According to web application security statistics, hackers can target users in 9 out of 10 web apps. In addition, 68% of web applications were also vulnerable to a sensitive data breach. What’s even worse is that a vast majority (82%) of vulnerabilities were present in application code. Furthermore, 39% of websites can give them unauthorized access to apps, while 16% can also give full control over web applications. One out of five vulnerabilities in web applications is of severe nature.
These might seem like an alarming number, and they are but have you ever thought about what is causing all this chaos. One of the main reasons behind this is how these web apps and application programming interfaces are designed. They are designed for an era when apps are available for selected users instead of a global audience. What’s even more concerning is that security is the last thing on developers’ minds when creating those web apps and application programming interfaces.
As a result, it is easier for attackers to find vulnerabilities in your apps. On the flip side, attackers are becoming more and more advanced. With the passage of time and have access to advanced tools. As a result, they are using sophisticated techniques to exploit those vulnerabilities in your web applications.
How can you protect your web applications and application programming interfaces in such a situation? That is exactly what we will discuss in this article. This article will learn about five golden rules you must follow to secure your web applications and application programming interfaces.
5 Rules You Must Follow To Secure Web Apps and APIs
Here are five rules you need to follow to protect web applications and APIs.
1. Buy Tools That Target Intent, Not Threats
Most cybersecurity teams are usually busy defending their digital assets and critical business infrastructure from specific threats. That is why they usually focus on it even when buying cybersecurity tools. They will ask questions like, “Can the tool protect me against a specific threat?”
The problem with this approach is that you will end up with tools capable of blocking particular threats but not effective against other advanced threats. For example, since most of these tools work on a signature-based model, which can not differentiate between legitimate and malicious traffic, they fail to block cyberattacks such as DDoS attacks that use malicious traffic to their advantage. The reason is that they lack DDoS protection.
To fix this problem, your business must shift its mindset and adopt a smarter model capable of differentiating between malicious and legitimate traffic. For this, you need to invest in tools that also consider the intent and behavior of the cybercriminal and cyberattack instead of solely relying on signatures.
For instance, your tool should also look at indicators such as user login status, frequency, and speed of requests, as well as the time of the day. In addition, they should be capable of blocking the latest and advanced threats so the security and operations team does not feel the burden of these threats.
2. Usability and Security Go Hand in Hand
One of the biggest problems with legacy systems is that their user interface is not intuitive. In fact, they are bloated and heavy, which is why it negatively impacts the user experience as well. Users don’t get the same level of performance they would from newer, more advanced systems.
On the security front, they have vulnerabilities and gaps that hackers can easily exploit. Combine that with their poor showing when responding to the latest threats, and you can easily see why most businesses want to get rid of these systems.
Similarly, a cybersecurity solution should also have a user-friendly interface, giving you visibility into the latest threats and complete control over the operations. Your cybersecurity tools should be intuitive enough that both security and non-security teams can easily use them. Avoid buying tools as a bundle as most bundle tools deliver similar functionality and have technical integration issues.
3. Real-Time Attacks Demand Instant Response
Smart cyberattackers leverage DevOps workflows to test, adjust and deploy new attacks. With the frequency of attacks growing, businesses have to accelerate their incident response to cope with real-time attacks. The faster you respond to those attacks, the better. This will allow you to keep the damage down to a minimum. Even a small delay can lead to disastrous consequences in such a situation. You need a system that constantly analyzes behaviors and looks for suspicious patterns to anticipate and react to cyber attacks efficiently.
4. Think Like an Engineer
Whether you are a developer, security professional, or working in an operational department, you must start to think like an engineer. However, just because your security operation team is working with their preferred tools, that does not mean that you are using secure DevOps. The real secure DevOps makes verification and vulnerability assessment an integral part of the automated testing and deployment framework. This means that your security team will be deeply involved through the development process, and it is not a last-minute thought. Unlike traditional development, security is given priority at every stage of the application development cycle leading to a secure final output.
5. Better Security Leads To Better Software
Despite all the technological development and advancements, delivering secure software is not easy. You have to strike the perfect balance between security and speed. If you rush through the software development process, you might end up with a final version that might contain security issues. On the flip side, if you focus too much on securing the software, it might take you longer to create the software. The latter approach is better as it can lead to the creation of better software, which is more secure. Try to reduce friction in the process, so everything flows smoothly.
What steps do you take to safeguard your web applications and APIs? Please share it with us in the comments section below.