10 Application Security Best Practices to Follow in 2022

In recent years, the app development industry has experienced unprecedented growth. Mobile apps and web apps have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering millions of options. Due to the growth of IoT, many manual processes have been automated.

However, the positive developments have led to several problems, especially with regard to security. Most companies and developers think their apps are secure enough. However, cyber miscreants are also on the prowl; they manage to find methods to find flaws in the security of applications and launch attacks! As a result, intensified application security testing becomes an essential feature across the entire software development lifecycle.

Now, apart from testing to ensure flawless security, there are also some best practices that should be adopted and followed religiously. Let’s take a look at some of the basic but most vital best practices to follow in 2022.

Choose the DevSecOps model

In DevSecOps or shift-left, the goal is to prevent security incidents as early as possible by identifying and fixing vulnerabilities as they occur. Using DevSecOps tools, development teams can identify security vulnerabilities across the entire software supply chain.

Manage SDLC securely

According to Secure SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle Management), product life cycle is defined as product security. It assures a few relevant things –

  • A team trained in security develops and maintains it.
  • Built to strict safety standards
  • Secure delivery to customers

SDLC refers to a holistic approach to product development, from the inception of the idea, until the product hits the market and ceases to exist.

Fixed open source vulnerabilities

Open source software offers many advantages, such as cost effectiveness, and carries substantial security risks. Patches should be applied immediately to open source software that is regularly monitored for vulnerabilities and updated regularly.

Automation of basic security tasks

It is nearly impossible to manually mitigate the endless number of vulnerabilities present in a system due to their sheer number. Automation is therefore necessary. Automating simple tasks will allow teams to focus on more complex tasks.

Consider your resources

You can’t secure what you don’t understand. It is therefore crucial to have visibility into the overall security status of your organization. To secure your hardware, network, and software, you need to identify the exact components that make up each level of your application, then use technologies to detect and prevent security breaches early.

Identifying risks

Take the position of an attacker and perform a risk assessment –

  • Compile a list of assets that require protection.
  • Find out how to identify and contain your threats.
  • Insecure applications are possible if you fail to identify attack vectors.
  • Make sure your security measures are adequate to detect and prevent attacks.

Facilitate and provide security training for developer teams

It is important for security teams to train developers, as they will also be pushing code into production. It is necessary to take into account the role of the developer and the security requirements during the training.

Properly manage containers

Start by signing your container images using a digital signature tool (e.g. Docker Content Trust). A common integration pipeline will also scan for open source vulnerabilities to ensure container security.

Limit access to data by creating user groups

Another way to improve security is to further restrict access to your data –

  • Identify what resources are needed and by whom.
  • Set up access rules.

When data access is no longer required, ensure that active credentials are removed.

Regularly update the software and install security patches

Updates and patches are absolutely essential to keep your software secure. Why fix a problem that has already been fixed? When upgrading, be sure to plan for each change, as it requires you to design a system architecture to avoid API incompatibilities. Also schedule regular security update sessions to keep your systems protected up to date.

Conclusion

Security experts have many views and opinions when it comes to implementing best practices for application security. But a few key points should be on any application security checklist, as outlined here.

The more your IT infrastructure is protected, the better off you are. And by focusing on these best practices, you can ensure a higher level of application security across the entire corporate network.

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