security of web applications
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Security Considerations for Web Applications

From websites to applications, website developers require to know almost everything there is about developing. There is plenty to consider when developing an existing platform or something from new. A brief may state that a new application must be user-friendly, accessible and secure.

Over recent years, there is an enormous emphasis on building a web application with security at the heart of the development. It is no wonder that this is now the case. We live in a world where security threats and access breaches are common place. It is a scarier world out there today than it was ten years ago.

There are many considerations when it comes to building web applications, especially when it comes to security. Is the site or application protected against service attacks? Is business and customer data safe and stored correctly within a database? Could an individual compromise the application and pollute the database? Could an attacker access information that is restricted?

For those that need to outsource, it may be worth stumping up for the security certification cost and relevant in-depth training. For those that want to tackle this head on, this article will cover some of the essential security components when it comes to web application development.

Cross-Site Scripting

This is where an attacker will trick a web application user into inadvertently executing code from another website. This can be done in a variety of different ways. A message, pop-up or email could be used to direct the inadvertent to execute this code.

Once bad script is loaded, the script can then be used to access or take contents from cookies. This information can then be used to send spam, install malware or even change the contents and development code of the web application.

As a developer, you should be able to use PHP’s input file extension to minimize the potential damage caused by cross-site scripting.

Cross-Site Request Forgery

This is where a visitor is tricked into carrying out an adverse action on our very own web application. This type of security attack tends to happen on websites that the visitor visits frequently, on web applications that are not properly secure.

Click jacking

This security threat has been given almost celebrity status after attacks against Facebook and Twitter. As these platforms are social, with plenty of daily interaction, the threat spread quickly throughout both applications.

The threat may come from the attacker using our web application in a frame within their own website. They do not have control over our website, but they do control the iFrame that it sits within. One way we can protect ourselves is to disable any submit button and use a JavaScript code to enable it again, once we have found that there is no threat.

As web developers we need to be conscious of all security threats, not just the ones detailed above. Security is an essential and vital part of all development work, whether you are a front-end coder or back-end developer. Protecting what is ours is paramount, more so today than at any point historically.