What is Application Security? Everything About Securing Software
When you are running an organization, checking for flaws in your software is one of the most important tasks. But only checking does not help; you will have to do something to eliminate those security flaws. Application security is the process of finding and fixing the security flaws of your applications. Mostly, the security process happens during the development of the applications. Once you deploy the apps, you will need various tools and apps to secure those applications.
If the right security measures are not applied then, hackers can easily access your database and attack their target applications. Application security is not a single thing. It comprises various techniques, tools, and practices that take responsibility for your applications’ security. If you implement application security properly, then there won’t be any particular vulnerability that an attacker can easily identify. Thus, it can help you protect your company’s sensitive information. Read this post throughout and find out more information about application security.
Importance of Application Security
If you test 100 applications every day, you will find at least one with some security flaws. And among these applications, the security flaws can be severe to minimal. But not each of these applications comes with security risks. However, the number is slowly growing every day. Therefore, if you test for security issues in your applications as soon as you complete the development process, the safer your organization will be. Security flaws can happen, and it is not rare, but the challenge is finding what is causing the security issues and fixing them at the earliest. These security problems can occur from a simple coding error, and that simple flaw can lead to SQL injection attacks and eventually data leaks.
Application security techniques need to be in the final stage of your application development process. That is how you can make the workflow simpler and more effective. Application security tools can save time and cost during compliance audits by catching flaws quickly so that you can resolve them. The speedy growth of application development is influenced by the evolving nature of organizations and business-related apps and how they are developed in recent years. These days IT teams work on deployment and integration that define the app regularly, sometimes daily, and on an hourly basis. This means that the security tools work hard to keep up with the daily requirements of enterprise applications. But what do these tools save your applications from?
Security Vulnerabilities of Applications
There is a Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses list available by MITRE that tracks Common Weakness Enumerations. And the vulnerabilities have a number that rates their frequency level. Here are the top Common Weakness Enumerations according to the MITRE:
- OS command injection
- Cross-site scripting
- Out-of-bounds read
- Out-of-bounds write
- Cross-site request forgery
- Use after free
- SQL injection
- Improper input validation
- Improper restriction of operations within the bounds of a memory buffer
- Exposure of sensitive information to an unauthorized actor
These security vulnerabilities can be easily eliminated by the security tools available for applications.
Application Security Tools
There are various application security software categories, but there are only two types of tools. One is security testing tools, and the other one is application shielding products. These two elements are the main techniques for securing your enterprise applications from vulnerabilities. Application shielding products have many serious vendors, and among them, IBM, CA, and MicroFocus are the most popular ones. So these tools include the following ones:
Static testing: Static testing analyzes the application codes at the fixed stage during development or deployment. With static testing, developers can easily define the codes while writing so that they can easily identify any potential security problems.
Dynamic testing: Dynamic testing analyzes the codes that are running the applications. If the developer can use this right, it can analyze attacks and their patterns that are done through a combination of devices.
Interactive testing: Interactive testing includes elements from static and dynamic testing.
Mobile testing: Mobile testing is for analyzing how the attackers can use the mobile operating system to launch attacks on smartphone environments.
Runtime Application Self-protection (RASP): Runtime application self-protection tools are the combination of both testing and shielding. These tools provide extensive protection against every possible attack in the application environment. These tools monitor the behavior of the applications regularly and frequently. This makes RASP tools great for mobile environments where developers rewrite apps frequently. RASP tools can send alerts to the users, terminate their processes if required, and can even terminate the app if necessary. Many software development teams use RASP tools for security solutions.
Code obfuscation: Hackers use the obfuscation technique to hide malware in the apps, but the Code obfuscation tool can detect the malware and protect the code from being attacked.
Encryption and anti-tampering tools: Encryption and anti-tampering tools prevent attackers from getting access to your application code.
Threat detection tools: Threat detection tools analyze the network or environment where the applications are running and detect the potential threats from inside and outside of the IT infrastructure. These tools also provide fingerprints to determine the category of the threats — whether or not the device has been rooted or compromised.
All these application security tools have their advantages, but their benefits are mutual.
Benefits of Application Security
Applications are almost the main part of an enterprise. So keeping them secure is essential. Here are the benefits that organizations can obtain by investing in appropriate application security features:
- Reduce potential risks of attacks from internal and outside sources
- Makes your business credible
- Keeps user data secure and create trustworthiness
- Protects data leaks
- Boosts trust among investors and other business associates
These benefits will only serve you right when you can rightly enable application security.
How to Enable Application Security?
The most powerful application security includes applying codes. Apart from that, there are some other best application security practices that you might need to know:
- If you consider your cloud infrastructure as insecure, you will take the necessary steps to secure the applications as much as possible.
- Apply security features to every element of your application starting from when you started to develop the applications. Make sure to apply the right security measures to every part of the application development.
- Automate installation and configurations of the applications even when they are previously performed. This will help you save more time in installation and configuration processes.
- Frequently test and reset the security measures to make sure they are performing well and if they do, it still will be worth it to check for breaches.
There are different types of application security involved in the method of securing your applications. And these terms will help you apply them each for your company’s advantage.
Types of Application Securities
There are different types of application security features. We have mentioned them below:
Authentication: Software developers add numerous authentication processes in the application to ensure only genuine people can access it. Authentication proves that the users are who they claim to be, and for that, the users have to enter usernames and passwords while logging into the app. There are also multi-factor authentication systems that include more than passwords such as your pet’s name, etc. Or it can also include fingerprint and facial recognition.
Authorization: Authorization will validate the user’s identity by identifying the credentials of the users using their identities.
Encryption: Encryption protects the data of the users so that outside traffic or hackers can’t lay a hand on the information the users are accessing.
Logging: The logging feature will help you see who has accessed your application and what data they have accessed.
With the right type of application security techniques, you can secure all types of business applications no matter the size and user base. But to find out how to secure your application, you will need to determine the type of application you are testing. You will have to focus on the customers, their satisfaction, and what they want from your app project. Once you figure it all out, implementing the right application security won’t be difficult.