Web applications make websites attractive and glossy yet they are also one of the major sources of security breaches into any website. In the last few years hackers have exploited the loopholes in the web apps and stolen valuable customer data from a number of websites. This breach often results out of ignorance and callous approach to web application development. Here are some of the steps you should take which will help you prevent your web apps from being hacked.
It is one of the first lines of defense against hacking and surprisingly many developers tend to ignore this basic security feature when it comes to web applications. Now you must make sure that your application has some kind of authentication such as a username and password. The passwords need to be strong and should comprise alpha-numeric and special characters. They should expire after a certain time period and the users must change them at regular intervals.
It is also important for you to identify the stage at which the user needs to be authenticated. You can start by setting different levels of access in your app such as public access, private access and privileged access. You can make the process further secured by making use of Captcha codes which prevents entry into the site for programs. Or you may ask for mobile numbers and authenticate the users through SMS.
Account Lockout Is a Must
One of the areas that people often tend to ignore is the unauthorized access through authentic login ids. This is why you need to disable a user after a set of failed login attempts. The account should remain locked unless the users authenticate themselves through additional means such as phone number, security question or a valid email id. Also keep event logs as they help track such unauthorized access attempts. Along with this you must also block the IPs which makes these attempts as they can force crash your server even though you might prevent them from accessing the site.
Disable When In Trouble
If you find out that the application has been compromised you need to prevent further damage. One of the best things to do in such a situation is to disable the user or a group of users who are posing threat to the system. While developing the apps you need to have a mechanism to throw out the problem creator from the system. If you are unable to do so it would be wise to take your site offline till you fix the security breach for some time rather than making your users fall into the trap.
Avoid Insecure Communication
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book for the hackers. They benefit out of the insecure communication channels that you use such as FTP and HTTP. Here the usernames and passwords which are stored in plaintext which can easily fall into the hands of the hackers. To prevent this you can make use of the SSL certificates. This is the most popular solution to this problem as it encrypts all the data before transmission and also decrypts on arrival.
Cross Site Scripting
These are some of the security measures that you must adopt to prevent your website from falling victim to hacking. A hacked website doesn’t pose only immediately problems for your website but can harm your brand name in the long run. Remember it is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent.