Secure Web App Building: Protect Your Personal Data

AJ Develos
.
August 21, 2023
Code

We saw a major shift towards digitization in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Due to this, many businesses needed digital storefronts to sell their products.

Web applications have been instrumental in this change.

With such rapid adoptions of digital transformation, there can be security concerns.

Digitalization has had the greatest impact on business operations, where remote capabilities were required.

Cybersecurity has also been affected by collaboration over the internet through employee networks.

security

A Deloitte survey showed that 47% of people who work from home become the targets of phishing scams, resulting in massive data leaks.

The survey report indicates that between February and May 2020, more than 500,000 people suffered security breaches.

It is equally crucial to keep security in mind when developing web apps for enterprise-based use cases and e-commerce.

Prudence in Web Application Security

The purpose of a web application is to store and retrieve information, and to display that information to users using server-side scripts and client-side scripts.

Through a browser, a user can access web applications running on a web server through an active network connection.

For instance, webmail, online auction, and net banking are examples of web-based applications.

Web application development has three phases: development, testing, and deployment.

Throughout the process of developing a web application, security requirements and their roadmap must be integrated.

Design Phase

design-phase

As several aspects of the architecture have not yet been implemented, your planning team doesn't need to know everything about your security requirements.

As a result, threat modeling (TM) is the best tool to help your teams understand the security needs.

Threat modeling, as per OWASP, is a procedure that captures, organizes, and analyzes all data related to the security of web apps.

When applied to a web application, this model helps in streamlining data-driven decision-making, particularly when it comes to security concerns.

A threat modeling process can also assist in prioritizing security enhancements, integrating secure concepts at the design level, and implementing secure concepts.

A model of this type might include the following elements:

  • A list of system threats that are currently active and will be prevalent in the years ahead.

  • Each threat has its own set of countermeasures.

  • Model and threat validation, as well as countermeasure verification

  • Model subject description

  • Assumptions about threats as the scope of the web app changes, may vary or even be challenged.

When your design stage is finished, you should proceed to the stage of development.

Stage of Development

Because security is an important part of developing a web application, you must train your developers and give them better information on potential threats.

OWASP's list of the top ten security threats, in particular, can provide developers with insight into the issues that web apps will face after deployment.

Malicious data input is one of the most serious problems that web applications can face.

Data input threats are happening regardless of the programming language or framework used by developers.

The most effective way to deal with this issue is to write secure code that includes data validation and code sanitization features.

  • To validate input data, use regular expressions.

  • To deal with special characters, encode data.

  • Utilize database queries that are metric-based.

The stage following design and development is deployment.

As you would expect, it is indeed one of the most critical phases for ensuring security precautions are in place.

Secure Web Application Deployment

deployment

Web application security necessitates best practices such as enabling authorizations and HTTPS protocols, as well as the use of a firewall.

  • Remote Injections – These attacks are used by hackers to remotely inject a malicious file into a web application server. It gives hackers the ability to take control of the server and extract sensitive user data.

  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) – This is an attack that gives the hacker full control of a website user's account, allowing them to manipulate activities via a web app server.

  • SQL injection - happens when malicious SQL code is used to manipulate a database in order to expose sensitive data. SQL injection can result in unauthorized data list exposure, data table removal, and unauthorized access.

These are among the major security problems that arise as a result of inadequate web application security.

Here are some preventive measures you can take to combat such security threats.

Input/output sanitization of code is one of the best ways to deal with such vulnerabilities, but it is not always a practical solution.

The reason is obvious: the application requires multiple integrations with new versions and added features, creating a complex environment for cleanup.

A web app firewall is intended to prevent data theft and financial fraud by blocking malicious traffic.

If you have a strong WAF in place to protect against such flaws, you can pursue PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification.

However, not the only certification that guarantees web application security procedures.

SSL certification is another important certification that ensures secure data exchange communication between a browser and a web application server.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols use asymmetric encryption technology to encrypt data sent between a user and a system.

In this manner, hackers are unable to read the information, and the web application is secure.

You can either choose a hosting service provider with such certification or purchase a low-cost SSL certificate from a security firm.

Web Application Security in the Future

security

As we approach the post-pandemic period, more people are connecting to the internet, posing a significant challenge to web application security.

Nevertheless, with the proper tools and skilled people in charge of web app development, you can protect your projects from a variety of threats.

Strategize your security provisions from the beginning of the design process and integrate them throughout the development phase when it comes time to deploy web applications.

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We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Lead/Senior Frontend Developer (UI/UX) - Brazil

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned business established eight years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent worldwide with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines and Brazil as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, career paths, individual training programs, and mentoring.

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Marketing Specialists

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Backend Developer (Python)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Senior/Team Lead Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

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December 28, 2023
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Senior Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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January 2, 2024
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Secure Web App Building: Protect Your Personal Data

February 16, 2024

We saw a major shift towards digitization in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Due to this, many businesses needed digital storefronts to sell their products.

Web applications have been instrumental in this change.

With such rapid adoptions of digital transformation, there can be security concerns.

Digitalization has had the greatest impact on business operations, where remote capabilities were required.

Cybersecurity has also been affected by collaboration over the internet through employee networks.

security

A Deloitte survey showed that 47% of people who work from home become the targets of phishing scams, resulting in massive data leaks.

The survey report indicates that between February and May 2020, more than 500,000 people suffered security breaches.

It is equally crucial to keep security in mind when developing web apps for enterprise-based use cases and e-commerce.

Prudence in Web Application Security

The purpose of a web application is to store and retrieve information, and to display that information to users using server-side scripts and client-side scripts.

Through a browser, a user can access web applications running on a web server through an active network connection.

For instance, webmail, online auction, and net banking are examples of web-based applications.

Web application development has three phases: development, testing, and deployment.

Throughout the process of developing a web application, security requirements and their roadmap must be integrated.

Design Phase

design-phase

As several aspects of the architecture have not yet been implemented, your planning team doesn't need to know everything about your security requirements.

As a result, threat modeling (TM) is the best tool to help your teams understand the security needs.

Threat modeling, as per OWASP, is a procedure that captures, organizes, and analyzes all data related to the security of web apps.

When applied to a web application, this model helps in streamlining data-driven decision-making, particularly when it comes to security concerns.

A threat modeling process can also assist in prioritizing security enhancements, integrating secure concepts at the design level, and implementing secure concepts.

A model of this type might include the following elements:

  • A list of system threats that are currently active and will be prevalent in the years ahead.

  • Each threat has its own set of countermeasures.

  • Model and threat validation, as well as countermeasure verification

  • Model subject description

  • Assumptions about threats as the scope of the web app changes, may vary or even be challenged.

When your design stage is finished, you should proceed to the stage of development.

Stage of Development

Because security is an important part of developing a web application, you must train your developers and give them better information on potential threats.

OWASP's list of the top ten security threats, in particular, can provide developers with insight into the issues that web apps will face after deployment.

Malicious data input is one of the most serious problems that web applications can face.

Data input threats are happening regardless of the programming language or framework used by developers.

The most effective way to deal with this issue is to write secure code that includes data validation and code sanitization features.

  • To validate input data, use regular expressions.

  • To deal with special characters, encode data.

  • Utilize database queries that are metric-based.

The stage following design and development is deployment.

As you would expect, it is indeed one of the most critical phases for ensuring security precautions are in place.

Secure Web Application Deployment

deployment

Web application security necessitates best practices such as enabling authorizations and HTTPS protocols, as well as the use of a firewall.

  • Remote Injections – These attacks are used by hackers to remotely inject a malicious file into a web application server. It gives hackers the ability to take control of the server and extract sensitive user data.

  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) – This is an attack that gives the hacker full control of a website user's account, allowing them to manipulate activities via a web app server.

  • SQL injection - happens when malicious SQL code is used to manipulate a database in order to expose sensitive data. SQL injection can result in unauthorized data list exposure, data table removal, and unauthorized access.

These are among the major security problems that arise as a result of inadequate web application security.

Here are some preventive measures you can take to combat such security threats.

Input/output sanitization of code is one of the best ways to deal with such vulnerabilities, but it is not always a practical solution.

The reason is obvious: the application requires multiple integrations with new versions and added features, creating a complex environment for cleanup.

A web app firewall is intended to prevent data theft and financial fraud by blocking malicious traffic.

If you have a strong WAF in place to protect against such flaws, you can pursue PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification.

However, not the only certification that guarantees web application security procedures.

SSL certification is another important certification that ensures secure data exchange communication between a browser and a web application server.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols use asymmetric encryption technology to encrypt data sent between a user and a system.

In this manner, hackers are unable to read the information, and the web application is secure.

You can either choose a hosting service provider with such certification or purchase a low-cost SSL certificate from a security firm.

Web Application Security in the Future

security

As we approach the post-pandemic period, more people are connecting to the internet, posing a significant challenge to web application security.

Nevertheless, with the proper tools and skilled people in charge of web app development, you can protect your projects from a variety of threats.

Strategize your security provisions from the beginning of the design process and integrate them throughout the development phase when it comes time to deploy web applications.

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