Web applications have so many benefits and advantages for those who develop them. Since they work across platforms and there is no need to install them, a user doesn’t have to update. One concern though, is that a huge amount of information passes through web apps on a daily basis.
This means that there is going to be sensitive information as well. This sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands. Security has always been and will continue to be a big issue. Security testing must be taken seriously and constantly by all digital professionals. Here are some tips to keep your web apps secure.
1. Emulate An Attacker
One thing you need to try is to get into the mindset of an attacker. When you are testing a new app, your main concern is the end user. If you have trouble, imagine what it would be like for the user. Your testing has to make sure that it is as easy as possible for the user. In the same way, when testing security issues, you need to think like an attacker. Think of common methods of infiltration. Attackers tend to choose a path of least resistance but they are capable of anything. If they want to get at the data, they will stop at nothing.
2. Analyze The App
Here too, you need to analyze and assess your app in the same way that an attacker might. You need to think about the various technological methods involved in the making of the app and how it works and if they have vulnerabilities. Consider what kind of access the user is given. How is the data stored and how is it accessed. Look at every angle and identify any weak point or vulnerability, then consider the possible methods that these can be taken advantage of by an attacker.
3. Password Encryption
Passwords are probably the easiest and most common way for any attacker to gain entry and get data. Cracking passwords for hackers and most attackers is not a problem especially if passwords or usernames are common and weak. Sometimes, there are common username and password combinations which makes things so much simpler for a hacker. There are also tools that they can use. Hackers are very sophisticated and as technology improves, they will too. It’s an ongoing and vicious cycle. You need to make sure that your app enforces strong passwords as well as encrypts cookies. Password encryption is a must, since these are stored.
4. Manipulating URLs
Editing a URL string is quite easy. If security is already an issue, then URL manipulation can be used to redirect users or even expose sensitive data. One huge problem online is how fake websites that actually look like the real website it is mimicking can install malware into the user’s device or trick them into handing over their username and password and other sensitive information. You need to test this to make sure that a URL cannot be manipulated by an attacker in order to gain access to sensitive information and restricted areas, or, redirect users from a legitimate site to their fake site.
There are still further methods to test app security. Unfortunately, ongoing diligence is required as attackers are always searching for ways to get at restricted data. The only way to protect yourself is to constantly keep testing your security.