In order to identify and address issues earlier, organizations must integrate testing using a vulnerability scanner into every phase of their development lifecycle.
The foundation of today’s global economy is web applications, frequently in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS solutions have transformed how businesses operate and provide services, and they are crucial tools in almost every sector of the economy, from banking and finance to healthcare and education.
Most startup CTOs have a firm grasp of creating highly functional SaaS businesses. Still, because they are not cyber security experts, they need to learn more about securing the web application that powers those businesses.
Why should a business test web application?
CTOs of a SaaS startup probably already know that being a startup doesn’t mean the firm isn’t in danger. Small startups are not immune to cyberattacks because hackers constantly search the internet for vulnerabilities they can exploit. Additionally, it only takes one flaw for the customer data to appear online. Startups spend many years developing their reputations, which can be destroyed instantly by a single fault.
Startups are equally vulnerable to attack as large enterprises because hacking is becoming more automated and indiscriminate. It doesn’t have to be challenging to secure web apps, no matter where the business is in its cybersecurity journey.
Here is an essential guide to getting the web app security testing started. It helps to have some background knowledge.
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Most prevalent security flaws.
Attackers can access the internal systems by backdooring the server and using vulnerabilities to execute malicious code in the database, potentially stealing or dumping all the data.
XSS (cross-site scripting)
Through this vulnerability, hackers can target application users and give them access to attacks like Trojan and critical logger installation, account takeover, phishing campaigns, and identity theft, especially when combined with social engineering.
Attackers can read files stored on a system using these techniques, allowing them to read source code, sensitive protected system files, and capture credentials stored in configuration files. In some cases, path traversal can even result in remote code execution. An attacker could execute malware or completely control a compromised machine, depending on the impact.
This is a general term for weaknesses in session management and credential management, where attackers pose as users to access user accounts using stolen login information or hijacked session IDs and then use those accounts’ permissions to take advantage of web app vulnerabilities.
Incorrect security configuration
Unpatched flaws, out-of-date Software, unprotected files or directories, expired pages, and Software running in debug mode are a few examples of these vulnerabilities.
How can vulnerabilities be tested?
Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing are the two main types of web security testing for applications:
Automated tests, known as vulnerability scanners, find weaknesses in web applications and the systems that support them. They serve as a safety mechanism for the frequent changes organizations must make in application development and are helpful because they can run them whenever they want. They are designed to find a variety of weaknesses in the apps.
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Take “authenticated” scanning a step further.
Behind a login page, much of the attack surface can be concealed. Organizations can discover vulnerabilities hiding behind these login pages with authenticated web application scanning. A more focused attack that uses credentials is possible, even though automated attacks that target external systems are very likely to affect IT security at some point.
An organization could easily be exposed if its application allows anyone with internet access to sign up. A vulnerability found in an authenticated portion of an application is likely to have a more significant impact because the functionality accessible to authenticated users is frequently more robust and more sensitive. The key advantages of Intruder’s certified web app scanner include its simplicity of use, developer integrations, reduction of false positives, and remediation recommendations.
Web app security is a process, not something that can be “baked-in” retroactively to the app right before release. Integrate testing with a vulnerability scanner to help identify and address issues earlier in the development lifecycle. This strategy shortens the development cycle, produces clean and secure code, and enhances the overall dependability and maintainability of the application.
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