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How to make an app secure? What are the threats and challenges? Check a short guide from experts!
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Application security: what is it?
Application security consists of a set of measures, tools, and processes that ensure the protection of applications against possible threats that may lead to a company’s sensitive data leakage. Application security allows companies to protect their applications of any nature: installed on mobile devices, on Internet or desktop browsers, and used by employees and external partners. Let’s learn more about app security together with SECL experts.
How is application security defined?
Application security means a series of security measures and practices that protect a company’s applications from theft or misappropriation of information and code. Application security also includes security that is installed at the time of application development. More specifically, application security includes software, mechanisms, and equipment that identify and reduce the vulnerabilities the security may suffer.
Different application security practices are generally integrated into the software, like a firewall. The latter is programmed to distinguish the authorized operations of those that are not. In addition, security measures can integrate security routine activities allowing the introduction of protocols such as the development of tests regularly.
What are the challenges of application security?
Today, all companies face a significant challenge: there are different application security issues appearing. However, application security is sometimes neglected in the sense that companies apply to secure their network, servers, or entire infrastructure but somehow abandon application security. Indeed, companies perform little or no audit and security of their application codes. Very often, this maneuver is explained by reasons related to the operation of automated audits that are limited to the detection of software vulnerabilities and are already well-known. Also, it is about intrusion audits that include both infrastructure and network, in addition to the hardship and length of the audit of developments that cannot be automated.
What are the types of application security?
Application security comes in different types: security testing, authentication, logging, encryption, and authorization. In addition, it is possible to encode applications to best limit their security vulnerability. Indeed, an application or software developer can include authentication and authorization measures at an application level in order to guarantee access only to users. This system makes it possible to identify and authenticate the user through a request to enter a username and password for the time he connects to the application. Following this, the system checks the user’s ability to access the application while establishing identification using a list containing all authorized users.
Before the system grants access authorization, the user must therefore be authenticated. This operation allows the application to compare the authentication information of users who have been validated to the information in the list with authorized users. Of course, application security practices are not limited to these operations; the process continues once authentication and authorization have been completed and extend to security against possible hacking. The latter is manifested through the display of confidential data or use.
How to audit your application security?
It is a question of carrying out an audit of the code of the application concerned in order to identify possible flaws in the application. There are many sources from which these vulnerabilities may come. These can be operating bugs, insecure source code, access control, SQL injections, or poorly integrated protocols.
Thus, establishing an analysis and audit of the various vulnerabilities related to the development of an application is not easy and must take into account two major elements, namely: the detection of vulnerabilities and their corrective measures, as well as the training of developers and their knowledge of application security issues.
What are the threats to application security?
Essentially, several threats can be faced by the security of a company’s applications. First, it is about the vulnerability that can come from an application’s source code or the libraries it may contain. Many vulnerabilities act on mobile applications by exposing them to threats and attacks that can mainly lead to sensitive data theft. Then, there is the threat of unexpected behavior. Problems may also appear due to developmental negligence that may occur between the testing steps and the implementation itself. In either case, any minor problem can lead to the exfiltration of sensitive user data.
Performing the application security assessment is not an easy task. Nowadays, frameworks and various technologies continue to develop in addition to the increase in the pressure of the production of applications. As a result, and in this current context, ensuring the non-existence of a security defect or vulnerability now takes a difficult aspect during the production phase. This is why a battery of tools, some of which are free to use, as well as diverse practices, have been designed and put in place to identify possible security flaws and weaknesses that can be found when developing an application security audit.
If you are not a developer but need a reliable website or any other solution, we strictly recommend contacting professionals: this way, you will save time and effort. Just remember to check the portfolio of a company you are considering.