Get a free application, infrastructure and malware scan report - Scan Your Website Now

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Try AppTrana WAAP (WAF)
Managed WAF Start at $99

10 Web Application Security Best Practices for 2020

Posted DateAugust 24, 2020
Posted Time 4   min Read

Given the criticality of web applications in today’s fast-evolving and highly-competitive business environment, their security is a matter of business continuity. Successful attacks against web applications by malicious actors are known to cause hefty losses to the business (financial and legal costs, customer attrition, and reputational damage). By following web application security best practices, vulnerabilities can be proactively identified, web applications effectively protected, and losses prevented.

The web application security best practices for 2020 have been put together in this article to help businesses stay ahead of attackers and ensure sustained business health.

Web Application Security Best Practices for 2020

Ensuring Secure Coding Practices

Vulnerabilities, loopholes, and security misconfigurations are caused by insecure coding practices. For instance, the developers may use an open-source code without understanding its security implications to deliver the application quickly. If the code is inherently flawed or insecure, it will have negative consequences for the business.

The considerations of design, user experience, and speed should not trump security considerations. Features such as authentication, data security, access control, frameworks, plugins, themes, communication controls, etc. must be built with a security focus from the coding stage itself to save time, effort, and money later.

Ensuring Secure Coding Practices

Data Encryption

Data is the new oil and attackers are continuously finding new ways to get to it. So, all data must be encrypted. Only encrypted data must be stored in the databases.

By installing an SSL (Secure Socket Layer), the HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol) connection between the host (server/ firewall) and client (browser) is secure. The encryption of communication and data exchanged between the host and server is ensured by SSL. By having the HTTPS (SSL-secured HTTP) on the web pages (especially one with authentication and user input fields), user trust can be ensured.

Cautiously Granting Permission, Privileges and Access Controls

While the importance of strong access controls and multi-factor authentication cannot be stressed enough, the principle of least privilege must be followed. Only a minimal set of trusted people must be authorized to make changes to the system or access critical data. Restrictive file upload policies, automatic logout/ session expiry, hiding admin directories, login attempt minimization, etc. must be enforced for heightened security.

Leveraging Automation

Automation must be leveraged in web application security, especially for functions that involve repetitive and voluminous tasks such as web application scanning, signature/ behavior analysis, and DDoS mitigation. Speed, agility, reliability, and accuracy in such tasks is ensured by automation. When automation is used along with the expertise of security professionals, web application security can be fortified.

Continuous Identification, Prioritization, and Securing of Vulnerabilities

The gateway for the malicious activities of attackers is provided by vulnerabilities, which are continuously growing. It is important to be abreast of the emerging vulnerabilities and update the automated security solutions to look for and secure those new signatures too. When the security solutions are equipped with Global Threat Intelligence, they automatically update and look for new vulnerabilities.

The vulnerabilities must be proactively identified using scanning, security audits, and pen-testing. They must be prioritized and accordingly, secured using virtual patching and permanent fixes.

Inspection of All Incoming Traffic

Several attacks and data breaches can be avoided if all incoming traffic is inspected and the bad traffic filtered out and blocked instantaneously. This is best done by comprehensive, intelligent, and managed Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) such as AppTrana. When placed on the network perimeter, all requests must pass through the WAF which allows access only to legitimate users while blocking the malicious requests.

Regular Security Penetration Testing

Regular Security Penetration Testing

Through the real-time simulation of cyberattacks under secure conditions, unknown vulnerabilities, zero-day threats, business logic flaws, etc. can be identified by security penetration testing. The exploitability of different types of vulnerabilities and security misconfigurations and the strength of web application security are assessed too. The overall security posture can be strengthened if the actionable insights from regular tests are effectively leveraged.

Strengthening Webserver Security

All critical data and publicly accessible content are hosted and stored by webservers. Given their accessibility to the public, they are the most targeted by hackers. Compromising the webserver has a snowballing effect on the different components of the application and network. So, strengthening web server security is crucial for the safety of the entire IT infrastructure. Here are some ways:

  • Unnecessary services must be removed to ensure minimal ports are open.
  • Remote access to servers must be minimized.
  • All security patches must be installed, and every component updated.
  • Legacy and unused components/modules/application extensions must be removed, and the application cleaned regularly.
  • Regular scanning and pen-testing

Close Monitoring of Key Threats

Key threats facing the organizations (including emerging threats) must be closely monitored and the application must be protected against the same. While being aware of all threats is good, the focus on critical threats must not be diverted.

Strategy Formulation and Documentation of Security Practices

A solid foundation for web application security is provided by the extremely important practice of strategy formulation and the documentation of security practices. When effectively strategized and documented, the solutions to different security issues and troubleshooting processes can help businesses in handling future issues quickly.


Web applications are central to businesses today to reach a global audience and improve their business outcomes. Given that web applications today are rooted in dynamism, the number of vulnerabilities facing the application has skyrocketed over time. With a growing threat landscape and increasing sophistication of attacks, businesses must follow the security best practices to ensure round-the-clock availability and business success. The services of security experts like AppTrana can be enlisted to keep abreast of and implement web application security best practices.

Stay tuned for more relevant and interesting security updates. Follow Indusface on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

web application security banner

Spread the love

Join 47000+ Security Leaders

Get weekly tips on blocking ransomware, DDoS and bot attacks and Zero-day threats.

We're committed to your privacy. indusface uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Related Posts

Application Security Checklist
The Comprehensive Web Application Security Checklist [with 15 Best Practices]

Secure your web apps effectively with this comprehensive web application security checklist. Mitigate all risks and bolster your application’s defense.

Spread the love

Read More
Cloud AppSec Measures
10 Ways to Implement AppSec Measures for Your Cloud Ecosystem

Secure your cloud ecosystem with these 10 AppSec measures. Learn how to implement robust security measures to protect your data

Spread the love

Read More
Application Security: How Prevention Beats Remediation?

More sophisticated attacks and threat vectors are targeting businesses today. Learn how prevention beats remediation for application security.

Spread the love

Read More


Fully Managed SaaS-Based Web Application Security Solution

Get free access to Integrated Application Scanner, Web Application Firewall, DDoS & Bot Mitigation, and CDN for 14 days

Know More Take Free Trial


Indusface is the only cloud WAAP (WAF) vendor with 100% Customer Recommendation for 3 consecutive years.

A Customers’ Choice for 2022 and 2023 - Gartner® Peer Insights™

The reviews and ratings are in!