Our world is run on applications. Apps on our phones, our work computers, and our tablets. And with those applications comes the need for application security to ensure that you are protected against cyber threats that can put your organization at risk. There are plenty of risks to application security. Fortunately, there are also plenty of ways to mitigate those risks, but before we get into that, let’s go deeper into what application security is.
What Is Application Security?
Application security encompasses the development, testing, and implementation of security features that are programmed into applications. The goal of application security is to protect both the data stored by the application and the application code itself from security threats and breaches. This means that application security must be woven into the software development process, ensuring full application security is included in the design, development, and deployment of the app.
Application Security Features and Tools
There are many types of application security features that work seamlessly together to ensure that only authorized users can gain access to the app. These features are coded directly into the app and include the following:
- Authentication – To prove the user is whom they say they are before access to the application is granted. This is best done through multi-factor authentication, using tools such as passwords, codes sent to a smartphone, and biometrics (fingerprint or facial recognition).
- Authorization – Once identity is confirmed, the system will validate the user’s permissions to ensure they are authorized to access the app and its data.
- Encryption – When an application is cloud-based, encryption ensures that sensitive application data cannot be seen or used by unauthorized users and cyber criminals.
- Logging – Log files are created to help track users and identify unauthorized users who gained access to the app and how they did so.
Application shielding tools are also used to provide application security. These include:
- Runtime application self-protection (RASP) – Tools that monitor an app’s behavior and protect against reverse-engineering attacks. This is especially useful for mobile apps.
- Code obfuscation – Tools that detect and protect against the obfuscation of code used by attackers to hide their malware.
- Anti-tampering and encryption tools – Tools that will provide further protection against attackers trying to gain access to applications and their data.
- Threat detection tools – Tools that continuously monitor the network or cloud environment your apps are running to detect potential threats.
Application Security Testing
To make applications as secure as possible, application testing is critical during and after development. Four types of application security testing must be incorporated into your app development:
- Static testing – A way to test code as it is being written to ensure security is being written into the code as needed.
- Dynamic testing – A test that analyzes the code as it runs, using simulated attacks to determine how well the security features work.
- Interactive testing – A combination of static and dynamic testing.
- Mobile testing – Testing designed specifically for applications on mobile devices to determine how an attacker can gain unauthorized access using a mobile operating system and its apps.
Keep in mind that these testing tools can be done on-premises or via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), in which case a third party will analyze your app coding for security issues.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you ensure you have the most robust application security.