In recent years, the app development industry has experienced unprecedented growth. Mobile applications and web applications have become an integral part of our everyday lives, offering millions of options. Due to the growth of IoT, many manual processes have been automated.
However, the positive developments have led to several problems, particularly concerning security. Most companies and developers believe their applications are sufficiently secure. However, cyber miscreants are also on the prowl; they manage to find out methods to find flaws in application security and launch attacks! As a result, heightened application security testing becomes a critical feature in the entire software development life cycle.
Now, apart from testing to ensure flawless security, some best practices must also be adopted and followed religiously. Let us take a look at some of the basic yet most vital best practices to follow in 2022.
Choose the DevSecOps model
In DevSecOps or shift-left, the objective is to prevent security incidents as early as possible by identifying and fixing breaches as soon as they occur. Through DevSecOps tools, development teams can identify security vulnerabilities across the entire software supply chain.
Manage SDLC in a secure manner
According to secure SDLC (software development life cycle management), the product life cycle is defined as product security. It ensures a few pertinent things –
- A security-trained team develops and maintains it.
- Built according to strict security standards
- Securely delivered to customers
SDLC refers to a holistic approach to product development, from the inception of the idea, through development until the product is released to the market and ceases to exist.
Fixing open-source vulnerabilities
Open-source software provides numerous benefits, such as cost efficiency, and entails substantial security risks. Patches should be applied immediately to open-source software that is regularly monitored for vulnerabilities and updated regularly.
Automation of basic security tasks
It is virtually impossible to mitigate the infinite number of vulnerabilities present in a system manually due to their sheer number. Automation is, therefore, necessary. Automating simple tasks will enable teams to focus on more complex tasks.
Consider your resources
You cannot secure what you do not understand. So having visibility into your organization’s overall state of security is crucial. To secure your hardware, network, and software, you need to identify the exact components that comprise each level of your application, and then employ technologies to detect and prevent security lapses at the earliest.
Take the position of an attacker and perform a risk assessment –
- Compile a list of the assets that require protection.
- Understand how to identify and contain your threats.
- Insecure applications are possible if you fail to identify attack vectors.
- Make sure your security measures are adequate to detect and prevent attacks.
Conduct and ensure security training for developer teams
It is important for security teams to provide training to developers since they will also push code into production. It is necessary to consider the developer’s role and security requirements during the training.
Manage containers correctly
Start by signing your container images using a digital signature tool (e.g., Docker Content Trust). A common integration pipeline will also scan for open-source vulnerabilities to ensure container security.
Limit access to data by creating user groups
Another way to improve security is to restrict access to your data further –
- Identify what resources are needed by whom.
- Put in place access rules.
When access to the data is no longer required, ensure that active credentials are removed.
Regularly update software and install security patches
Updates and patches are absolutely essential in keeping your software secure. Why fix a problem that has already been fixed? When upgrading, ensure that you plan for every change since it requires you to design a system architecture to prevent API incompatibilities. Also, plan for regular security update sessions to ensure the updated protection of your systems.
Security experts have many views and opinions when it comes to implementing best practices for application security. But a few key points should be on any application security checklist, as outlined here.
The more protected your IT infrastructure is, the better off you are. And with these best practices in focus, you can ensure a greater level of application security across the organizational network.