Vulnerabilities are common in most web applications and may lead to the loss of important data. It is essential for individuals or firms using web applications to put ardent measures in place to prevent instances of cyber-attacks on their systems. Some of these preventive measures that can be employed include:
Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Web Application Firewalls can be used to inspect and analyze bi-directional web-based traffic and to curb possible threats. A WAF can be network-based, host-based or cloud-based and is usually deployed through a proxy and placed in front of one or more Web applications. This prevents vulnerabilities in web applications from being exploited by outside threats without blocking legitimate users and without slowing down application performance.
The use of VPNs
Certain functions of a web application should be made available through a Virtual Private Network. All administrative functions, for instance, should be re-mapped onto an Internal Protocol (IP). This way, the features available to administrators can only be accessed by certain IPs over a VPN. Some of the functions that can be customized to work via VPN only are server status script, SQL admin projects, and content management systems among others.
Cleaning error pages
Leaving error pages in place is something that happens in most cases. The danger of leaving these pages in place is that it may make it possible for the SQL database structure to be easily enumerated. Search engine crawls may also capture these errors allowing hackers to pinpoint which servers are vulnerable to attacks. During the developmental phase of a web application, developers can use various techniques to minimize on the effect error page notifications will have on the well-being of the web application.
Correcting coding errors
It is common for programmers to rely on frameworks to protect their web applications from dangerous inputs or to use application firewall signatures that work by blacklisting malware published by hackers. This, however, may not be one hundred percent effective. The recommended way to validate the strength of a web application is by correctly validating the input when the software is being written or during an update. Implementing captchas for authentication is also another way for operators to secure their application from being attacked. Regular pen network tests should then be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that the site remains safe.
There are various types of security vulnerabilities that web applications are prone to. Some of the most common application security vulnerabilities include SQL Injections.
This type of security attacks to web applications is among the oldest. It is prone in many sites especially those running on PHP and ASP. SQL injections have been noted to be rampant on WordPress and most applications using SQL databases. This type of web applications makes up a big chunk of web apps. SQL injections allow the attackers to modify the command prompts either in the database or backend through unsanitized inputs. For the injection to happen, the user must be admitted into the query for them to submit unauthorized data that will, in the long run, corrupt the system. There are two types of SQL injection which are error-based and blind.
Stored cross side scripting
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
LDAP is an application protocol used to access and maintain distributed directory services over an IP network. Email systems, network printers, and encryption certificates are among the functions that rely on LDAP to get information from the local servers. The attacker uses arbitrary commands to add, modify, or delete an LDAP tree just as is the case with SQL injections.
To adequately prevent and detect a vulnerability in a web application it is essential that one fully grasps the various dynamics that come into play to make up a site. Online information and other sources regarding the different vulnerabilities can be sought to help web application developers to come up with secure systems that will be less susceptible to attacks.
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