Most websites run some type of web applications that depend on server-side scripting. While this type of scripting adds a tremendous amount of functionality, it also presents a number of security issues. What follows are five web application security tips to help you keep your websites secure.
- Set safe permissions – So often web applications are compromised due to a very preventable vulnerability. Make sure your files have permissions that only allow the web server to write and/or execute them.
- Scan for vulnerabilities – No matter how ironclad you think your web apps might be, a vulnerability scan might reveal something you missed. A scan does not even have to be expensive. There are a number of free and open source options.
- Use application firewall – An application firewall, such as ModSecurity, adds another layer of defense against would-be attackers.
- Only authorized users – If a user does not need write access to your files, they should not have it. Keep the authorized user list to a minimum. That goes for access on the server side and the web app backend itself.
- Trusted developers – Far too often fly-by-night developers convince organizations to invest is shady products. These web apps are poorly written, buggy and full of exploits. Make sure you hire developers you trust or stick to well-received commercial or open source products.
While web applications do present a number of extra security challenges, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. You just need to make sure you take the necessary precautions and stay on top of any potential security issues.