Why Is Web Application Security Important
The ecosystem of web application security risks and vulnerabilities has grown much more complicated over the last few years. As web applications are becoming increasingly interconnected, data breaches now have ripple effects across industries.
Web application security protects everything from the data of your end users to the revenue that your business brings in. This is why web app security has moved to the core of development itself.
Let’s explore the importance of web application security.
Three Reasons Why Web Application Security is Important
Web application security has become so important because the risks of an insecure application, a hack, or a data breach have become higher than ever. These vulnerabilities are responsible for everything from damaging your company’s reputation to financial setbacks big enough to bankrupt big-name businesses.
Preventing Data Loss
This is the core of every web application security issue. No matter what angle you look at this from, at the end of the day it’s all about preventing data loss.
Whether it is user login information or financial transactions, hackers and other malicious agents are after your data. Web application security is all about preventing data loss and protecting data both while it’s in transit and when it’s at rest on your servers. Even a minor data breach can result in serious damage to public perception of your business as well as significant financial losses from legal action.
Improving Business Reputation
Propper web application security isn’t just about ensuring that a hack doesn’t ruin your company’s reputation, it’s about improving your reputation before something bad can happen to it.
End users are more tech-savvy than they’ve ever been. Even the most basic users are starting to have a good grasp of the importance of encryption and other web application security basics. A secure web application is a trustworthy one and it’s a web app that individuals are going to recommend to other potential users.
Improving your web application security isn’t just about cleaning up your code. It’s about improving your public relations. Reliable security is its own word of mouth marketing campaign with a value that can’t be replaced.
Web application security also plays the most important role when it comes to bolstering your bottom line.
Nothing can put a dent in your revenue like hackers finding a vulnerability in your application and exploiting it. This can lead to direct revenue losses if they jeopardize your financial data, but there are also indirect financial costs to having an insecure web application.
The first of these to consider is that your users rely on your application for its security. If your web application appears to be insecure, these users will find other apps that solve similar needs. A sufficiently disastrous security breach can also lead to legal action when your end users and clients sue over mishandled data.
Protecting the data that your web application handles is only going to become increasingly important as web application security threats become more sophisticated.
Web Application Security is Becoming More Important
As web applications become more central to businesses, they’re going to become more targeted. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in everything from simple ransomware attacks to targeting entire supply chains. Year after year, we’re seeing record numbers of security breaches targeting both small and large web applications alike.
One crucial detail to understand is that your web application could be part of a larger data breach or hack. Web applications are becoming increasingly interconnected which means that a data breach in an unrelated industry could inadvertently expose information related to your systems.
A clear example of this is the recent Log4j vulnerability. Log4j is used by everyone from government websites to major companies like Google. This open-source Java logging library hit international news for vulnerabilities that were severe enough to have the FTC step in.
Common Web Application Vulnerabilities and Attacks
One of the reasons that web application security is becoming increasingly important is that the amount of vulnerabilities and attacks is continuing to grow. Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit existing vulnerabilities as well as developing new attacks. One of the most important topics in contemporary web app security is staying on top of these vulnerabilities.
Here’s a few of the most common vulnerabilities and attacks that your team should be aware of.
- Injection Vulnerabilities and Attacks
- Denial of Service Attacks
- Social Engineering
- Fuzzing, Credential Stuffing, and Brute Force Attacks
- Cross-Site Scripting and Forgery
You First Steps in Web Application Security
Learning about web application security is your first step in improving your own insecurities. Understanding these vulnerabilities, the different attacks that hackers use, and the risks your company faces gives you a better picture of the threats that you’re up against. In an industry as rapidly changing and fast-moving as web development, staying on top of the latest changes in application security is the most important step for keeping your team, and your revenue, secure.
If you’re ready to go from learning it to actively implementing security measures, there’s a few things that your team can start working on today. These are practical measures that your dev team can grow into overtime. These steps counteract the most common vulnerabilities as well as the typical attack vectors hackers are known to employ.
- Design in a DevSecOps environment
- Ensure that all employees understand web app security 101
- Build security audits and fixes into your dev cycles