Last Updated On August 24, 2022

10 Best Practices for Developing Secure Web Applications

10 Best Practices for Developing Secure Web Applications
By Team TIS

Today, most websites rely on web applications to collect, process, and share their data. Unfortunately, this also makes them vulnerable to several types of cyberattacks including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and SQL injection attacks.

If you’re currently developing secure web applications or if you plan to do so in the future, it’s important to follow these best practices in order to keep your website protected from hackers and cybercriminals who are always on the lookout for security vulnerabilities in other people’s sites.

Tip 1: Start with Security in Mind

Web developers should build security into their projects from day one. Many serious exploits don’t come from in-the-wild attacks, but rather from weaknesses in deployed applications. Take time to study what has worked and failed in previous attacks and how these vulnerabilities could affect your project before it even goes live.

Also, take a hard look at how your project can be abused; will there be a way for attackers to use personal information against you? These are just some of the many things you need to consider when developing a secure web application.

Tip 2: Choose the Right Tools

Developing a custom framework, library, or tool to support your application can be tempting, but it’s more secure to rely on tested tools rather than developing one yourself. Using a third-party tool also means you don’t have to worry about keeping up with ongoing security patches and updates. As a bonus, using third-party code means you won’t get bogged down in minutiae like version control and deployment—this lets you focus on what really matters: writing secure code.

Tip 3: Designate an Owner

Every application has a single owner. This owner is responsible for all operations, design, development, and maintenance decisions. This makes it easier to hold someone accountable if there is a breach. If you have an existing application that isn’t completely hardened against attacks, it may make sense to hire an outside penetration tester to come in and scan your system thoroughly before assigning ownership and responsibility.

The one thing you must do when someone claims they’re taking ownership of an application is ask them how they will respond to attacks. They must be able to demonstrate they can deal with any problems that arise if security becomes compromised.

Tip 4: Keep it Updated

One of our biggest gripes with many developers is that they build something, release it, and then never touch it again. This approach to software development only invites problems, as more vulnerabilities are found over time. To make sure your application is protected from new threats, you must take a proactive approach to developing new features and releasing updates.

As such, update your application once a month at a minimum (even if it’s just with an updated database schema). Some people go as far as updating every day or week. What’s important is to realize how fast things can change in today’s Internet world and to keep your code up-to-date.

Tip 5: Prevent Hackers from Hiding

Hackers can gain access to your website and hide their malicious code in user-generated content such as chat forums, reviews, or pictures. It’s extremely important that you use advanced anti-hacking technology like firewalls and scanners to ensure that hackers cannot gain access to your website.

While it may be tempting to save money by outsourcing certain security measures, it’s just not worth putting your company at risk! Instead of doing everything yourself, hire a reputable SEO agency that uses a thorough methodology while developing your site so they can integrate security into each step of their process.

Tip 6: Regularly Test Your Sites

Make sure you’re testing your sites for both vulnerabilities and usability issues. For example, if you run a financial institution, you want to make sure that your site is resistant to automated scanning and probing techniques.

You also want to test it with fresh eyes — people who aren’t aware of how your site works — to find usability problems like forms that don’t validate input or features that confuse users. If a hacker can break into your systems by exploiting bugs in one of these areas, they may not care how good your overall security is.

Tip 7: Create a Privacy Policy

Whenever you collect personally identifiable information, like usernames and passwords, or sensitive information, like credit card numbers or social security numbers, you should inform users of your website that you’re collecting it and provide them with instructions on how to opt-out.

It’s a good idea to include a link to your privacy policy in your website’s footer so that everyone who visits your site can easily find it. You might also consider adding links from relevant areas of your site (for example, from registration pages). You’ll need to update your privacy policy if any details change.

Tip 8: Limit Information Collected Online

Web users should have control over how their information is collected and used, but it’s also important to limit what information is collected in the first place. For example, you can use a library such as OWASP AntiSamy to validate and sanitize user input on your website and reduce your risk of collecting unwanted information.

You can also collect only necessary data points when developing a new site or updating an existing one. Overall, it’s just good practice to limit what information you collect online — both in terms of quantity and security.

Tip 9: Use Encryption When Possible

Many website owners have a tendency to only encrypt sensitive data when it is absolutely necessary. But that’s not enough—you need to use SSL encryption in other areas of your website as well.

For example, if you collect any kind of personal information from users during signup or registration, you should make sure that all data is encrypted and secured. Likewise, encrypt all of your usernames and passwords so that if they ever get compromised, you can quickly change them without fear of further damage or loss.

Tip 10: Reinforce Strong Password Policies

Require a minimum of 8 characters, at least one number, and one non-alphanumeric character. For even more security, consider requiring punctuation marks and capital letters as well. These stronger password policies can be implemented with just a few lines of code on your part, but they’ll have a huge impact on user experience.

Let them know it’s in their best interest by providing clear instructions that describe how much safer their account will be (and what would happen if they don’t follow your rules). Consider using tools like SplashID to help users memorize strong passwords without having to write them down. It’s far better to create memorable, random combinations than it is to allow users to create passwords they’ll struggle with (or forget) later on.

Conclusion

The aim of developing the best website is to offer end users a beneficial, memorable experience. However, development is only one stage in a complex series of steps. Once completed, a web design company in India needs to ensure that its product is delivered safely and securely. Implementing these ten steps will go a long way toward building and maintaining a successful, secure application.

These steps will help you to enhance the strength of your online store and applications. They will not completely but to a great extent, help you to fight against the vulnerabilities and malware attack possibilities towards your application.

So, to conclude this, my advice to all application programmers is that they must learn to code in a safe and secure way because this is the only way to help organizations to establish the right and most appropriate security measures for the security of their website.

By Team TIS
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