The significance of securing web applications is not a new thing. It was important enough to protect web applications and other aspects of cyberinfrastructure even earlier. However, in recent times, the prevalence of malicious activities against web applications has increased substantially. Moreover, the threat actors have become more complex and sophisticated. Web applications are at the core of the IT infrastructure of businesses. Companies rely on these applications for their day-to-day operations and customer interactions. Any incident involving the web applications would be imparting serious damage to the said business. It would result in consequences like data theft, financial loss, and damage to reputation. Hence, it is vitally important in 2023 that you implement the best possible security protocols to safeguard your web applications.
of web application pentesting results uncovered at least one vulnerability, with an average of 20 vulnerabilities per application, says a report by Imperva Securities.
of web applications have vulnerabilities that can be exploited to initiate cyber-attacks.
of all web application vulnerabilities are injection flaws (such as SQL injection).
of account takeovers can be prevented by just implementing multi-factor authentication. Says a report by Google.
Every business wants to get the best results out of the pen testing process conducted on their web applications. To ensure that they need to include some key items to their checklist of activities to perform. The following are the things testing teams need to complete their checklist for web app pentesting:
The process of information gathering generally involves a deep exploration of the website/web application. It helps the testing teams to collect information about exposed content and files within the web application. Plus, this step also assists them in identifying related applications, hostnames, and potential entry points to get inside the application.
It is important to extract an adequate amount of information about the deployed configuration of the server which hosts your web application. This information comes in handy throughout the entire pen-testing process. Errors in the configuration have the potential to compromise the integrity of the application. It is similar to the case where an untested application poses a security threat to the entire server.
Access management and identification protocols are necessary elements to take care of in terms of web application security. It involves managing and defining access controls and privileges. Identity and access management dictate the roles of internal network users. Also, it clarifies the circumstances under which any privileges can be granted or denied. The testing teams are supposed to test for user registrations, account provisioning, and username policies in this phase of pen testing.
Authentication protocols guard the gates of your web application and the Digital Assets within it. Any lapses made in it are an open invitation for hackers to break in. It can compromise session IDs and passwords. Also, attackers can exploit other security flaws using the user credentials. Therefore, it is important to execute authentication testing with precision. It will help you in the assessment of default credentials, password policies, browser cache weaknesses, and other such parameters.
Along with authentication, authorization is also a vital aspect to test during web application pentesting. During this phase, the testing teams explore ways to bypass the authorization systems and frameworks currently in place. They do it by conducting tests for privilege escalation.
Testing the session management of a web application involves checking whether the cookies and other session tokens are implemented in a secure manner. The implementation of all such tokens must be unpredictable to ensure optimum security.
This is to test whether the systems supporting the web applications are able to handle errors, incorrect transactions, and exceptions. Here, testers perform tests for error codes and stack traces.
All the above processes are crucial when it comes to taking care of your web application security.