Web Application Security: Determining Major Vulnerability Categories

What comes to mind when you hear the word web application security? Yes – a common thought is hacking by cybercriminals, defacing of websites just for the heck of it, stealing credit card numbers and other important information, etc.

You might also think about Trojan horses, worms, and malicious viruses. All of these are well-known because of their increasingly common nature, i.e. significant threats in today’s web applications that are faced the most by users everywhere!

There are other lesser known problems that make it impossible for network administrators (or casual user) to keep web applications secure. Fortunately, Australia hosts some of the leading penetration testing companies, one of which is Lean Security.

What Does Security Mean For Web Applications?

Fundamentally speaking, security means “protecting assets”. They can be tangible items like your customer database or a web page. Assets can also be less tangible, i.e. your company’s reputation.

Lean Security, Australia’s leading web applications security service and penetration testing provider defines security as a “pathway”. It’s mainly about risk management and implementation of effective countermeasures and strategies against those risks.

The Foundations of Security Are…

Your web application’s security relies on the following:

Authentication

This element is the most crucial when it comes to web application security. All websites have authentication elements embedded in their source code. This element addresses authentication of the user, i.e. who are you?

The authentication process helps identify users and clients of your website, applications and services. Authenticated clients are known as principals in security jargon.

Authorization

This element addresses the question: what can you do? As you must know, an end user will be unable to gain access to unauthorized web applications.

It’s not the application that is unauthorized! You won’t be permitted access simply because you don’t have the authorization pass codes required.

This process mainly governs resources (files, databases, and configuration data) and operations like performing bank transactions, online shopping, transferring money, etc.

Auditing

The key to non-repudiation in web application security is effective auditing and logging. What is non-repudiation? It is a process that guarantees users cannot deny initiating a transaction or performing an operation, after the action.

Confidentiality

Also referred to as privacy, this is a process that ensures sensitive and important data remains confidential and private when users sign into a website application. Confidential data cannot be viewed by unauthorized users (or eavesdroppers) even those whose job is to monitor traffic flow in a network.

Website developers and managed service providers usually make use of encryption methods when it comes to increasing privacy of a website application. Another means of enforcing confidentiality are ACLs or Access Control Lists.

Integrity

Every web application should offer a guarantee against accidental or deliberate (malicious) data modification. This is the most important foundation of website application security, after authorization and confidentiality.

How to Design a Secure Web Application

You must want your service’s consumers and users to feel secure when using the web application. It’s however simply not possible to build a web application that possesses the above security foundations without analysing threats.

Remove all vulnerabilities from your web application by analysing its anomalies first! Ask about Lean Security’s web application security scanning and assessment service today.

 

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