Best Practices for Application Security: A Practical Guide

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By Dan Coleman, freelance writer.

With more people connecting to company servers and applications remotely in the wake of the global pandemic, application security is more vital than ever before. When looking to improve your security, it can be challenging to understand what you need for your applications, as there are many tools and processes that you could implement into your strategies.

We're here to help with our practical guide where we've detailed the best practices for application security that will help you protect your assets against threats.

Ensure Your Coding Practices Are Secure

Developers are usually absorbed in their work, and typically the first thought on their minds is getting the application to work as desired, which means that security is often overlooked. In order to combat this oversight, you should implement the DevSecOps strategy, which stands for development, security, and operations, into your team's approach. This strategy will provide them with the tools they need to create secure code from the moment of conception, which will lead to fewer vulnerabilities needing to be fixed during the quality check phase of development. 

Restrict User Access

Threats are not only external problems but can come from internal sources as well. When creating a secure environment, you should ensure that all users are restricted from accessing more data than they need in order to perform their roles, as this will limit the chances of accidental data breaches from inside your company. Ensuring that your users only have access to the minimum permissions within your applications or servers will ensure that the risk of data leaks and breaches is eliminated. 

Remove Manual Security Actions

In today's digital age, manual practices are often a thing of the past as they leave room for human error. Removing manual security actions from your processes will reduce the risk of security threats being missed and will also improve the productivity of your team as they will have more time to focus on their work. As developers, your team will already be running automated processes to test for errors in the code, and manual steps for security at this stage will only slow down the development process. 

Test Your Applications

Testing is the lifeblood of a developer, and when they are not writing code, they are testing functionality to ensure the project is progressing as expected. When it comes to security, you want your team to focus on their primary jobs, which means if they are also performing tests on applications to check security, your projects may grind to a halt. Application testing can be done by a third party, which will allow your team to focus on creating applications and improving existing live programs, and for more information on how this can help improve your security while freeing up your team, check out ForAllSecure.

Secure Your Network Infrastructure

As well as ensuring your applications are secure, it's vital that you also secure your network infrastructure. Even if you have the most secure application in the world, it is still vulnerable to attacks if the servers are not secure. In order to combat this issue, it is imperative that you regularly check for updates to your server software, as this will provide you with the best foundation for a fully secure application.

Create Automated Encryptions

When browsing the web, you have no doubt seen the change from HTTP to HTTPS as more and more companies look to encrypt their websites to protect themselves and customers from malicious activity. When you create an application, you can provide the same level of encryption and security to the users as you have seen online, which will not only protect you from experiencing data breaches but will also provide your users with the peace of mind that they are using a quality product.

Keep Up To Date On New Digital Vulnerabilities

Keeping up to date on the latest technologies is something many people partake in; however, as a developer, it is vital that you also keep updated with new digital vulnerabilities that could impact your applications. If you are unaware of risks to your applications, you could face potential attacks if your application has not been protected against the new vulnerabilities.

Staying abreast of new cyber threats is crucial to any business, but when you're creating applications for users in a business or for the broader consumer market, it is vital that people can trust your products and that their data is in safe hands. With that in mind, you should take the time to read up on new threats in the digital world or subscribe to a popular tech magazine that can give you regular updates so you can prepare for the unexpected.

Focus On The Biggest Threats To Your Applications

Knowing what threats are out there is one thing, but with thousands of new vulnerabilities reported on a regular basis, it can be challenging securing your application against them all. Instead, focus on the biggest threats that could directly impact you and your application; this way, you are more likely to reduce the risk of an attack occurring while you work to secure your application against other threats that are less likely to impact you.

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