How Important Is Application Security, And What Does It Entail?

December 3, 2022
application security

Application security, also known as AppSec, is the process of defending applications from outside threats by identifying and resolving security flaws. Businesses use application security testing and other software, hardware, and software security procedures (such as AppSec) to find and fix system flaws. Find out more about app security and why it’s important for businesses.


Application security types
The three primary application kinds that businesses need to protect are shown below.

Security for web applications
Businesses frequently employ online apps. Web apps are pieces of software that are accessible online and are hosted on a web server. These programmes are frequently of utmost importance to the company and frequently include sensitive customer data, making them an attractive target for hackers.

Web applications frequently accept client connections via unsecured networks, making them vulnerable to different threats. While certain online application vulnerabilities have been solved by the internet (by adding HTTPS, for instance), many more still exist. Below, we’ll go into further depth about these security threats.

API safety
Security of APIs is crucial for enterprises. The biggest data breaches in businesses can (and have) been brought on by security flaws in APIs. Unwanted data leakage and shoddy authentication are common API security flaws.

Security for cloud-native applications
A company’s cloud-based platforms, apps, and infrastructure must all be secured. Cloud-native apps have numerous levels of security built in from the software development process to the production environment.

How does app security operate?
The software development lifecycle often includes safeguards for application security. The goal of the application security measures and tools is to make it more difficult for hackers to take advantage of security flaws to access online apps, including systems and sensitive data, without authorization.

If a company is serious about application security, it should take steps to stop hackers from accessing, changing, or erasing important or proprietary application data.

Security controls, often known as countermeasures, are activities taken by an organisation to guarantee application security. A countermeasure is a safeguard “for an information system or an organisation designed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its information and to fulfil a set of stated security standards,” according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

To reduce the security risks associated with coding-level web application vulnerabilities, for instance, the business could install certain application security controls. It might also make advantage of application firewalls to control file management and data handling.

Why is the security of applications important?
Application security is essential for safeguarding sensitive information, clients, and companies, as well as for avoiding successful cyberattacks on the application.

Applications are not an exception to the rule that hackers always hunt for openings to attack, according to data on cybersecurity. Application security can assist in identifying flaws and thwarting attacks at the application level.

Let’s take a closer look at the significance of application security.

  1. Application security adopts a proactive strategy that emphasises attack avoidance. While reactionary actions are important as well, proactive actions increase the likelihood that damage won’t be done.
  2. Today’s apps are frequently available over many networks and connected to the cloud, which increases security flaws. Attacks on cloud assets (such as sensitive data, application code, and operations) are more likely as a result of these vulnerabilities. Application security aids in reducing the probability and severity of such attacks.
  3. Finding and resolving security flaws helps to minimise an organization’s attack surface, or the number of ways a hacker may get access to a network, which lowers the danger of an attack.
  4. App security flaws are widespread. Even non-critical flaws may be exploited and combined by hackers in order to attack a system or application. By lowering the number of vulnerabilities, application security lessens the effect of assaults.

 application security

Common dangers and vulnerabilities in application security

To better understand application security trends and facilitate security teams internationally, several firms track application security flaws over time. They can keep up with threats and keep an eye on their potential evolution by tracking prevalent weaknesses.

One such group is the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a well-known non-profit foundation that offers guidance on the development, acquisition, and upkeep of safe software programmes.

Here are the top 10 significant application vulnerabilities, as identified by OWASP:

  1. When there is a breakdown in access control, unauthorised users can access resources that are off limits. Cybercriminals have the ability to go around security protocols and access systems or sensitive data.
  2. A poor or nonexistent encryption technique might disclose sensitive app data, such as passwords, email addresses, or credit card numbers.
    By injecting malicious code into an app, remote attackers might potentially compromise clients linked to the vulnerable application as well as backend services.
  3. Lack of security controls during the design phase and a failure to foresee security threats during the code design phase constitute insecure design. Unprotected credential storage, trust boundary breaches (such as allowing HTTP requests), or inappropriate separation of entities with different rights, privileges, and permissions are a few examples of unsafe architecture.
  4. An app component may become vulnerable to an attack due to security misconfiguration. Software having a known list of standard configuration files that a hacker may access and exploit is one example of this vulnerability.
  5. Software flaws might also be caused by vulnerable and out-of-date components. This defect could emerge as a result of software developers using unsupported or outdated software, failing to address underlying problems, or failing to conduct routine vulnerability scans.
  6. Failures in identification and authentication might result in serious software vulnerabilities. As an illustration, consider a system that allows automated assaults (such as credential stuffing), brute-force attacks, or passwords with weak defaults like “Password1” or “admin.”
  7. flaws in the data and software integrity. If the architecture and code do not provide integrity protection, it may result in malicious code, illegal access, or system compromise. For instance, an application could rely on plugins, modules, or libraries from unreliable sources.
  8. Failures in security logging and monitoring might result in security dangers being unnoticed. Maintaining logs entails keeping note of auditable events (such as unsuccessful login attempts), warnings, and problems that result in subpar or ambiguous log messages. Lack of event logging makes it more challenging to identify and stop breaches.
  9. Web applications that retrieve distant resources without checking the user-supplied URL are vulnerable to server-side request forgery. This flaw allows the attacker to force the app to submit a special request to a malicious or unexpected recipient.


Top 3 techniques for enhancing application security in businesses

Maintaining application security for businesses. The top three approaches to make sure their apps are as secure as possible are as follows:

1.Observe the OWASP top ten

The most significant known application security problems are all collected in one location on the OWASP list of vulnerabilities, making it essential. The list, which was created by security experts throughout the world, is available to businesses anywhere. It should be used by organisations to implement application security testing, which security and development teams may utilise to enhance the security of their online applications.

In order to prevent these weaknesses in their platforms, businesses must be aware of these serious vulnerabilities at all application lifecycle phases and take the appropriate security precautions.

2. Complete an assessment of the application security

Due to biases and assumed filters, even the most security-conscious teams occasionally fail to find a weakness. For a company and its clients, having an impartial auditor analyse the application and point out any shortcomings that were not seen might be quite beneficial. Using specialised technologies, an audit assists security teams in identifying vulnerabilities and conducting threat assessments.

World-class experts have evaluated FreeZone VPNmany times to make sure that the software is safe for its users. The specialists didn’t discover any significant flaws, as predicted. Automating application security testing will help you find vulnerabilities more frequently and streamline the audit process.

3. Employ real-time protection and monitoring

One application security best practise is real-time monitoring, which may assist in swiftly and efficiently identifying security concerns.

Protect your application by using web application firewalls (WAFs). An ideal cybersecurity solution for screening and monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic is a web application firewall.

Web applications are shielded against assaults like SQL injection, cookie tampering, and cross-site scripting via application firewalls.

Increase your security with FreeZone VPN

It is the duty of app developers to guarantee the security and safety of the applications you use. However, by utilising a VPN, you may boost your online privacy and safety and take control of your entire cybersecurity.

Your internet connection is encrypted while using FreeZone VPN for additional digital security and protection. You may select from thousands of servers in 59 different countries, all of which offer the world’s fastest VPN connection.

Additionally, FreeZone VPN’s sophisticated Threat Protection function prevents malware from downloading while also blocking obtrusive trackers, unwanted advertisements, and malware. With just one account, you can safeguard six devices and securely access your favourite content from any location.