To be profitable, viable, sustainable and successful, businesses must adapt to the ever-changing customer behavior, needs and preferences. Globally, the internet penetration rate is over 50% and is continuing to increase. As more customers go online and spend greater amounts of time there, it is vital for businesses to establish and augment their online presence. This is exactly what most businesses are already doing, and others are following suit.

The web applications are enabling businesses, especially small and medium ones, to build greater brand awareness, expand their reach, reach more target audiences spread across the globe in a cost-effective manner, engage their customers and target audiences better, earn higher returns and grow. Apart from being an effective communication and transactional channel, web applications enable businesses to get access to invaluable customer data which, in turn, enables them to understand the customer journey and create micro-moments. Therefore, web applications are core to businesses of today.

Web Application Security: An Introduction

Web application security, as the name suggests, is the process of securing websites, web applications and other internet-based services from cyber-attacks, breaches and security threats that leverage loopholes, misconfigurations, and vulnerabilities in these applications or their codes.

Some of the most exploitative and critical web application vulnerabilities include Distributed denial of service (DDoS), SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), remote file inclusion, clickjacking, broken access control, security misconfigurations, business logic flaws, etc. There are unknown vulnerabilities about which businesses and developers learn only when the breach has happened, called zero-day threats. Zero-day threats are the most dangerous owing of this very nature.

Why is web application security necessary for businesses?

While businesses are leveraging the revolutionary developments in technology and communication and the internet penetration rates, cyber criminals too are doing the same. They are finding new and innovative ways to orchestrate breaches and cyber-attacks that will help them get access to data, which is the new oil.

The global nature of the internet exposes the websites and web applications to a greater risk of cyber-attacks that vary in nature, scale, magnitude, complexity, etc. and can be orchestrated from anywhere around the globe. It interferes with the smooth functioning of the business by causing downtimes, server crashes, exposing business and customer data, etc. So, security or the lack of it becomes a hindrance and the biggest risk for businesses.

Data breaches and cyber-attacks are costly affairs. They not only involve the obvious financial losses and monetary costs of escalation, litigation, post-attack response, etc. but also cause loss of customers, trust, reputation, and goodwill. These latter losses are often irreparable and costliest for businesses, as the biggest 21st-century data breaches have taught us.

While the big players like Facebook have the might and the resources to recuperate faster from such attacks and threats, it may not be the case for small and medium businesses which may have to shut down completely.

So, web application security is indispensable to organizations of all sizes and kinds.

How to go about web app security?

Web Application Scanning

Businesses often hold two misconceptions that they need to steer away from: first that higher investment in technology and security lead to greater security and second that security is a hindrance and interferes with speed and performance of their web applications.

Web application security and mitigation of risks should not come in the way of the business. And speed and performance of the web application need not be at the cost of web app security. It is possible to integrate all this and not compromise one for the other. How?

By hiring certified security specialists and the best of breed products like AppTrana that will provide advanced security solutions and secure your web applications while you concentrate on your core business.

AppTrana combines the power of automation and machine learning with the human intelligence and expertise of certified security specialists. It automates regular scanning and routine security tasks to continuously monitor and detect threats, DDoS attacks, anomalies, and other malicious activity. It includes a managed, intelligent WAF that provides round-the-clock, 360-degree, comprehensive, customized security which includes instantaneously blocks malicious requests, automatically patches application-layer until fixed and analyzes traffic behavior/ attack patterns to secure applications. The security specialists aid in developing custom cybersecurity strategies and precise security measures based on the of the risk profile of your business with zero assured false positives and proof of concept. Employing AppTrana will also enable you to incorporate custom rules, identify and mitigate business logic flaws.