It is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)! While enhancing your cyberspace is a 24/7 activity, we have taken the time to highlight cybersecurity practices at MetroStar to celebrate this month.
Did you know there are cyber-attacks every 39-seconds? Most of these attacks target web applications, so learning the best ways to protect your web apps is vital to your organization’s success.
Principal Cybersecurity Engineer, Farhan Badshah, shares his best practices that will keep your web applications secure from cyber threats.
Overview of Best Practices
Input validation is a way to prevent incorrect data from entering your application. You should check your user-submitted variables for malicious inputs that can cause strange behaviors within your software. One approach to this is called a whitelist – a cybersecurity strategy that creates a set of patterns or criteria that blocks benign inputs. The whitelist approach allows for user criteria to be met while blocking everything else.
It is also common to see a web application using single sign-on or multi sign-on authentication, which pulls users’ credentials from a directory or an identity database service. Multi-factor authentication can make your application more secure and is the preferred cybersecurity measure.
For user authorization, consider granular access control or granularity. Granularity only gives users access to the information and applications required for them to complete their tasks. This step can help protect your organization from insider threats.
Another best practice is to keep your error messages generic. Error messages can range from simple built-in notes to entire de-bugging information. It is important to remember that application errors should never reveal sensitive application data to external users.
MetroStar had an opportunity to develop a secure web application for a large federal agency. We ensured proper security requirements were included as a part of our design and implementation process. Some of these items consisted of encrypting the data in transit, two-factor authentication for login help, and storing information in a way that meets FIPS 140-2 compliance.
To protect the customer’s application from malicious attacks, we implemented input validation, anti-forgery tokens, and other strong coding practices. Also, continuous monitoring and scanning of the application are used to address vulnerabilities and patches required to maintain ATO compliance.
Watch our video for more best practices, password tips, and information on MetroStar’s Agile Design & Implementation Process.