Software security is important than ever because hackers and cyber criminals continue to seek new ways to hack into networks and software applications. You can protect the reputation of your brand and information of your customers by preventing such breaches. You should have a good understanding of how you can keep your software applications secure. There are some ways you can use to make sure that the software you use is running on a secure platform and network. Explore security best practices, and ensure that your development team can write secure software applications.
- System patches
Whatever software you run has to be stable with the recommended patches installed because many attacks use known vulnerabilities that are linked with old or end of life software applications. This is one of the most effective security measures that can be implemented to reduce any security risks.
Hackers usually use automation to hack into software applications or operating systems. They might attack firewalls constantly or write scripts to brute force password guessing attempts. Use automation yourself to automate regular security checks and processes. In this way, your security teams will have more time to focus on more strategic initiatives.
- Enforce least privilege
All users won’t need access to perform their daily activities. For instance, you don’t need to assign application users with administrator access if you’re running SQL Servers, unless of course if it is required.
- Network segmentation and isolation
It is an important practice. You can control the movement of data or the servers that a hacker can move between by isolating your network into segments. Keep your application production data or environments on one network or subnet and your development and test environments on another.
- Monitor activity
Even if you’ve created log files, enforced minimum privilege when required and you have also got automation in place, yet you have to monitor daily activity in some capacity. You need to do periodic monitoring activities to key systems and networks, and look out for dubious activities such as privilege abuse or user impersonation.
Do an audit of key metrics that are essential to your business, for instance, the number of web requests or database hits per hour. You can use this information along with other security practices so that you can continue your normal business activity without worrying about the potential hacks that could have occurred.
Writing Secure Software Applications
Since the importance of software security and some security best practices that can be employed to achieve it are clear. Now there are some points related to writing secure software which you should be concerned about. Security in software development is essential as most data breaches are executed against data services in the cloud. To tackle this issue, there are some techniques and best practices that developers can use to make sure that the software they develop is secure and helps protect data and users.
If an attacker sends untrusted data to an interpreter that is executed as a command without proper authorization, it can cause injection flaws, such as SQL injection, LDAP injection, and CRLF injection. Injection flaws can be easily detected by application security testing.
- Broken authentication and session management
Attackers can compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or take control of users’ accounts to steal their identities if user and session authentication is incorrectly configured. The risk of compromised accounts can be reduced by multi-factor authentication.
- Sensitive data exposure
Attackers can access sensitive information such as financial data, usernames, and passwords to commit fraud or steal identities. Encryption of data at rest and in transit can be helpful in fulfilling data protection regulations.
- XML external entity
Attackers can disclose internal files by using external entities for attacks. Poorly configured XML processors evaluate external entity references within XML documents. Static application security testing (SAST) can inspect dependencies and configuration and resolve such an issue.
- Broken access control
Improperly configured or missing restrictions on authenticated users allow the attackers to access unauthorized data. You can use penetration testing to detect non-functional access controls.
- Security misconfiguration
Use dynamic application security testing (DAST) to detect misconfigurations, such as leaky APIs.
- Cross-site scripting
Developer training complements security testing and prevents cross-site scripting (XSS), as a result, attackers can’t inject client-side scripts into the application.
- Insecure deserialization
Deserialization flaws can be detected by Application security tools. Therefore an attacker won’t be able to execute code in the application remotely, tamper or delete serialized.
- Using components with known vulnerabilities
Insecure versions of components can be identified by conducting Software composition analysis and static analysis simultaneously.
- Insufficient logging and monitoring
Use pen testing to see whether you have sufficient monitoring and examine your logs after pen testing.
Security is an essential part of any development process nowadays and softwares are used in much of the digital transformation that takes place at organizations today. Your software security program should be strong and you should make sure that it stays strong. Identify security vulnerabilities and take steps to thwart attacks.