information of the user and the corporation as well. This continuous surge has given birth to a new discipline in the field of the IT industry known as “Web Application Security." In this guide we will demonstrate various artifacts of the web application security and how beginners can make most out of this extraordinary discipline;

Vulnerabilities and myths in web application security

Many enterprises and organizations in IT business would state that because they have installed firewalls among their network infrastructure, that means they are covered even in fact from the security threats regarding web applications. This is purely a myth and doesn't carry even a fraction of the hope that the web applications would stay secure with this procedure.

Network firewalls differ entirely from those being implemented to guard the web applications as they can't provide the optimum security required to keep the hackers and attackers at bay. In the case of network firewalls, the complete focus lies in the doing of keeping the hackers and cybercriminals off of the dedicated network infrastructure and block other unauthorized entries as well. Only administrators with appropriate credentials can bypass the system and gain access through network firewalls.

If no firewalls are installed to guard the web applications, then there is nothing that can be done except to pray that everyone will behave while using these applications, which is not a very solid option. If you want to protect your interests over the web applications, then it must be guarded via a web application firewall as it is programmed to analyses both types of web traffic, including HTTP and HTTPS traffic.

It works through running a coded script that analyzes the potential behavior of the user that has access to the web applications and if something shady or scripted is detected such as a series of tries to manipulate the security of web applications then this particular firewall would terminate the access of that specific user form the system infrastructure.

What can you do to secure web applications?

There are multiple ways through which you can ensure that the integrity of your web applications is secured or protected from known threats and interactions of cybercriminals. Without further ado let's begin;

Running Penetration Testing

At first, you need to explore the various possibilities of vulnerabilities and weaknesses among your web applications; this can be done by verifying the integrity of the code or running penetration testing. Pentesting can exploit all such vulnerabilities and deficiencies among your web applications that reside in the form of a broken system, infiltrated network security, missing updates of the complete infrastructure, and various other lingering threats. It is essential to identify and eradicate all of these before a hacker can know about and try to exploit them for their illicit gains.

Using black box scanner

Black box scanners are the most trusted tools when it comes to exploring known threats in the security layout of web applications. Along with this trusted tool, you can perform a manual soured doe audit as well. This will take you to the core of the problem and find out any loopholes if they are present in your web application’s security infrastructure. While these methods are not too credible when it comes down to exploiting all the security threats, each of them carries its own positive and negative attributes.

Determine logical vulnerabilities

As powerful and trusting as these tools and methods tend to be, these can't find out the logical vulnerabilities present in security infrastructure. Logical vulnerabilities can only be found with the help of conducting a manual audit. While it may sound all amusing and satisfying to go through with this option, but it won't reflect as good in the afterglow because it consumes a lot of time and costs a fortune to do so.

Multiple complexities are tied with the manual audit as it will leave a certain amount of threats unnoticed or unprecedented, which other software or programs such as the black box scanners can find out within a matter of minutes. After coming about all this new information, what would be the most efficient resource or tool that can be used to keep the hackers trying to penetrate the web applications at bay?

It is through conducting an automated web application security scan that is further accompanied by a manual audit to entirely circumvent the heat or any prevalence of cyber threats whatsoever.

The verdict

As we have come across a unifying thought that particular web applications vulnerability scanner should be used to eradicate any essence of vulnerability or system weakness. Not only are these very easy to use but also very cost-effective as you would only have to download the software or purchase it online.

You will be better off with this method as any other particular system isn't going to cut the deal and is merely a hope to the ignorant that they are doing something by mixing security parameters of various distinctive IT systems while, in reality, they aren't doing anything.