This guest post is by Regi Publico.
As we shift towards digitalization, web development has become crucial to a business’s success. Developing efficient websites and web applications have helped expand their reach and boost customer traffic. However, web development has frequently overlooked security, especially in recent years. That just opened possibilities for cybersecurity threats and other vulnerabilities.
In fact, according to research, at least 30,000 websites are getting hacked worldwide every single day. In light of this, the focus on security has never been more crucial today. It is becoming increasingly important for web developers and even experienced Java architects in the IT world. This article will give the importance of security in web development.
What’s at risk?
To better understand security’s importance in web development, one must know what they put at risk. Let’s look at some of the elements that will be at risk if a website or web application is unprotected:
Invaluable information you hold
A breach could affect many aspects of your organization, including money, documents, time, and even your customers. Once threat actors exploit that information, the safety of your customers and the entire company will be at serious risk. Some even use the breached data to get money. That said, integrating security into web development is essential.
You’ll lose your customer’s trust and support when your web application gets hacked. Anticipating that they are using your web application means they’re putting their trust in you. So, if you happen to put their data at risk, intentional or not, you are also ruining your business’ reputation. As a result, you might even lose—
Your Entire Business
Along with a ruined reputation is the loss of revenue. Recovering from it will be so difficult. Fixing websites or web applications requires a lot of money. In addition, there’s no assurance of gaining data access and control of your IT systems. And if you still haven’t fixed the issue after all those financial losses, the worst-case scenario could be your business considering a total shutdown.
Threats you Need to be Concerned With
Keep in mind that by deploying a website or web application, you are giving access to anyone. You can’t assume who will access it: authorized users or not, people, or bots. By default, you should consider its vulnerabilities to security threats. Here are a few threats that you should be aware of:
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
This type of attack allows a threat actor to inject client-side scripts into the browsers of other users by using the website as a channel. Hackers can inflict much more damage by combining an XSS attack and social engineering techniques. They can obtain cookies, keylogging, and steal identities if this happens. Not only that, but they can also log in as the user they hacked, giving them complete access to view credit card details and contact information. They can even change passwords.
This is another real threat you must look out for. As you might already know, websites use databases. These injections access, modify, and delete those databases, even without the user’s permission. If done successfully, they can also spoof identities, create new profiles with administrator rights, access all information, and make the website unusable by destroying all data.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
This attack targets both the website and the web browser. More particularly, the authentication capabilities of the browser. Users who are signed in to a particular site can fall victim to the attacker by exploiting authentication weaknesses in online surfing programs. Once logged in, the attacker can “forge signatures” and do operations not intended by the victim. It should be noted, however, that individuals who are simply browsing the site and are not logged in are safe from the attack.
It is a dangerous threat that can swiftly destabilize a system. An attacker could either hijack a legitimate website or lure a user into visiting an infected site where the attacker controls specific actions. For example, a “submit” button may not send information to the desired destination, and a close button “X” may perform unwanted operations such as activating your camera, microphone, and so on. This can be used to obtain login information, for example, on a financial website.
Denial of Service (DoS) attack
It occurs when a target website is flooded with requests in such a volume that genuine users experience disruptions. This attack aims to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users.
Web Development With Security in Mind
Learning about security threats and their risks can help your web development process. They will keep you mindful in your designs, so they won’t happen and cause your downfall. Remember that integrating security into web development will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. It’s better to make it secure from the start than to make modifications to an already existing system. It might destroy the entire program if you’re not careful.
Here are some things you can consider to ensure security in web development:
- Pick your Content Management System (CMS) wisely. Evaluate all benefits and issues that might affect the website’s security.
- Choose a Web Host that offers hardened servers and managed Services. You can decide on factors like downtime and its causes, response rate for downtime, customer service (CS) quality, benefits, SSL certificates, storage and scalability, backups, and compliance risk management.
- Consider adding a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to ensure security.
- Make all your connections encrypted.
- Secure your logins by using strong passwords and updating them regularly.
The Bottom Line
Security is undoubtedly crucial in web development. It would help protect you, your customers, and the entire company. So, make sure to make security a top priority in web development. Use some automated testing tools to help you with the process.
About Guest Writer
Regi Publico is a full-time writer based in Manila who is also an artist for fun. She takes pride in her towering collection of books and loves reading about anything under the sun. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge through every article that she writes.