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What Is Application Security: A Beginners Guide

The impact can be far-reaching from indirect costs associated with the negative brand image, loss of customer loyalty, and loss of business to huge direct expenses related to redemption. That?s why businesses who work with both B2C and B2B, need to make sure they?re paying attention to security risks that could potentially compromise their sensitive information and data.?

Your business will rely on a variety of different software for just it?s daily operations.? It extends from your email and browser to customer relations management and data analytics. Anything that you use can present vulnerabilities if not developed, designed,? and configured with security in mind. Think about whether you consider security to be a top priority in your business, and do you understand why and how you can protect yourself??

Related: Network Security vs Cybersecurity vs Information Security

What is Application Security??

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Application security is where you develop, add, and test security features within your inhouse applications. The objective is to prevent security vulnerabilities against threats such as modification and unauthorized access.?

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When you think about software security breaches, it?s very easy to only picture hackers typing away at their keyboard in a dark room and attempting to attack your security protocols to steal your data.? While this is true some of the time, only half of the security breaches are usually caused by malware infections, criminal insiders, social engineering,? or phishing. The other half is caused by human error or glitches.

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Why is Application Security Important??

Because modernized applications are often available over multiple networks and are connected to the cloud, application security became a vital asset. There is an increasing need and pressure to make sure that security is solid at the network level and within the applications themselves.

?One main reason for this is the fact that hackers are targeting apps more aggressively with their attacks. Testing your application vigorously can help identify weaknesses at the application level to prevent future attacks. This makes application security something that needs to be prioritized in every business.?

Different Types of Application Security??

You have to consider different types of application security, which includes authorization, authentication, encryption, logging, and application security testing. You can also reduce security vulnerabilities by developing code applications.?

Encryption

Other security measures can protect sensitive data from being used or seen by a cybercriminal once a user has been authenticated. When looking at cloud-based applications, and the traffic between the end-user and the cloud contains sensitive data, the traffic can be encrypted to keep the data safe.?

Authentication

Software developers can build procedures into the applications to ensure that only users who are authorized can gain access to it. Authentications procedures ensure that the user accessing the account is exactly who they say they are. This can be achieved by requiring the user to provide a username and password when logging in. If you choose to use multi-factor authentication, they will be required to use more than one method of authentication. The factors might include something you have, such as a mobile, something you know, such as a password, and something you are such as facial recognition or thumbprint.?

Authorization

Once authentication is completed, a user is authorized to have access to the application they are using. The system will validate that the user is trying to access the application by comparing his or her identity against a list of authorized users. This process must happen before authorization, so the application matches the valid user credentials to the authorized user?s list.?

Logging?

If there is ever a security breach within an application, logging can help to identify exactly who has access to the data and how they are accessing it. With an application log file, you can see the time-stamp of which aspects of any application were accessed and by whom.?

Application Security Testing?

A necessary process to ensure that each of the above security controls works properly.

Vulnerabilities to Watch out for

There are specific vulnerabilities that you need to keep your eye out for as they are more prone to an attack. These include:?

On-Site Challenges?

It can be really easy to think that your data is secure because you host the data inside your organization, however, if you don?t have the right internal expertise, knowledge, or talent to build and maintain firewalls, you might be leaving yourself more vulnerable than before.?

Cloud Security?

You can easily add security layers to your applications using a cloud service like Microsoft Azure. It gives you access to an out-of-the-box, top-notch, infrastructure, and operational control to safeguard your workloads. However, using misconfigured cloud resources is like handing your data to a hacker. This makes it extremely important to get help to ensure the cloud-based application you use is securely and adequately set up. This will allow access to the right levels of information to the correct people at the right time.?

Standard Software Setups?

This is where you have a standard setup like Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Office 365, and you would think it?s easy, right? Wrong. Misconfiguring things that seem simple can expose your corporate information to internal and external threats, most of the time you don?t know it?s even happening before it?s too late.?

Processes and Procedures?

Half of all security breaches are still caused by human error. Every company must have clear rules and policies for access to information, making sure only the people who need access have it. It’s also vital for you to be aware of new and emerging threats.

Customizing Applications?

Many business owners will use the software off the shelf. However, there is often the need to tweak the application to be suitable for business processes or specific needs. Making customizations can create security holes, especially if it’s not done by an experienced developer.

Related: Vulnerability Assessment vs. Penetration Testing: What?s the Difference?

What Kind of Application Securities Are available?

Now, you know about the potential vulnerabilities that could cause security breaches for your company. But how do you minimize these risks? The most common application securities include:?

Application Security in the Cloud?

Application security in the cloud can face extra challenges. Cloud environments provide shared resources, which means that special care is needed to ensure that users are only accessing the data that they are authorized to view using cloud-based applications. Sensitive data is much more vulnerable in a cloud-based application because the data is transmitted across the internet from the application to the user and back.?

Mobile Application Security??

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Mobile devices also receive and transmit information across the internet, rather than to a private network. This makes them vulnerable to attack. VPN?s (Virtual Private Networks) are used by enterprises to add a layer of mobile application security for their employees who need to log in remotely. Mobile apps may also go through vetting by the IT department to make sure they conform to the security policies in place. This is typically done before allowing employees to access the company network on a mobile device.??

Web Application Security?

This applies to web applications or services that are accessed through a browser interface over the internet. If the web application is live on remote servers and not on a local user?s machine, it means that the information needs to be transmitted to and from the user over the internet. This is a concern to businesses that provide web services or host web applications. These businesses usually choose to protect their network from intrusion with a web application firewall. It works by inspecting and blocking data packets that are suspected as harmful if it?s required.?

How Can We Help??

Here at Cyber Security Resource, we can provide you with a service to make sure your application security is top-notch and in working order. We can work with you to create a well-structured information security policy and help you define the key SOP?s that you need. We can also perform a vulnerability assessment and implement a vulnerability management program to help detect threats and formulate a solution to solve it.?

Ideally, you need to have an enterprise risk management program in place, and fortunately, we are here to help you. Your incident response processes and procedures should be maintained properly. This procedure includes an annual review to ensure the response occurs promptly after detecting cybersecurity threats. We have all the resources and tools that you need to build a secure system to monitor potential threats.?

So what are you waiting for? Contact Cyber Security Resource today!

Conclusion

internet cyber networkProtecting your data is a vital component of the company. They need to remain vigilant to ensure that each application development project includes the right software security measures to keep valuable business information protected.?

Working with a trusted and experienced software developer partner, who can help and advise you on the up-to-date security measures can help minimize vulnerabilities and give you peace of mind.

If you?re worried about your business?s security, please don?t hesitate to contact us.?

Related: Best Cyber Security Frameworks for 2018

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