So your organization has built an amazing web application - one that will take your business to the next level, wow your customers, and improve processes. But in the excitement and rush of building and deploying the application, you may have neglected to focus on security. Data breaches cost companies $3.92 million in 2019 (not to mention the reputation cost), but many of these incidents can be prevented with the right attention to, and proactive planning for, addressing web application vulnerabilities.
Being aware of the most common vulnerabilities in web applications can allow you to proactively plan and address them before launching your application. This can save you time, money, and dings to your company’s reputation.
Why Vulnerabilities Exist in Web Applications
Application vulnerabilities are often ignored by companies until a breach or attack has already compromised the system. In fact, certain practices in the development phase can put you at risk for vulnerabilities, including:
- Rushed Coding Executions. If there is a time crunch to get an application built and deployed (which is often the case), developers may not check their code for security flaws in the rush to get it completed. Unfortunately, neglecting to meet secure coding practices can jeopardize the security of the application.
- Open-Sourced Codes. Using third-party and open-source components instead of custom application development can put you at risk because oftentimes, open source codes do not undergo rigorous security assessments. You could be inserting compromised components in your web application.
- Constantly Evolving Threats. Malicious agents aiming to infiltrate your systems or compromise your data are constantly innovating new ways to exploit application vulnerabilities. These ever-evolving threats can put you at risk if you don’t regularly monitor and update your security to keep up.
Common Software Vulnerabilities
Companies must have a clear understanding of the sources of web application vulnerabilities to prepare an effective mitigation strategy. Here are some of the common application vulnerabilities to look out for, as established by the The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), an open community of engineers and security IT professionals whose goal is to make the web safer for users and other entities.
- Authentication Flaws. Sensitive data should be limited to authorized personnel only through authentication methods that identify these authorized people. Flaws in authentication can allow an attacker to pretend to be an authorized user and gain access to your system, data, and network.
- Unencrypted Data. Encryption converts your data into a code that makes it extremely difficult, or impossible, for hackers to decipher. Even if they gain access to your data, they would not be able to use it. However, without encryption, attackers can easily gain access to your database and exploit exposed information.
- Injection Flaws. These are some of the most common software vulnerabilities out there. Using an application, hackers can access input boxes and create, read, update, or delete data.
- Flawed Access Control. A flaw in access control can leave your backend open to attacks such as data tampering, leaks, system interferences, and more.
- Cross-Site Scripting. Attackers may inject malicious scripts into sites that are otherwise benign and trusted by your company. This gives them access to cookies, session tokens, and sensitive information a user inputs into the trusted site.
- Flawed Security controls. Security controls are your first line of defense against attackers. When these are inaccurately configured or left insecure, you are at risk and exposed to attackers.
- Cross-Site Forgery. This happens when an attacker prompts users to carry out malicious actions on sites they have access to. This may come as a prompt to change login credentials, perform a fund transfer, and more.
Why You Partner with a Trusted Web Application Vendor
You don’t have to worry about managing your web application security on your own. Partnering with an experienced development agency, such as Everestek, can help you create top-notch applications that are also safe and secure.
A trusted and reliable web application vendor can also help you with the following:
- Cost-Efficiency. Instead of spending money to hire and train an in-house web app team, you can save time and money by partnering with a reliable partner who is experienced and ready to immediately help you meet your goals.
- Reliable Security System. Established web application developers are experts in their field and know the ins and outs of system security. They’re up-to-date on the latest best practices and will know how to proactively mitigate any challenges.
- New User Training and Software Support. A web application partner can provide support across areas such as new user training, database maintenance, and security assessment. This allows you to take full advantage of your product in the long term.
Web application vulnerabilities can be serious problems that can cost your company damaged data, compromised operations, and possible data breach fees. Being aware of the most common vulnerabilities, such as authentication flaws, encrypted data, and flawed security controls, can help you proactively solve for these issues and stop breaches before they happen. While it may seem like an additional cost to outsource web application development, it can end up saving you time, money, and headaches in the future as they work to ensure your application not only works well, but is safe from data breaches and hacks.
Are you looking for a technology solutions company to help protect you from web application vulnerabilities? At Everestek, we use modern web frameworks to build fast, reliable and secure web applications. Our expert team of UI/UX designers translates your initial concepts and ideas into applications that will awe your customers. Reach out to us today to learn more.