Practical Tips to Improve the Security of Your Web Applications

Applications have become the focus of consumers as they are gaining confidence in internet usage for mundane tasks as well as business and official purposes. It is the age-old game of demand and supply. As more people now prefer getting things done from the comfort of their homes, developers have identified this as a good opportunity and are trying their best to bring new apps to the market. Organizations also rely on various applications to keep their employees connected, besides using Apps to store confidential data. With the increasing usage of these apps, comes the need for Application protection, so that the personal information and sensitive data stored in the App remains safe from hackers. In order to make your apps even secure, you are recommended to host your apps on the safest web hosting services that exist on the Internet.

What is meant by App protection?

The Apps installed on your computer or mobile may be vulnerable to potential threats from hackers who try to exploit these vulnerabilities and gain access to sensitive data stored on your system. App protection is a layer of secure software that protects the Application from such threats. As these apps contain important personal as well as official data, it becomes essential to take concrete measures to safeguard your apps.

Before we discuss In case if you are managing a hosting website then you can integrate it with WHMCS to manage your reseller hosting, clients, billing and more. Moreover, you can take help from the best WHMCS services to customize your website to add required functionalities. different measures to secure web applications, let us understand what happens to the data when you use an application.

The user’s browser requests the web application through an internet connection which processes the request and gives a response in the form of a downloaded document, a form, etc. We, therefore, have three areas where possible threats to the data are possible. Tampering of data may happen when the data is stored or at rest, besides during transit between the server and the user. Apart from this, data theft can happen because of web application code.

  • Stored Data – Stored data refers to the information stored or saved in the web hosting application. This may be data recorded in the database or files stored on a server. Typically, this data is saved on the server and transported to the user when requested through a web browser such as Edge, Chrome, or Firefox. This data can easily be secured by encryption.
  • Data in Transit – There is a potential threat of data leaks when it is in transit from the server to the user. The hackers have algorithms to intercept data while being transferred, so it becomes essential to protect data at this time.
  • Web Application Code – The developers need to take appropriate measures to secure data while writing the code. The coders need to prioritize security issues, irrespective of the language used to create the application. All other methods of protecting data will be in vain if the code is not designed keeping security issues in mind.

Let us see some of the measures that developers can adopt to make their apps more secure.

  • Input Validation – Validate all inputs before use and allow only properly formed data to pass through the workflow of the application. Input validation prevents corrupt data from entering the workflow. Data type validation ensures that parameters like numerics, text, etc. are safe to use while data format validation ensures that the data meets all mandatory guidelines.
  • Data Encryption – Encryption is by far the most common method of securing data and protecting sensitive information. It secures information stored in databases and other storage devices so that no unauthorized person can gain access. Developers should implement an authentication plan to use web services and API. An open and unsecured web application is an open invitation to the hackers who are lurking nearby for such opportunities.
  • Implement HTTPS – Encryption at the service level can be implemented by using HTTPS(Secure Sockets Layer or SSL). An encrypted link is established using SSL between the browser and the webserver. SSL helps in keeping the information passed between the two safe and confidential. This is used by most websites and is considered to be the industry standard.
  • Auditing and Logging features – Auditing and logging at the server level are important as you can readily review any activity-related information if the need arises. This also helps in providing individual accountability as all suspicious activity is recorded for future reference. Audit logging is generally built into the software and can be used to earmark unwanted activity and to review any errors that were not identified at the code level.
  • Quality Assurance – It is always better to utilize a third-party service that specializes in vulnerability scanning at an affordable price. Some developers employ hackers to try and penetrate the security layer of their application so that they identify vulnerable areas and take corrective measures.

What are the benefits of In-App protection?

  • A comprehensive code-level security obfuscates source code and introduces deceptive codes to confuse the hackers thus securing the application.
  • In-App protection automatically shuts down the app if any suspicious activity is detected.
  • Key and Data protection encrypts all the data embedded in the code.
  • Organizations are immediately notified in case of a potential or real-time attack and the accounts are suspended.
  • Reverse engineering and code tampering can be avoided with the help of In-app protection.
  • In-app protection prevents malware insertion and data exfiltration.

Conclusion

App protection has become very important in the present times as a breach in security allows the hackers to have complete information about your personal life, location, banking information, and any other sensitive data that has been stored digitally. Consumers are often under the impression that the app they have downloaded from the play store is completely safe, but this is not always true. Recent studies have revealed that even apps downloaded from the official platforms can be compromised. Therefore, industry experts have documented some of the common security lapses under the name ‘OWASP’ (Open Web Application Security Project) which are useful for the developers to ensure the safety of the App.

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