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How To Mitigate Application Security Threats By Following The Best Practices

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By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 101
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With digitization growing at an unprecedented scale globally, the threat of cybercrime is not far behind. According to statistics, the world will witness cybercrime-related damages to the tune of $6 trillion annually by 2021 (Source: Cybersecurity Ventures.) In fact, ransomware attacks are likely to touch $11.5 billion in 2019 (Source: KnowBe4.) The canvas of cybercrime is expanding rapidly with both legacy systems and the latest applications being vulnerable to attacks.

One of the main reasons why such attacks have become commonplace is the lack of application security testing that enterprises often ignore for considerations of cost and time. However, the consequences of such oversight or dilly-dallying can be damaging. For example, should you be using the data of European citizens and your web application comes under attack leading to data breaches, you can end up in deep trouble. With GDPR in full force, you may pay about 4 percent of your annual global revenues in penalties causing a huge strain on your resources.

To keep your brand and business unscathed from the fusillade of ransomware, viruses, trojans, and malware attacks, protect your web applications by using web application security testing. The world of cybercrime is vexatious with not a single cybersecurity measure strong enough to keep your business and customer data in relative safety. The only way to stay competitive, mitigate threats, and fight the menace is by following the security best practices. Let us understand these in detail.

Best practices to mitigate security threats to your applications
It would be a good practice to incorporate application security testing in the development stage only instead of executing the same as a follow-up routine. With Agile and DevSecOps becoming routine methodologies, enterprises should pursue security practices with rigor.

# Securing the application within a container: Keep the application within a container and leverage the latter’s default configurations and native security features. This way your application can be isolated from other containers and mitigate risks that arise out of attacks from malicious codes. The effectiveness of such default container controls can be validated by using the software application testing methodology. Containers use specified access controls to prevent any unauthorized access from people or resources. When the application is placed inside a container, it greatly reduces the scope of any malicious attack.

# Take into account the developer: Since a developer builds the application from scratch, it is but natural that incorporating any security measure should take him or her into the scheme of things. Container platforms such as Docker Enterprise come with integrated security features and capabilities that any developer can make use of for validation. In fact, developers can use cryptographic digital signatures to validate the security features and authenticity of the container. Moreover, the inherent security features of the container are intertwined with the workflow of the developer. This ensures the development process remains streamlined without compromising security, efficiency, and speed.

# Vulnerability checking: A robust web app security testing should have an automated process that tests each stage of the application development. A container platform like Docker checks the container for vulnerabilities with the application inside it. The process checks the versions of programming resources against the information present inside vulnerability databases. This way, the application receives an in-depth insight into the vulnerabilities and security status. When the scanned images are found to be clean, the right containers are sent to the next stage of the production process. The automated process of software application security testing identifies vulnerabilities in the early stages of development and provides patches for the new ones. The container platforms provide secure mechanisms to prevent security breaches without delaying the production process in any way.

# Be compatible with new security standards: Enterprises can address complex security challenges by following industry guidelines or protocols as set up by bodies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The standards lead you to identify vulnerabilities or gaps in the security status of applications. It can help the application to get through security audits and avoid being penalized. Furthermore, by encasing the application within a container, you can meet industry recognized security regulations like NIST 800-53 and others.

The container approach to strengthening the security of applications can make use of various third-party plugins. These provide a multi-layer approach that encompasses the integration of security layers, capabilities, and features for containers. By securing your applications using the container approach, you can accelerate the time to market without slowing down the process of development, testing or delivery.

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