The best practices to secure your web applications

Make sure your organization is aware of the best ways to keep out of harm your critical applications

An organization faces both external and internal threats to its web applications’ safety. The different forms of cyberattacks continue to increase and, to increase the complexity of the problem, the threat model has changed dramatically, as many of the applications of an organization were written quite a while ago. The use of vulnerable components in developments has become a major concern; for example, does your organization work with data of European citizens? Attacks on web applications are a primary focus for data theft and, with the current GDPR, a company could pay up to 4% of its annual revenues in penalties for breaches of data protection.

That’s why specialists in ethical hacking have been busy enlisting best practices to keep their web developments safe in an ever-changing threat environment:

  • Store your application in a container

A primary way to protect your application is to take it into a container. The security features inherent in the container and its default configurations make it a more robust instance talking about security, so your application will instantly inherit those features when stored in a container. Think of the container as a protective cover, isolating your application from other containers and from the host; this isolation mitigates infections and malicious use of your software.

  • Security starts with developer

The container platforms offer seamless security in the background, so security is present, only not in the same way as the developer. Several container platforms include a container engine and built-in security capabilities; digital signatures confirm the source and authenticity of the container to validate that no one has altered or infected the application.

The container platform has security features that intimately interlace the efforts of its developers without changing their workflow. This makes the development process and its application safer without sacrificing speed or efficiency.

  • Check for vulnerabilities

According to specialists in ethical hacking, the best way to know that your applications are safe is to have an automated process to verify the application at every step. Platforms scan their containers for vulnerabilities, compared to their programming resource versions with information in vulnerability databases. Vulnerability scans provide greater visibility and insight into the security status of your applications — from development to production.

  • Keep aware about new standards

Standardization bodies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) help organizations address their security challenges and industry regulations with standard guidelines that maintain good safety practices. These standards help developers understand how to detect gaps between these required security standards and the security status of their applications.

  • Add different protection layers

Many container services offer third-party plug-ins and implementations to enable security layers and other additional features. These options can be integrated into your current security strategy to meet the required standards. For example, you can use an integration specifically to reinforce runtime security policies to avoid anomalous behavior in the container, and another to provide firewall and mitigate possible container-to-container attacks; anyways, specialists in ethical hacking from the International Institute of Cyber Security recommend verifying that these implementations comply with the required safety standards too.