The 8-Step Comprehensive Checklist for Application Security in 2023

Mobile and web apps have become an integral part of all businesses. While these applications open new channels to increase revenue, they are also prone to security issues:

With new malware and data breaches coming up every year, application security assessment should be a priority in 2023. Here’s a comprehensive checklist of app security you can follow to protect your application data. 

1. Use multi-factor authentication

Data breaches don’t always use advanced code or complicated tactics. Instead, some of the most simple data attacks are due to weak login credentials or easily-crackable passwords.

To prevent these, implement multi-factor authentication to allow access for app users. You can use phone numbers, email verification, or biometric verification apart from the usual username-password combo.

This ensures that only authorized people have access to your app’s database as they go through multiple security layers.

2. Assess vulnerabilities

Even if your application has been running for a long time, it might still have vulnerabilities. Most app vulnerabilities are over two years old, so it is essential to assess app security regularly.

You can do this by:

  • Determining assets that are accessible by users.
  • Reevaluating security measures that protect each asset.
  • Identifying security gaps that make the asset vulnerable to breaches.
  • Using encryption to secure private data.

3. Constantly monitor security tools

Security audits are only effective if you detect the risk before the malware does. To ensure instant breach detection, you need security tools that constantly monitor app usage and user data. You also need to fix these risks through patch management immediately.

While AI and security tools help monitor round-the-clock, you also require a team of developers that can address security issues. This helps you with backup for patch fixing without keeping the application at risk.

4. Limit data access

Every application has different types of users that require access to different types of data. For example, an admin may want access to the entire database, whereas UI-only access is sufficient for a designer.

Managing data permissions within the client team will help keep company data safe. However, giving unnecessary access to all application users will leave the data vulnerable, increasing security risks.

5. Understand open-source risks

Open-source codes have several benefits, like flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and transparency. However, due to a large number of people accessing the code, the application is prone to greater security risks.

If your application uses open-source codes, it requires stringent security measures. To address these issues, you must regularly evaluate the code for errors and keep track of security incidents. You can also safeguard your application with the knowledge gained from other users using the same source code.

6. Test the security measures

Assessing risks and implementing security tools isn’t enough. Each asset requires a specific security measure, with some susceptible data. After putting security tools in place, your team of developers need to test them with beta cases.

For example, if the app has a firewall, you can do a penetration test to detect its effectiveness. Through this test, you can determine the ports that reach the data and identify weak ports that can be used for unauthorized access.

Regular security tests give you clear reports on the strength of app security and help you place the right measures for all data types.

7. Limit API permissions

APIs are necessary for apps to function effectively. But too many API permissions can weaken app security as third-party tools gain access to code.

If API permissions aren’t monitored, they can gain unlimited and unauthorized access to data. Some APIs also facilitate data transfer, which can leave the data vulnerable if the interface isn’t secure.

To protect the app, limit the number of API permissions and only use only trustworthy programming interfaces.

8. Train developers for app security

Developers program and deploy applications and also determine the required security tools. To ensure secure coding, developers must know about all the latest developments regarding data vulnerabilities and security measures.

Along with regular security audits, you can organize training programs for developers to access and patch the measures effectively. You can also make knowledge assessments mandatory to ensure your team is up-to-date with the latest security knowledge.

Keep your data safe with application security

In the era where online business and security issues are both on the rise, application security is essential for every company. 

While advanced security tools have reduced the risk of breaches to an extent, real-time monitoring and patch management are crucial to protect data. Also, analyzing previous security breaches and their solutions will help you determine breach patterns. 

Through these insights, you can identify vulnerabilities in advance and take preventive measures to keep your business data safe.