Web applications (apps) are all around us. More than the ones we encounter on our cellphones, apps also encompass smart speakers, Internet of Things devices such as thermostats and home security systems and even static websites that have been built using certain application software programs. As apps increase in number and popularity, they have become more vulnerable to security breaches.
BARRIERS TO SECURITY
Criminals are, so to speak, in the business of finding and exploiting weakness, ignorance, laziness, and procrastination. Harried entrepreneurs may, for instance, invest a good deal of time and money in paying someone to develop and implement an app but may then put off purchasing upgrades, resetting default administrator passwords or keeping an eye open for red flags. The bottom line is that you cannot rely on your firewall or a security report from several months back. Security of web apps is an ongoing challenge that is never “set and forget.”
IS YOUR WEB APP SECURE?
No matter how hard you try, you cannot absolutely guarantee that your web app is impenetrable to the onslaught of hackers. However, asking yourself the following questions can be a great first step that might save you thousands of dollars and countless sleepless nights:
• How much will it cost if my web app is breached? Consider loss of customer trust, reputation, and competitive edge.
• Is my source code secure, and is it regularly scanned for holes and vulnerabilities?
• Does your application link with any third-party libraries? If so, are they regularly tested for vulnerabilities?
• If you find a breach, who will fix it, and do you have the funds to pay for the repairs?
• Do your app’s developers still support it?
• Is your app one that hackers would especially want to attack? Have you ever tried to infiltrate it?
If the answers to these questions cause you to worry or if you’re not sure how vulnerable you are, it is worth investing in the services of an application security firm such as praxent.com. After all, your web app is one of the main ways that customers interact with your company. If it is compromised, you stand to lose a lot. Protecting it should be one of your highest priorities.
Your web app software’s security is something that needs to be protected throughout its life cycle: during development, deployment and for as long as you use it. In order for that to happen, you must constantly be on the lookout for vulnerabilities by testing the technology on which the app is based, the server you are running it on and any third-party libraries used along with yours. Consider utilizing a combination of static, dynamic and interactive tools as well as threat modeling and manual testing and code review.
Taking preventive steps to protect your web app is crucial in today’s internet-connected environment. You simply cannot afford to put security on your back burner. What you spend on protecting your app in terms of time and money will pay for itself many times over.