Cybercrimes are the biggest threat to every online company globally, with a web attack occurring once every 39 seconds. To make matters worse, traditional firewalls and antivirus software could be irrelevant in preventing these attacks and possible breaches.
Application security goes a long way in ensuring your applications are secure by finding, fixing, and enhancing the security of your applications. To enable your organization or company to make informed decisions, here are some of the important web application security trends you should know:
1. Machine Learning and AI
AI and machine learning have been trending in 2020 and will be a major part of web application security in 2021. Cybersecurity experts and organizations have used AI and ML through deep learning algorithms and other frameworks to consolidate their security efforts and strengthen threat detection.
Developers are utilizing machine learning and AI in web application security with the goal of:
- Building adaptive and flexible threat detection techniques
- Monitoring activity and detecting malware in web applications
- Processing and analyzing data
- Predicting possible threats to web applications
While this trend presents better security to web applications, hackers are also leveraging AI and ML to launch more sophisticated attacks. Businesses must, therefore, use advanced solutions to combat these types of attacks.
2. Cloud Computing and Serverless Environments
The introduction of the cloud has led to a growing serverless environment, and the trend is only growing. Serverless computing has made web applications more robust, intuitive, dynamic, and powerful, with the next few years likely to usher in many developments and changes.
Serverless computing presents several advantages to businesses, including:
- Reduced costs of purchasing servers, licenses, installation, maintenance, support, dependencies, and patching
- Serverless architecture is elastic (compared to scalable) and reduces the dependence of developers on the collaboration of support engineers to run code
- Serverless computing operates on function as a service model, which simplifies back-end development
While serverless computing offers more security than traditional servers and cloud providers patch server OS vulnerabilities, the cloud offers a larger attack surface due to numerous event sources including cloud storage, APIs, database changes, and communication between IoT devices. These event sources increase the potential attack vectors and security vulnerabilities of serverless computing.
3. API Integrations
An API (Application programming interface) allows communications between different applications. APIs have protocols, routines, and tools that developers could use when building software applications.
Some of the advantages of API integrations include:
- Secure integration environment
- Increased agility when creating integrations flow
- Better customer experience
However, API integration provides new opportunities for cybercriminals since APIs can be exposed to the public, private, or cloud networks. Insecure API endpoints can open up opportunities for serious data breaches.
4. Data Science in Enterprises
Data science and cybersecurity go hand in hand; it allows businesses to draw information and insights from data. Enterprises can then apply such insights to different areas, including web application security.
Data science also informs organizations on how to secure their data sharing trends are within the organization. Other benefits of data science in web application security include:
- Improved detection of threats
- Behavioral analysis of the attacker by analyzing vast amounts of data
- Data protection (when data science combines with machine learning)
The growing application of data science in enterprises allows decision-makers to make informed choices regarding web application security. Businesses can now use data science to protect from cyberattacks and establish techniques to prevent these attacks.
5. Privacy and Increased Enforcement
Privacy is becoming an influential discipline, with businesses having to be mindful of it. Web application security must factor in the privacy of customer data as well as that of businesses.
Protecting privacy is particularly important as data breaches become increasingly common, with those responsible for protecting that information being held accountable for the security decisions.
Businesses concerned with the security of their applications must incorporate privacy both for compliance and for their reputation. Businesses that can offer managed security services to organizations will benefit most by increasing their focus on providing web applications that can counter common cyber threats.
6. Built-In Security
Incorporating built-in security is a trend that has grown through the past few years, with more businesses recognizing the importance of integrating security into their software from its initiation, development, and maintenance.
Integrating these security processes in the design resting, threat modeling, and development allows developers to detect, identify, and deal with vulnerabilities earlier in the development process.
Built-in security is a proactive trend, which allows enterprises to speed up an app development process and makes it easier to deal with potential vulnerabilities in the future (since you dealt with most of them during the development stage).
7. Penetration Testing
Enterprises that want to remain ahead of cybercriminals must learn to think like hackers. This means that they must use ethical hackers to conduct penetration testing.
Penetration testing is critical in augmenting web application firewalls by identifying vulnerabilities that expose the web application to attacks.
Incorporating penetration testing is a growing trend in web application security that is giving enterprises first-hand information, including:
- The specific vulnerabilities in the application
- The sensitive data accessed
- The time the penetration tester remained undetected in the system
8. Application Monitoring, Alerting, and Response
Cloud computing is a growing trend, triggering an upward trend in the application, monitoring, alerting, and response. With more businesses digitizing their operations and cloud computing growing rapidly, enterprises must implement real-time application monitoring.
Application monitoring allows collecting data from multiple sources, detecting threats in web applications, and providing a response capability.
With tools like extended detection and response, web applications increase the preciseness of threat detection, consequently improving the security and efficiency of the application.
Another benefit of application monitoring is improving the quality of customer experiences by catching and handling errors before they affect the end-users.
9. Increased Vulnerabilities
Growing web security initiatives mean that cybercriminals are also evolving and finding new ways to attack web applications. Web application vulnerabilities due to lacking output or input sanitizing leave these applications vulnerable to different types of attacks, including:
- SQL injections, which allow cybercriminals to have unauthorized access to sensitive information
- Cross-site scripting
- Cross-site request forgery
- Remote file inclusion
Input or output sanitization could eliminate these vulnerabilities but is impractical since web applications are in constant development or are interconnected with other applications.
The rising demand for web applications also means that these vulnerabilities will keep increasing, yet most of them still have commonly known vulnerabilities.
Sometimes, fixing existing vulnerabilities leads to the development of new ones, forcing businesses to choose to fix the most threatening vulnerability and dig deeper to find the root causes of these vulnerabilities.
10. Two-Factor Authentication
Setting up two-factor authentication on web applications is one of the best ways to protect your business data, especially where a criminal steals your credential.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to submit a second identification factor in addition to your password.
The necessity for two-factor authentication is on an upward trend, with more security breaches targeting businesses happening around the globe. With two-factor authentication, you can protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, even when attacked.
Web application security is a necessity for all enterprises. A lax approach at web security and you risk losing sensitive business and customer data. In addition, with poor web application security, you are putting your reputation and revenue on the line.
The best way to keep up with the ever-changing web application security environment is by learning the industry trends and equipping your business to incorporate these trends into your decision-making.