The success of the business depends on many factors, and one such major factor is web applications. Many organizations rely solely on this for their business growth, but they forget to secure these web applications. Web application security is a crucial element in developing web applications, but it’s missed out between managing code securities and site securities.
Some organizations don’t know how to secure their web applications, whereas others are less focused. Whatever be the reason, Web Application Security is a must. Period.
In this article, I have penned down some ways to improve web security to ensure your customers’ data privacy and data security.
Tips to Improve Web Application Security:
1. Select a Secure Web Host
Research and invest in a secured and reliable web host having the minimum downtime. Ensure that your web host complies with your business requirements.
Points to Ponder:
- Does Your web host offer a secure File Transfer Protocol?
- Does your host offer file backups to an external location (cloud or hard drive)?
- Do they run regular security updates?
- Do they provide technical support when needed?
Ensure that your web host covers the above points for better security of your website and applications.
2. Secure your Apps with SSL Encryption Security
Your awareness to keep your website safe from hackers may land you in a whirlwind of website vulnerabilities and complex solutions. Out of the many security solutions, installing an SSL certificate on your website is pivotal to keep hackers away.
Installation of SSL certificate secures your website applications with strong 256-bit encryption security. It creates an encrypted tunnel between the browsers and servers, thus allowing them to communicate securely. It imbibes trust by showing HTTPS (hyper-text transfer protocol secure) in the URL and a secure padlock in the address bar.
Example: RapidSSL Wildcard SSL certificates secure multiple first-level sub-domains and the primary domain with a single certificate.
Tip: CheapSSLShop offers cost-effective cheap wildcard SSL certificates and other multiple SSL products of all global brands at enticing rates. Their prices beat the vendor rates, as shown in the above picture.
3. Sanitize & Validate User Input
Input Sanitization is an essential security solution for checking, filtering, and removing malicious user data inputs and preventing them from exploiting security lapses. The same is done by removing unwanted characters and strings from penetrating networks and injecting compromised codes into the system.
The validation process ensures that the user input comprises whitelisted characters (approved characters). Apart from those, all the other character feeds are rejected.
4. Create a Strong Password Policy
Passwords are always a part of the security criteria. When weak or standard password policies are set, employees use the same password for multiple accounts, login details, and databases.
This major security mistake may fail to prevent brute-force attacks.
Using unique and complex passwords and storing the same with a password manager, or using 2FA (two-factor authentication) will double your web application security and keep your site data safe.
5. Limit Access Rights & Credentials
The Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) is the ideal security solution for sharing rights and other application and database accesses. In a majority of the cases, employees are not cautious enough before accessing sensitive data.
This may be risky in case they are given admin rights. Unawareness to prevent a breach may cause damage to your company.
Ensure to rescind all the access given to employees who have left your company to prevent security lapses.
6. Clean up your Site Regularly
Your site may have many unused themes, plugins, or other apps that may not be in use or outdated. These are gateways for hackers and hence, try to clean your site by removing this unwanted waste from your website to prevent intrusions.
7. Update your Site Themes & Plugins
Hackers are becoming smart by keeping track of the latest security vulnerabilities and knowing how to use them. Hence updating your site themes and plugins with the latest versions regularly is essential.
This process patches the security loopholes and prevents intruder access into your system.
Keep yourself updated about the latest technologies by exploring search engines and other security blogs.
8. Change your Default CMS Settings
The majority of the hackers use automated bots who attack the default CMS settings for penetrating networks.
Example: The default username of the WP platform is “admin,” and the password is “password.”
Change of CMS settings may prevent a majority of the attacks. Changing file permissions (read, write and execute) will also help strengthen website security.
9. Backup your Site Regularly:
Securities are never 100% accurate, and hence sometimes, a small lapse can cause unauthorized access. Sometimes internal threats like human error or natural threats like hard disk crashes may also cause data loss.
Backup of data to an external drive or cloud backup are some good solutions. Never back up on the same server on which your site resides because the backup also becomes vulnerable if the server is hacked.
Example: UpdraftPlus WP Backup Plugin helps backup your files and data with a single click.
10. Run Web Application Vulnerability Scan:
Vulnerability scanning tools like Acunetix, Burp Suite, etc., are automated tools that help scan apps for security threats like XSS, SQL Injections, bad server configuration, etc.
Their vulnerability databases are updated regularly, and hence they can help prevent major cyber-attacks.
11. Test your Web Application Security by Hiring Professionals
Hire professional hackers to test and check out if they can penetrate your networks. Your business depends on your web apps, and hence sometimes, it is not possible to secure your apps completely.
Hiring hackers can help you find security vulnerabilities and fix them before an intruder traces and exploits your security lapse.
Every site owner is under the myth that their site is quite secure, but they tend to forget that their web applications are exposed to hackers. It’s easy to create apps, but to secure them in this cyber-world is a tough challenge.
Prioritize your web applications as well as all third-party applications and secure them by implementing the above solutions. Be aware of the latest security threats and utilize the best security solutions to mitigate cyber-attacks.