The past has seen organizations being reluctant to adopt the cloud due to their scepticism towards its security and compliance promises. However, the true reason behind this pushback against the cloud was misinterpretation of what the technology’s capabilities were. Security vulnerabilities are an inevitable part of the IT environment, may it be hosted on-premises or on the cloud. But the notion that its difficult mitigating them or proactively managing them is not true. The advent of the AWS Well-Architected Framework has seen to it that organizations can easily build and run architectures that secure applications, assets, and systems, at the same time driving business value.
What is meant to be an ongoing effort, security has an unending opportune potential for organizations to keep fortifying their infrastructure or application resilience. Automating incident response to security events, multi-levelled infrastructure protection, data management with encryption, and having robust authorization and authentication controls are some ways how organizations can build a sturdy defense against attacks or breaches.
7 Well-Architected Tips for Application Security
Cloud security and management services will account for a total spending in excess of US$ 18 billion by the end of 2022, according to Gartner. Cybercriminals have grown sophisticated enough to leverage web applications as key to infiltrating an organization’s infrastructure and stealing valuable data. To protect themselves, organizations must follow the following well-architected tips for application security and stay proactive against any imminent potential threat.
Alongside the unabated growth of data breaches, organizations must validate the integrity of their application data, in turn securing the business overall. Several norms and best practices are provided in the well-architected framework, which necessitate applications’ compliance. Fundamental needs include using ‘https’ for validating web application programming interfaces and certification to call the endpoints. For limited exposure, limiting access to applications for clients with a valid certificate can be considered.
Secure Single-Tier Vulnerabilities
Securing single-tier vulnerabilities with virtual patches, which the current WAF policies are devoid of, is like a stampede on cybercriminals trying to compromise backend active directory for stealing intellectual and valuable data. With this organizations can save on the cost of stolen information, which is approximately US$ 150 on an average or US$ 175 when attacks are malicious. Too many cloud migrations and application developments around the world has brought in too many vulnerabilities, which often go avoided and exposed to breaches. Virtual patching ensures that the application security is continuous and up-to-date.
This is one of the most important tips for application security, as it eliminates the need for users to login to connected applications once they login to the enterprise network. This helps the organizations from phishing attacks, which are usually emails that ask you to access the application using your password. Single sign-on removes the need for users to enter their passwords manually for accessing information or systems.
Scan for Vulnerabilities
Several application vulnerability studies have been conducted and almost all conclude at the fact that half of these vulnerabilities are at high risk. Scanning for vulnerabilities with built-in tools of the well-architected framework is therefore crucial. This helps is identifying as well as alerting the security risks pertaining to the application.
Validate Incoming Events
Sanitizing incoming security events of applications and validating them against predefined schemas is a good practice to prevent errors and enhance security of the architecture. This primarily happens by capturing eccentric or malicious events. Using security frameworks or data type validators can ensure the correctness of applications, including normalization, structure, value range, and common expressions.
Implement Security Mechanisms
Mixing manual and automated security code reviews for studying application codes and their interdependencies helps organizations ensure that their applications perform as intended. Automation tools support in identifying intricate application codes along with common vulnerability exposures. On the other hand, manual code reviews make sure that the code runs as it was desired to. Moreover, before implementing code dependencies to applications, it is necessary to review and validate all dependencies to ensure that the code is being added in a secure manner.
Implement Policies for Credentials Management
Not embedding long-term credentials to the application code is imperative. Done so, the application is exposed to data authentication risks. Also, complicated coding of credentials, makes different permissions necessary for different environments. This implies that breaches can spread from one environment to others like fire in a forest. Using credentials management solutions not only centralizes & secures the sensitive application data but also enables managing, rotating, and encrypting the credentials. This helps in protecting the data and meeting security & compliance needs simultaneously.
To Sum Up
Application security is an important aspect of all architectures. The security pillar of AWS well-architected framework provides organizations the capabilities to protect the data and assets associated with their applications. Implementing the aforementioned well-architected tips for application security can prevent negative impacts on business revenue and operations.