There are several important steps to improve application security in your development process. According to recent data, nearly 80% of tested web applications contain at least one bug. Even worse, hackers have new tactics to steal your passwords and gain access to sensitive client data. These vulnerabilities can have lasting impacts on an organization. Indeed, over 40% of small businesses that close within 6 months have been struck by a cyber attack. As a software developer, you need to know the right steps to secure your applications. This way, you can avoid costly data breaches and protect your organization from internal/external threats. To get started now, read on to learn about how to improve application security in your development process. 

Perform A Risk Assessment

First, you should perform a risk assessment to enhance your application security. Create a list of all your assets that require protection. This way, you can identify which resources need the most protection. In addition, you should identify different threats in your pipeline and look for ways to isolate them. For example, you might consider implementing microservice architecture to keep components contained. Additionally, identify attack vectors that can put your application at risk for being compromise. Once you've identified potential threats, check that you have proper security measures in place to detect attacks. Definitely, perform a risk assessment to improve application security.

Install Image Scanners

Next, you can install image scanners to improve your application security. Many top organizations use tools like JFrog Xray to check if any security vulnerability is present. With this image scanner, you can identify configurations within an app that may invite an attack. In addition, you could check a container image to identify if its dependencies contain vulnerabilities. Importantly, containers are typically built from images. Since you can often download images from a remote source, routine inspections are critical for every new image deployed. Otherwise, you can't be confident that their third-party code is free from security vulnerability. In short, install image scanners to improve security in your development process.

Require Input Validation

In addition, you should require input validation to improve security in your pipeline. For example, you should validate your data type to ensure that parameters are input in the correct form. This could include syntax or semantics. Additionally, practice data format validation to make sure data meets the proper format guidelines and schemas. These may include JSON or XML. Of course, you should also validate your different data values to ensure that parameters meet expectations for accepted value ranges. This way, you can prevent bad or corrupted data from being processed and potentially triggering malfunction. Absolutely, require input validation to ensure that only properly-formed data passes through your workflow. 

Conduct Penetration Testing

Moreover, conduct penetration testing to improve application security in your pipeline. Here, you quality assurance professionals play the role of hackers to infiltrate your system. For example, your QA specialists might run manual pentesting by collecting data, estimating risk, and exploiting the software. On the other hand, your testers can also use third-party tools to automate the pentesting process. Importantly, your testers may run blackbox testing where they only use publicly available data to simulate a true hack scenario. Of course, they can also conduct white box pentesting where they get significantly more access to data and company servers. Whichever type you use, penetration testing is critical to identify vulnerabilities. 

Patch Software Regularly

Furthermore, patch your software regularly to maintain security in your application. Indeed, you need to install updates from commercial vendors or the open source community to ensure maximum security. Typically, the owners of a project publish the vulnerability on security advisories and databases once it's reported. Then, they can create a fix and push it out for publication. Naturally, some developers are hesitant to upgrade to the latest version of a software if they fear breaking the product. However, failing to patch can leave your software with security vulnerabilities. Certainly, patch software regularly to maintain strong application security.

There are several important steps to improve application security in your development process. First, you should perform a risk assessment to identify your most important assets. Next, install image scanners to detect vulnerabilities in your software. In addition, require input validation to ensure properly-formed data gets through your workflow. Moreover, conduct penetration testing to improve security in your pipeline. Furthermore, patch software regularly to keep the latest updated version. Consider these points to learn about how to improve application security in your development process.

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