Keeping Applications Secure from Malware


Sep 10, 2018

Sep 10, 2018


Application security needs more attention as there is an increasing usage of applications on smart devices. While security has seen improvements over the years, applications still have vulnerabilities that can expose them to spyware, keyloggers, viruses, worms, and other harmful scripts.

The problem comes from application-layer disruptions causing the compromise of sensitive data and resulting non-compliance with regulations. This year, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) released the top ten application security risks and the list is as follows:

  • Injection
  • Broken Authentication
  • Sensitive Data Exposure
  • XML External Entities
  • Broken Access Control
  • Security Misconfiguration
  • Cross-site Scripting
  • Insecure Deserialization
  • Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities
  • Insufficient Logging & Monitoring

These issues have plagued application and software security since 2016. The research also revealed that 70% of applications had failed the security test last year.

While application-layer disruptions were briefly mentioned as the problem, these recurring numbers show that the bigger problem lay with the developers. While many developers are concerned with security, few have the proper training to address them. According to Veracode's research, most developers try to find a solution for system problems but 68% of them say that they lack the education needed to identify and trace threats or breaches.

Risk of open source components

Being the ninth security risk that plagues applications, using vulnerable components is still a common mistake in the industry. While open source software gives developers ease of access, it makes programs more vulnerable to attacks. 88% of Java applications had at least one security flaw in their component, and even Python shows signs of vulnerability as well.

Application development processes often contain vulnerabilities for the company and its customers. Furthermore, they tend to pose larger problems when developers add security features later. It's a combination of neglect and insufficient knowledge.

How business owners can keep their applications safe

Education is still the best defense.

With the rapidly evolving techniques used by cyber criminals, it is easy to be caught off guard. However, knowing the company's applications inside and out is a great advantage, especially when talking to developers. There are different kinds of applications, each programmed differently from the others, and each, therefore, have different vulnerabilities. It would be impractical to purchase several software to protect the application when they could potentially disrupt or encumber its codes.

Start managing the risks, threats, and attacks that the application may receive. From there, developers can get a better picture of the threats that can target it and can recommend tools that provide better protection without disrupting the applications services and within budget.

Increasing awareness and making it a habit to avoid the easy way out will save the company time and money in the long run. Develop application securely, and there will be many benefits to reap.

Count on us. Wilson Consulting Group.

Our Risk Management Consulting Services assist in conducting an application security assessment and integrating security within your application stack. We evaluate applications to minimize the risk of information leakage, authentication and session management breaches, spoofing, impersonation, command injections and denial of service attacks. The application security assessment also determines whether the software behaves and interacts securely with its users, databases, and other applications.

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