7 Cybersecurity measures for web applications

The measurements of cybersecurity for web applications are essential in our daily lives, but they often lack the same protection as traditional software, leaving them vulnerable to internal and external threats. It is crucial to adopt the best practices and the right tools to protect web applications and avoid attacks.

In addition, Mexico has historically been an attractive target for cybercriminals due to its strategic geographic position, its emerging economy, and its position as one of the leading producers and consumers of technology in Latin America. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to access sensitive data, such as financial and medical information, and use it for malicious purposes, such as identity theft and online fraud.

Cybersecurity measures for web applications are critical but often ignored. Vulnerabilities in application coding, configuration, and design can allow cybercriminals to access sensitive data. 43% of data breaches are due to vulnerabilities in web applications. This guide explores how to protect your web applications using best practices and the right tools. If you think your business may need to protect itself, do not hesitate to ask a question.

Cybersecurity for web applications is quite an important topic, but it is not always given the importance it deserves.

What is cybersecurity for web applications and why is it important?

Cybersecurity measures for web applications are important to protect sensitive data, prevent cyber attacks, maintain application integrity, and comply with regulatory regulations:

They are important for several reasons:

  • Protection of sensitive data: Web applications often contain sensitive data, such as personal identity and financial information. Security measures help protect this data from being accessed by cybercriminals and used for malicious purposes.
  • Attack Prevention: Cybersecurity measures for web applications can help prevent cyberattacks, such as data theft and malware. By implementing strong security measures, you reduce the possibility of cybercriminals exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications to access sensitive data.
  • Maintenance of application integrity: Web application security measures can help ensure that web applications function properly and are not compromised by coding errors, server configuration problems, or application design flaws.
  • Normative compliance: Many industries and countries have specific regulations on web application security and data protection. Security measures are important to comply with these regulations and avoid potential penalties and fines.

Cybersecurity regulations

There are several cybersecurity regulations for web applications that are important, depending on the country and industry. Some of the most relevant regulations are:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): It is a regulation of the European Union that establishes the rules for the protection of personal data and the privacy of European citizens. It applies to all companies that collect and process personal data of European citizens.
  • California Privacy Act (CCPA): It is a United States state law that gives California residents the right to know what personal data is collected, who has access to it, and the ability to request its deletion.
  • Personal Data Protection Law (LGPD): It is a Brazilian law that establishes rules for the protection of personal data and the privacy of Brazilian citizens. Applies to all companies that collect and process personal data of Brazilian citizens.
  • ISO 27001: It is an international standard that establishes the best practices for information security management. This standard applies to any type of organization, regardless of its size, industry or geographic location.
  • PCIDSS: It is an information security standard for the credit card payment industry. It applies to all companies that process, transmit or store credit card information.

These are just some of the most important regulations in cybersecurity for web applications, but there are many others depending on the country and the industry. It is important to note that non-compliance with these regulations can result in significant penalties and fines., as well as the loss of trust and reputation of the company. Therefore, it is necessary to know them and fully comply with them. 

cybersecurity for web applications
Cybersecurity for web applications is an essential part of development, as it allows compliance with the necessary regulations.

Cybersecurity measures for your Web applications

Some cybersecurity measures for web applications that you can take into account are the following. Remember that, in the same way, you can request a consultation to perform a vulnerability analysis of web applications to recognize possible threats:

Scanning for vulnerabilities in web applications

To avoid possible cybersecurity problems for web applications, it is essential to perform web application vulnerability scans that detect threats like SQL injection or XSS. An advanced tool used by web developers is the Burp Suite, which provides various testing features, but it can take time to learn. 

If you are creating an e-commerce site, it is recommended to scan it before publishing it to avoid vulnerability issues. Also, some systems perform these scans automatically upon update and alert you to any issues, so it's important to make sure they're enabled.

Strengthen passwords

The most common passwords are based on names, dates of birth or a hobby like sports or games, so they are easy for cybercriminals to guess. Even some of the most recurring passwords are usually 123456 or 000000, or similar variants. Hackers often access user databases full of plaintext (not encrypted) passwords and use them to steal identities or launch denial-of-service attacks. 

Therefore, it is important to strengthen cybersecurity for applications through combinations of letters, numbers and special characters to make them more secure and less vulnerable for the access of clients and collaborators.

Use subdomains instead of hostnames

By using subdomains, it is possible to divide a website into different sections for different purposes, such as online sales, customer support, and company blog. This can make it difficult for attackers to exploit weaknesses in one section to access other areas of the website.

Also, by separating the subdomains, it is possible to better control who has access to which parts of the website. For example, employees tasked with managing the company's blog may be granted limited access without giving them access to other areas of the website that contain sensitive information.

cybersecurity for web applications measures
Some cybersecurity measures for web applications are important, however, nothing is better than a specialized consultancy.

Set up a Captcha

A CAPTCHA is a cybersecurity tool for web applications that is used to determine whether or not a user is human by solving a visual or audio challenge. In addition to its common use to prevent spam and unauthorized access to websites, it is also used to improve security in other aspects of computing, such as password recovery, computer login, and user authentication. 

What's more, CAPTCHAs make forms more accessible to the visually impaired and to adaptive technology softwaresuch as screen readers or keyboard-only navigation interfaces. In summary, CAPTCHAs are a valuable tool to prevent unwanted automatic input from users and improve security in various aspects of computing.

Do regular security tests

Regularly checking the site for vulnerabilities is crucial to maintaining cybersecurity in web applications. Although cookies are useful for storing session information and user preferences, They can pose a security threat if they are used to store sensitive information such as passwords or payment details. 

This is because cookies are vulnerable to malware attacks or accidental exposure in logs stored on the server. A safe solution is to use a database store like SQLite to store sensitive information, thus minimizing the risk of inappropriate exposure. In addition, it is recommended to use vulnerability scanning tools to detect and fix possible security breaches on the website.

Deploy secure web configuration settings

Secure web server configuration is crucial for web application cybersecurity in Mexico. Apache HTTP Server is one of the most popular web servers today and hosts a large number of websites online. However, due to its popularity, it is also a prime target for hackers looking to exploit vulnerable code. To prevent this from happening, it is important to make changes to the server's configuration to strengthen its security. 

Some of these changes may include removing unused modules, regularly updating software, and implementing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication and SSL/TLS encryption. In addition, it is also important to keep a regular backup of the website and regularly monitor server logs for possible attacks. With these measures, the risk of the website being compromised by a malicious attack can be significantly reduced.

 Avoid putting sensitive data in cookies

To keep your site secure, it's essential to avoid storing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, in cookies. If someone steals these cookies, they could use them to access other parts of your site. Instead of storing sensitive information in cookies, consider encrypting them before saving or storing them in a database. Also, keep in mind that cookie theft is common in e-commerce and that cookies may be vulnerable if your site is not served over SSL/TLS or if encryption keys have been stored insecurely.

If someone steals your cookies from a site, they could also use them to access other parts of their sites. Make sure all sensitive data is encrypted before storing it in a cookie so no one else can read it, even if it's stolen. Alternatively, store that information in a database so there is no risk of it being stolen.

Cookie theft is a major concern in e-commerce, especially since cookies are easily read by tracking traffic and can be easily stolen over an unencrypted Wi-Fi connection.

Cybersecurity for web applications is necessary for any development, regardless of the needs of your company.

Cybersecurity for web applications is even more important when dealing with confidential and sensitive information. To the perform a comprehensive analysis of web application security flaws, loopholes and vulnerabilities, it also significantly decreases the risks associated with a data breach carried out by cybersecurity bad actors.

In Codster, we can be your ally in the development of cybersecurity for web applications as a VeraCode Partner to exploit the potential of your company, creating technological solutions tailored to your needs. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to contact us.

Eri Gutierrez

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