Protecting Your Web Application From Security Breaches – Primer, CIO News, ET CIO

By Venkatesh Sundar

Going digital has become the norm today and software applications have become an integral part of our lives. However, this also means that data breaches and cyberattacks are also increasing at an alarming rate. These breaches often stem from minor glitches in the functionality of applications and web application security and vulnerability detection has become the buzzword these days.

Even before the pandemic, data breach incidents in India were the second highest in the world in 2018, according to a report by digital security firm Gemalto. With over 690 million internet subscribers and growing, India has increasingly seen an increase in such cases, both in the private and public sectors. The number of Indian user accounts affected by data breaches in 2021 has more than quadrupled compared to 2020, according to another report from Dutch virtual private network (VPN) provider Surfshark. Over 86.6 million Indian users have had their personal data stolen. India had the third highest number of compromised users after the United States and Iran.

In recent years, web security has been considered in the context of securing applications against attacks from unauthorized users. Recently, a systematic literature review was conducted on 519 publications in order to study the different security vulnerabilities, the approaches or techniques used in the web development process, the stages of software development in which the approaches or techniques are implemented. before, and the tools and mechanisms used to detect vulnerabilities. Only 56 key primary studies were ultimately included in the review based on defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. From the review, it appears that no software is considered a standard or preferred software product for web application development.

So what is web application security?

Web application security refers to the protection of a company’s applications hosted on its website or the mobile phone applications it uses to conduct its business. It aims to prevent cyber attackers from hacking into applications, stealing data or disrupting their functionality. This includes protecting apps from misdirecting or disrupting the services they are meant to provide. There are three main types of security vulnerabilities based on their most extrinsic weaknesses: porous defenses, risky resource management, and insecure interaction between components.

The Open Web Security Application Project (OWSAP), a non-profit organization that works to improve application security, has compiled a list of the 10 most common web application security risks. By writing code and performing rigorous testing with these risks in mind, developers can create secure applications that protect their users’ confidential data from hackers.

Top 10 OWASP vulnerabilities

  1. Injection
  2. Broken authentication
  3. Exposure to sensitive data
  4. XML external entities
  5. broken access control
  6. Misconfiguration of security
  7. Cross-site scripting
  8. Insecure deserialization
  9. Use components with known vulnerabilities
  10. Insufficient logging and monitoring.

Many risk and security aware software developers now use web application vulnerability scanners which are automated tools that scan web applications, normally from the outside, for security vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting , SQL injection, command injection. , Path Traversal and insecure server configuration.

Another security component is the web application firewall. A web application firewall or WAF helps protect web applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. It typically protects web applications against attacks such as cross-site tampering, cross-site scripting (XSS), file inclusion, and SQL injection, among others.

There is also a growing need for threat intelligence. Threat intelligence is any data or knowledge, ranging from technical and human knowledge to predictions about future threats, that helps organizations to: detect, identify, validate and investigate potential security threats, attacks, actors Malware and Indicators of Compromise (IOC).

Thus, a comprehensive security platform that integrates a web application scanner, web application firewall, DDoS and BOT attack mitigation, CDN, and threat intelligence engine will help future security actors. the digital industry to secure their businesses and ensure they stay protected at all times!

The author is co-founder and CMO, Indusface

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