The applications (APPs) we all use represent access points that almost always require sensitive data from users.
Preserving application security should be a permanent concern of organizations that use and develop them. For this, it is important to know your most vulnerable points and be alert to possible failures.
Key Application Security Vulnerabilities
1. Insufficient monitoring or logging
It is always important to have a comprehensive understanding of how APPs are being used, answering questions:
- Who’s there?
- What have you done?
- When did you do it?
- Where did you do it?
- How did you do it?
On the other hand, logging and monitoring mechanisms should be adequate to the criticality of our solutions.
2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
3. Code injection
4. Authentication breaks
Mechanisms that tamper with information related to the user’s sensitive data from the moment they access the application.
5. Breaks in access control
Certain features of the applications may see your access compromised by security flaws.
6. Exposure of sensitive data
Display of information at certain points of THE APPs that should not be visible, such as access credentials or some kind of personal data of the user.
7. Entities exposed in XML format
Errors in security settings can expose entities in XML format that should not be accessible.
8. Flaws in security settings
Errors in certain settings can constitute serious security failures.
9. Incorrect deserialization of data
It occurs when applications import information incorrectly and insecurely, which can compromise their normal functioning.
10. Components with known vulnerabilities
Caution should always be exercised when using components external to our solution. If vulnerabilities are identified, the ideal is not to use them or caution them in these situations so that they do not compromise the application.
Good Practices in Application Development
Knowing the potential vulnerabilities of an APP is the essential starting point before moving on to its creation. This information becomes valuable for developing applications and enhancing application security where it is most needed.
In the development phase of the application, there are some good practices that should be taken into account by the development teams:
1. Apply the general safety principles
In terms of application security, whenever they use a database to function, the end user should have limited access to them. You should not be able to create or delete data, for example.
It is essential to maintain a history of data and access so that, in case of problems or disruption of such data, the source of the problem is quickly identified.
2. Do not trust the user 100%
When accessing an APP, it’s important to confirm that the person you’re trying to access is really who you say you are.
Basic username and password credentials are no longer sufficient. Multi-factor authentication is required in more and more applications, especially those involving sensitive data.
3. Ensuring Profiling
In the development of any application, a hierarchy adapted to each situation must be generated to ensure (by design) that not all users can see and access the same data. Using a profiling method, each user must have a profile and each profile should only have access to a certain set of application features.
4. Maintain a history
It is important that the systems that integrate an application keep a record of users’ accessand actions at all times.
This care is all the more important the more sensitive or confidential the nature of the data in question. So if there is a problem with this information it will be easier to identify the source of the problem.
5. Prevent Cross-Site Scripting
XSS is one of the most frequent vulnerabilities in an application. Basically, to bypass a major lock, the user changes the interface by editing data on a specific web page. That way, you can give instructions that the application shouldn’t respond to.
To avoid these situations, you have to understand where the data goes and prevent these alternative paths.
Complying with good security practices in the development of PAPs is the right way for fewer problems to arise at this level later, when used in normal use.