Information Security Awareness for Developers

Get a basic awareness on how we can implement fundamental security tips in a web application and protect it from hackers. Most developers believe that gaining awareness about security is not a part of their development learning or implementing phase, but it’s quite important to understand the importance of cyber security awareness. Unfortunately, many software developers lack experience in security implementation. Developers don’t have knowledge on how to effectively protect web application; some of them perceive that security is either someone’s responsibility or accountability of a company that develops product applications. There are only a very few companies that focus on offering security awareness programs to its developers and I am privileged be working with one of those companies — Sunera Technologies.

Understanding the role of security during the development phase is very important. Here are 5 ways that I believe developers need to look into to secure web applications from external breach.

1. Keep all your Software Up-to-date

If the web application uses some third party software or plugins, keep a track of their updates and ensure they are updated frequently. The software makers periodically release fixes to fix a variety of bugs and security flaws. The latest version of software will introduce some new security features that offer a seamless experience while using applications. In addition to upgrading your application make sure to remove any unwanted software, plugins, file and other things from your website. Regular updation of software is very difficult, but installing updates are not, they can go a long way towards keeping your website or application safe.

2. Build Web Security Layers

The first line of defense against any attack is typically a firewall. Install good anti-virus software on your computer to avoid security threats or hacking. Nevertheless, to say a web application firewall is the first line of defense. It is important to understand how these layers can protect your application and offers security. Read reviews of your anti-virus software that controls application security, SQL injection, cross site scripting and unknown attacks.

3. Switch to HTTPS

HTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This is a secure connection protocol that’s used to transfer sensitive information between a website and a web server. Changing your website from HTTP to HTTPS adds an encryption layer of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Security Layer (TLS). HTTPS plays a very important role in online transactions that involve the usage of credit card, online banking, shopping banking application and more. When we are comparing the price of above two, HTTPS is more expensive. So, rather than switching your entire web application to https, try to switch at least your login page to HTTPS.

4. Use Strong Passwords and Change Regularly.

Passwords help protect your privacy and identity on the web. Strengthen your password, this is an important factor to consider. Use special characters, numbers, combination of upper and lower case letters, and ensure the length of the password is long to improve the password strength. It is a good practice to change your password regularly and never share them with anybody. Ignore “remember password” dialogue that appears on the web page when you login your browsers. Don’t use same passwords for all of your website logins.

5. Server side validation/form Validation

Validation is an important role in secure programming. It’s done on browser side and server side. Make sure to validate your credentials such as passwords other mandatory fields before submitting them on any webpage.