Cybersecurity threats are rapidly evolving, becoming more sophisticated by the day. New application and cloud deployment models also add to its existing complexity.
This makes maintaining security consistently quite challenging. But it’s something you can’t put on the back burner to deal with later. Regardless of its complexities, enterprise application security is something we have to face head-on.
Consequences of an enterprise application security breach are as follows:
- Compliance and regulatory fines
- Damage to brand value
- The loss of customer confidence
- Theft of sensitive customer data
- Significant loss of revenue
According to a study of 85,000 applications, 83% had at least one security flaw, with another 20% having at least one high severity flaw. The researcher also found that many others had much more (and the study found a total of approximately 10 million flaws).
The first step to better securing your enterprise applications and infrastructure is to take a good hard look at your security posture. But what should you look for?
Before we go over the five different signs to look out for, let’s define it.
What’s Enterprise Application Security?
Enterprise application security is the process of building highly secure enterprise apps. This involves finding, fixing, and improving application security protocols. Enterprise application security also includes the steps an organisation takes to mitigate risk and protect sensitive data from external threats.
“It can be as simple as conducting a code review to ensure robust security. A coding error opens the door to unverified inputs, leaving you vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. When it’s identified and rectified early, it can save your company a world of trouble,” says Colette Wyatt, CEO of Evolve.
Most of this activity is conducted during the development phase, incorporating tools and technologies to protect the app. In the current threat landscape, it’s become a critical component of application development.
What are the signs to look out for?
1. The Application Isn’t Working as Intended
The best way to quickly identify suspicious activity is to engage in real-time monitoring. While there might be some false positives from time to time, it’s crucial to always monitor enterprise apps in real-time.
For example, if your enterprise app’s taking much longer than before to render the results page from a database, then something might be wrong. Or there could be an unexpected increase in the absence of new users.
Whenever anything gives you cause for concern, it’s best to investigate it right away. If you’re waiting for a major disruption, then you’re waiting until it’s too late.
2. You Can’t Defend against Multi-Vector, Polymorphic, or Zero-Day Attacks
Cyberattacks have evolved rapidly over the past few decades. Today, large scale multi-vector attacks like WannaCry and NotPetya are the new norm. These types of attacks aim to exploit vulnerabilities on multiple fronts.
Threat actors are relentless, and their attacks grow more sophisticated by the day. Any enterprise application you build should withstand multi-vector, polymorphic, or zero-day attacks.
3. There Are Unexpected Log Messages
Whenever database logs show several error messages over a short period of time, it may indicate that a malicious actor is looking around for something or has already identified an SQL injection vector.
In this scenario, it’s best to trace back the database queries’ origin and ascertain if the application is handling inputs correctly.
In general, servers only initiate connections with internal databases. If you notice an outbound network connection or an unexplained file transfer, you need help to secure your enterprise app and infrastructure.
4. You Receive Warnings
Whenever enterprise applications are compromised, they spread malware that’s often flagged by security tools on the network. Whenever you receive a threat alert, you need to respond to it immediately to mitigate risk.
If the end-users complain about multiple password reset emails, that’s also a good indicator that your application has been breached. Another excellent clue is users receiving password reset emails in their spam folder. Whenever this happens, it’s worth further investigation.
5. You find new jobs, processes, or users
Whenever there are unexplained jobs, processes, or users, it’s a sure sign that something suspicious is going on. It might even mean that you’re no longer in control of your application.
In this scenario, the attacker already has an account on the server. Whenever this happens, the threat actor can pretty much do as they please (because of elevated privileges). These accounts are usually created to engage in nefarious activities, so it’s best to take a closer look.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg. To successfully keep bad actors at bay, it’s always best to build security right into enterprise apps and follow best practices.
Enterprise Application Security Best Practices
Regardless of the size of your organisation or industry vertical, it’s critical to follow these ten enterprise application best practices:
- Always leverage cloud-based security products
- Approach enterprise cloud infrastructure as unknown and insecure
- Develop an application security blueprint
- Automate real-time monitoring protocols
- Perform risk assessments regularly
- Implement continuous integration protocols while scanning for new threats
- Incorporate security in each application component
- Test and retest security protocols
- Encrypt enterprise application data
- Engage in penetration testing
Securing enterprise applications is a comprehensive process with many steps and procedures that compliment each other. Each step is crucial to fortifying your enterprise app and technology infrastructure.
Are you looking to embark on the software development journey and build and deliver a highly secure application? Schedule a commitment-free consultation now.