Your business is your pride and joy. You have invested significant capital, time, and other resources. The company has been launched and is attracting quite a crowd and your team is starting to relax knowing that everything is going smoothly.
Now is the time hackers will find a way to enter into your applications, mainframe, and tarnish your brand image causing possible irreparable damage.
In our cyber day and age, information is available at our fingertips. Some will use this information to progress society; others will use it as a lucrative place to commit crimes at your expense. There are ways to protect yourself, and it all starts with understanding your applications, vendors, and employees, and most of all the threats you face.
What Types of Risks do Businesses Face?
Few severe web application threats that business should not overlooked. Types of Web Application Threats are enumerated below.
- Invalidated Redirects and Forwards – Hackers take unwary visitors to a malicious website or application. Typically, this is used for phishing attacks.
- Using Components With Known Vulnerabilities – Attackers know when your information is outdated, and therefore, can quickly exploit them. Always update your software.
- Cross-Site Request Forgery – Victims are taken to another application, or they are tricked into using a false program on your website. This can lead to the victim having their bank account information stolen, and their identity compromised!
- Missing Function Level Access Control – This sounds confusing, but what it means is that lower ranking users, general staff, have accessed your administrative accounts.
- Sensitive Data Exposure – Most people are perceptive to this threat. Data that is not encrypted properly can be modified, stolen, and can damage your visitors.
- Security Misconfiguration – Sometimes your application has a flaw that has been built right in! Most of the times it is unintentional, but always have your team view the code.
- Insecure Direct Object References – A very malicious attack includes the changing of file names that tricks a user to download or open software with programs to collect sensitive data.
- Broken Authentication and Session Management – We have all heard about using two-step authentication. For those of us who down play it, hackers can easily bypass your password and get right into your mainframe.
- Injection – SQL injection is the most prominent attack for most websites. Using this, hackers get a full table of passwords, usernames, emails, and so on. This is the most damaging attack, and the most commonly occurring.
Any application has two doors that could allow hackers to come into your system. These are the Port 80 and Port 443. While there is little you can do to limit their openness as it is the level in which your customer interacts, there are threats you need to be aware of. Last year alone, over 8% of hacks direct to SQL Injection while the rest were count as malicious redirection, malware, phishing frauds. At some point in time, you can be targeted. It is a good practice to use “STRIDE” method to understand threats, which may affect your business. (STRIDE stand for Spoofing, Tampering, Repudiation, Information disclosure, Denial of service, Elevation of privilege).
With this model, you can quickly pinpoint where there are possible weaknesses in your application.
With that in mind, you can build your website and applications to navigate these issues with minimal hassle. However, you can use this same model to help matured applications prepare for the worst.
From firewall installation to data encryption, there are multiple layers of security you can impose to ensure a hacker will never be able to breach your site.
Your Business Is Always At Risk
Many business owners are under the impression that because they are not major players that they will not be targeted. In fact, they are more of a target because the big companies have elaborate security measures and go through extensive measures to ensure their mainframe is secure. If hackers can get bypass them, imagine how fast they can get into an application that uses a flimsy password or no authentication methods? Worse yet is the disturbing trend of using the same password over and over, or even worse, using one application to a link to other applications using the same password and username combo!
It is a business owner’s responsibility to protect your customers and employees. Use secure and unique passwords for every application. In addition, you need to realize that not all applications are like the others. Be sure to read into the product, including reviews, complaints, and how the company interacts with customers on their website. Your application developers need to be as concerned with their security as you are with yours.
Train Your Employees
Often, companies can be hacked due to the negligence of workers. For the most part, this is not a malicious attempt, but instead, they accidentally left the back door unlocked in terms of applications.
When you are installing a new application, you need to train your employees how to conduct themselves while using it. Some applications will require specific login sites; others will allow employees to log into any system, not just from the secure workplace. Be sure that you allow them to ask questions and become fully dedicated in any new application you add.
Understand Your Program
There is a lot of pressure put on developers to get a website up and to run as soon as possible. In addition, they have the task of maintaining these sometimes massive sites. It is a time-consuming task! However, they have another important task that needs to be noted. They are able to spot holes in the application before it reaches a critical point. The issue is, however, is that often, security is bypassed for the sake of speed.
Allowing your team to pick through the application, update it as needed, and search for patches as they are released, is paramount to keeping your business secure.
Create a Recovery Plan
When creating this plan, be sure to think of multiple scenarios. Planning on a hacker to follow one path is a sure way not to see them coming in through the window so to say.
If you have multiple paths covered, you can make sure that your website or application has minimal downtime, no leaked information, and your reputation is still intact.
Make Security a Core Priority
If security is practiced every day, then updating applications, testing vendors, and making your framework secure will not be a chore. Let employees understand the importance of security as it is an asset not an expense for a business. If you do not protect that asset, it can be damaged very quickly. It requires effort and participation on all fronts to be secure. You can create a security branch in your office, yet it will do nothing if others are undermining their efforts.
Everyone is responsible for the safety and security of the firm. In addition, it is important to test all applications for vulnerabilities.
There are multiple online tools that will test your application for redirects, cross-site links, and even a misconfiguration!
Relish the Small Things
Not every issue with upgrading your security will feel like a battle, some will, some will not, and it is just the nature of this problem itself. One of the main things that need to be remembered is that you need to see each step at becoming more secure as a massive stride. You are no safer than you were yesterday, but you are also taking away chances of becoming a target for criminals.
Ensuring that you are not an easy target is not always easy on the business side of things, so be sure to remind your team of the great job they are doing. Remember, teamwork is everything!
Keeping your business or application secure may seem like a daunting task, but in all reality, it is much easier if you practice these good habits from day one. Yet, even for those who are more established, we can all learn something how to keep our investment safe. For a business owner, keeping your employee data, enterprise data, and most of all, your customer’s data security is very important. So step up your game and start working with these few tips to get your application more secure. It is easy and well worth the time.
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