Web Application Security 101

Jul 28, 2021 7:30:00 AM |

Brad Pierce

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What is a Web Application Pen Test?

In today's interconnected business world, web applications (web apps) are indispensable. Whether they are a client portal or online shopping site, attackers can compromise web apps, impair business function, and steal sensitive data if they are not adequately tested and secured by your organization. Fortunately, these vulnerabilities can be mitigated through proper cyber hygiene and integrating penetration testing into the web app development lifecycle. 

 

Why is web application security important to your overall cybersecurity strategy? 
 Web application penetration is an additional layer of security, extending the maturity of your cybersecurity posture to your externally facing web applications. We like to think of web app penetration testing as having an additional set of eyes with an objective perspective to seek out vulnerabilities. This becomes more and more imperative as companies utilize custom-developed or customized off-the-shelf applications to support core business functions.  
 
Which applications should you be testing? 

At a minimum, you should regularly perform penetration testing on any and all websites that hold data that could be sensitive. If a system holds sensitive data, which most in fact do, and it's available on the public Internet, the web interface, or an API, it really needs to be inspected during web application penetration testing. 

 

When is the best time to penetration test a web application? 

The short answer is now. We recommend integrating penetration testing into the development lifecycle whether your organization has an in-house development team, or the work is outsourced. As a best practice, perform penetration testing of web applications before deploying major updates and on a regular basis.  

 

What are the benefits of performing a web application test? 

Penetration test findings help teams identify and remediate vulnerabilities before threat actors can exploit them. Identifying and acting to remediate identified weaknesses strengthens your organization’s overall cybersecurity posture and limits the risk of data exposure. 

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY Brad Pierce

Brad is the director of network security for HORNE Cyber where he focuses on leading the advanced penetration testing teams. Brad has more than 10 years of experience in network deployment, management, support and security.

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