Six cases when your apps can be compromised2019-01-21T12:14:55.000Z 2019-01-21T12:14:55.000Z Upon current digital security environment, there are issues that encourage more attention than others. Majority of businesses have already adopted Software as a Service solution, the applications provided by other vendors, cloud ecosystem and other features. Nevertheless, within this diversity of digital tools, the customer has a restricted set of initiatives to reinforce the security level by itself. The essential safety of your software systems has to be guaranteed by a provider.
Upon current digital security environment, there are issues that encourage more attention than others. Majority of businesses have already adopted Software as a Service solution, the applications provided by other vendors, cloud ecosystem and other features. Nevertheless, within this diversity of digital tools, the customer has a restricted set of initiatives to reinforce the security level by itself. The essential safety of your software systems has to be guaranteed by a provider.
However, when the digital infrastructure grows up to a certain scale and you generate own solutions for exclusive use in your business supported by a large number of computers, personal gadgets, communication, and transmission facilities interconnected in a powerful data processing unit, providing top-notch security level for all these elements becomes an issue.
The experts are on the same page regarding the fact that the apps are out on a limb to greatest extent comparing to other digital corporate fields. Therefore, making the apps safe and preventing serious errors that may compromise its security partially or in full are the most crucial challenges that usually require tons of resources and time to be passed successfully.
The massive request for deep security testing, emerging in the business environment, gives rise to boosting market of penetration testing services. In a nutshell, this sort of testing is not limited to detecting just an error or a vulnerability in the system but it provides a customer with the prolonged improvement procedure that comprises full-scale security analysis of each part of data and system, elaborating specific strategies and tools to reinforce those segments which are the most exposed to cyberattack threat and, what is important, makes the system able to generate self-securing mechanisms in order to be able to respond to those security challenges that are likely to appear in a distant future.
The success of penetration testing companies centers around the principally different concept of security: instead of detecting errors and eliminating consequences of harmful effect, they suggest thoroughgoing monitoring the software system in order to prevent it from becoming vulnerable from the ground up. Put this another way, such companies perceive top-notch security level as an advance warning and consulting the businesses how to transform their operational strategies and approaches in order to secure data optimally.
The experts call attention to the fact that more businesses organize own security departments and teams to be able to face emerging cybersecurity challenges. Such teams are dealing with the emerging vulnerabilities different from regular code-related ones. Usually lots of businesses have digital security departments concentrated on technical weaknesses of software products, however, the new generations of security teams have to tackle broader amplitude of risks.
The experts define the following roll of threats, both well-known and rather novel which often appear when using the apps. When producing software launched on the Internet, the principal aim is to mitigate these risks right from the start.
Three most widespread risks:
- Incorrect authorization: the biggest problem related to application security is the users who get unendorsed access to protected information. Plenty of enterprises deploy various stages of access for the users reinforced with requirements to introduce a password and a verification code, therefore, inappropriate authorization takes place when some primary level user stops accessing the company’s system. In this case, the access algorithm is unable to identify the user with a sufficient portion of accuracy or the system generates partial access verification. It is also possible that businesses may make a mistake when configuration data on their platforms, for instance, by providing higher access level to the primary service users;
- Cross-Site Scripting: this means that the businesses do not filter or verify the data introduced by the user when getting access to the system. For instance, when the user is requested to fill in his name and date of birth, he has to introduce it in a set order and after that, the system automatically accepts the access inquiry. At the same time, the system does not validate the authentic correlation between the data brought into and the personality of the user that can be exploited by those hackers who are able to get a screenshot of a valid user typing his credentials. Indeed, when doing so, the website accepts personal data despite the fact it is provided by the wrong person since security programs give no limitations in this case. Earlier, the experts, the vendors, and the businesses did not pay too much attention to this problem considering it to be insignificant, however, nowadays, they realized the full scope of such risk whether we talk about access to the Facebook account or to your online shopping list;
- Cross-Site Request Forgery: the risk of CSRF means an attempt of a hacker to perform the activities under the pretense the authenticated user is willfully executing these operations. In other words, the hackers don’t need to steal personal data like date of birth or password to access the system but they just swizzle the operations online. In order to secure the website from this sort of risk, the businesses have to check whether the user who is applying for authorization is a correct user, not a hacker misrepresenting himself as a user. Specifically, after users log in the system, they are assigned with a CSRF ticket that allows companies following the user and gives them an extra level of authorization. However, when the enterprise is unable to accept these tickets, hackers can step in for the valid users. Cross-Site Request Forgery has already become a widespread problem for various applications exploited by the businesses and only a systematic reinforcement of software system by elaborating tickets acceptance segment will allow securing the website from this risk.
Three aforementioned digital risks have been well explored by the security experts and the enterprises. Nevertheless, along with well-known threats, the new ones continue emerging since being the efficient instruments for hacking software systems.
Three latest risks
The experts point out three latest application safety threats the security teams have to deal with these days:
- Lopping DNS: this threat is also often called a wrong configuration. This risk appears when the enterprise doesn’t erase its DNS traces and they can be seen by anyone, namely, hackers. When the enterprise shifts from one login website to a different one and doesn’t remove previously left DNS records, the hackers are able to acquire the torpid site and to get into the domain. As soon as this task is completed the hackers can make the fake page out to be a valid one, so they may appropriate login data of the users or use harmful JS applications to collect more information. Dangling DNS is one of the most acute threats since it is almost invisible to the company’s security teams. This risk is usually proper to the businesses that use software products delivered by third vendors and therefore, have a huge gap between commercial and technical operational segments;
- Insecure Direct Object References: this threat is often considered an infancy mistake by the experts due to its naïve simplicity which, however, can be often found in large financial companies and online payment systems. This risk is the result of insufficient verification of users’ data. For instance, when disclosing any confidential data, like private messages and clients’ cards, the access to the object is insured by an identifier which is provided explicitly in the address bar of a browser. However, the rights of access to the page are not verified. There is a page showing a private message with “id” part and digits after that, so when changing those digits, you can read other users’ messages. IDOR threat is extremely dangerous since no special skills are required to use since you just need to change some digits and to enjoy getting privileged data;
- Leakage of personal data: this threat is plain as day. In a nutshell, in the ecosystems driven by Application Programming Interfaces users’ credentials have the biggest value. However, negligently the users often leave their credentials on various platforms such as GitHub and many other ones in the gits and in the pieces of source code. There are harmful applications monitoring the websites day-and-night in ordered to collect these credentials and to deliver them to the hackers. Indeed, some hackers with strong ethical principles when detecting such personal data, inform the website owners about leakage threat but, nevertheless, there are also hackers who use this data in their own harmful purposes. Despite its simplicity, the risk of credentials leakage is widespread resulting from poor knowledge about its role and functionality, thus lacking understanding how to secure this element of a corporate software system.
Anticipating these web threats should be a prioritized task for businesses that deploy online applications in their commercial operations. Indeed, the aforementioned list of risks is not full and it has to be extended, however, these ones seem to be the most acute risks nowadays and when mitigating them your security teams can continue improvement of your company’s web security.