Why is Ignoring Web Application Security too Costly?

Ignoring web application security can lead to disastrous consequences.

10 Min Read

This article explains how addressing application security throughout the whole software development life cycle will improve compliance with regulations, increase application security, and save development costs. Web applications are convenient and worthwhile targets for attackers. Attackers can readily enter these applications to disrupt application availability, delete or steal important and private information like credit card data, and other vulnerabilities including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, insufficient input validation, and failed authentication conditions. Insecure online apps also give these criminals access to the business network and back-end programs by allowing them to change and steal data from within the application itself.

Security flaws are similar to any other type of software error. Also, just as with any software flaw, finding and fixing security software flaws early on really saves money. Analysts and software development professionals generally agree that while finding and fixing flaws early in the development cycle may only cost a few hundred dollars, doing so after the application has been delivered to production might result in expenses of many more than dozens of dollars.

As you will see, enterprises can reduce security-related maintenance costs while simultaneously delivering noticeably more secure and regulatory-compliant apps by simply adding security to existing development checkpoints, such as when current features and performance tests are finished.

Solving a Complex Task

Security issues can enter online applications for a variety of causes. First of all, security is rarely taken into account during the functional requirements stage. Since application owners do not initially demand security, developers do not include security in their apps.

Second, even when developers do think about security, they just cover the bare minimum: encryption, access control, authentication, and authorization. They frequently don’t offer thorough input validation to stop cross-site scripting and SQL injection flaws. Developers leave a tonne of security flaws in their source code as a result. This is not due to a lack of desire on their part to provide the most secure software feasible. The goal of developers is to create highly accessible and functional programs.

Software security needs to be handled just like any other software flaw that could impair functionality or performance. As a result of a security audit, which can be carried out and evaluated by a software QA consultant at each stage of the software life, as well as before the release of the program into production, various problems can be identified and promptly resolved. That is how shrewd businesses may create secure code at a low cost while still meeting deadlines.

Toward Secure App Development

It takes time to address security issues that arise throughout the design and development phases. Integrating security throughout the various software development phases takes time. Yet, any firm that has done previous initiatives, such as putting in place a capability maturity model or configuration management database, knows the effort is worthwhile because systematized processes over time produce better results, are more efficient, and result in cost savings.

In the same way that standardizing development methodologies, such as rapid application development, waterfall, or agile, leads to development efficiencies, time savings, and quality improvements. It is evident that improving the software development life cycle by having the appropriate security testing tools on hand and giving software security a higher priority ranking is a great long-term business investment. The key message is that quality testing standards must be established and that all stakeholders—business and application owners, security, regulatory compliance, audit, and quality assurance teams—must be included from the start.

The section below will give you an idea of how, by simply adding a few extra tests during the development process, the security and regulatory compliance effectiveness of web apps may be significantly enhanced.

Phases to be Considered

Top-level sponsorship. The first and possibly most important step is this one. Gaining the organizational changes necessary for success without an executive-level endorsement for safe software development and compliance is challenging, if not impossible. Strong executive support enables organizations to create comprehensive web application security programs that help them satisfy compliance requirements, prevent security breaches, and save time and money that would otherwise be spent on security flaws.

Involvement of all stakeholders. Businesses should use a defined method for creating secure software. This implies that security should be assessed by security teams, analysts, design, development, QA, and audit throughout the course of production. In this way, security concerns may be handled as they come up during the development and deployment phases of an application’s life cycle, from the analysis of its business needs.

Requirements Phase

It is helpful to define the requirements for legal, security policy, and regulatory compliance during these early stages. Will the application contain data subject to governmental or commercial regulations? Will the application have access to or be stored on the same servers or network as extremely sensitive data? If so, security must be given extra consideration. Executives in compliance and security must assess and approve the design and functional needs of such apps.

Design Phase

The security team should establish misuse scenarios and threat models throughout the technical design phase. Use cases define a program’s requirements, whereas misuse cases look for ways that an attacker can try to take advantage of the application to gain access to the network or make money. Your teams will look at potential threats and vulnerabilities by threat modeling the application itself. For instance, would a successful denial-of-service attack affect the availability of other applications, and are particular parts of the program vulnerable to such attacks? Connects to a classified database the application? Would stricter authentication be required in that case?

Build Phase

Implement secure coding standards. Developers must use secure coding procedures all the way through the development process. They must ensure that inputs are accurate, follow the principle of least privilege, and generally adhere to the best practices coding guidelines for the platform and language. Perhaps one of your secure development initiative’s more challenging areas is this. The goal is to consistently teach developers to secure application development trends and best practices.

Secure Code Review

Throughout development, security defect reviews must be included in addition to the quality and functional code reviews. Here, software inspection tools can support the automatic detection and correction of security-related flaws. Some flaws that were overlooked throughout development It is essential to run integration tests as the application nears completion. For example, many software security safeguards function as standalone units and should be verified as such; other flaws are only discovered after the application has been put together.

Test Phases

Integration of security as the third pillar of application testing—after functionality and performance—is the key to success. Once the program meets standard QA benchmarks, the QA teams also check for security flaws.

application evaluation. Selecting a web application vulnerability assessment platform that can evaluate both established web applications and those created using contemporary web services and technology is crucial for these application security assessments. Choose an automated scanner that works with your development environment, offers quick scanning capabilities, extensive security assessment coverage, and precise conclusions resulting from integrated black-box, white-box analysis.

Deployment Phase

Rollout of secure applications. Ascertain that all recommendations for secure deployment are followed. Secure deployment refers to the installation of software with all secure defaults enabled, which means that all file permissions are properly established and that the application’s configuration’s secure settings are used. The security of the program must be maintained during the course of its existence after it has been deployed. A comprehensive method for managing software patches must be in place. New risks must be assessed, and vulnerabilities must be controlled and prioritized.


Ongoing evaluations. Web applications that were once secure can become insecure as a result of changes. A vulnerability that gets into the system after the audit may go undiscovered if security is a one-time task. In order to construct secure web apps, you should consider application security as a process that is integrated across the whole development life cycle. Every team member involved in creating and maintaining your online apps should adopt security principles.

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