Definition of application
A software application is a program that can do some specific task other than the operation of the computer. An application can be a mobile application, desktop application, or web application.
Examples of application software are calculator, chrome browser, MS word, mobile app, web application etc.
Definition of application security
Application security is a mechanism of protecting the application from unauthorized use and preventing an application from hacking.
Suppose you have a web application and you have saved your customer records in it. Now there are chances that your application data can be accessed by a hacker. So you have to take security measures to protect your customer data. You have to set up a firewall and other security walls so that it becomes difficult for any hacker to access your important data.
Types of application security
Some types of application security are:-
Authorization means only people with admin access can log in to the system. Different users of the application have different rights. For example, an author of the website has a different level of rights i.e. he can publish a post. Similarly, editors and contributors have different access levels of rights. These rights of users are necessary because the users can only perform a task that is relevant to them.
Logging means tracking the activities of the application. Suppose your application has some fault in it. The logging file will store all the errors and notification of the errors that the application has. It also stores information related to users i.e. when a specific user is logged in and logged out etc.
Authentication means how the user login to the system. There are many authentication security levels. For example, you have to add a pattern, fingerprint scanner, mobile notification, 2-way auth to login to the app, etc.
Encryption means how the data of your app travel in the network. If you encrypt your data before moving data to the network then your application is secure. Most apps use encryption/decryption techniques to secure the data in the network. The same data is then decrypted by the application servers.
Why is application security important
If you are running a website, app or working on a computer then you have important data that you store. This data is important for you and you do not want to lose that data. In previous years there are many viruses invented that lockdown all files on your computer and after that attack of virus, you are not able to access those files on your computer. This is an example of how you may lose your files but if you are having a lot of your customer data. For example, if you own a company and you have a lot of customers data saved on your PC or cloud then your customer’s data is very important to you. There is important information you have e.g. customers credit card information, their email ids and other information. If any unauthorized person stole that data because your website or app is not properly secure then your company may lose a lot of data and money also.
You need to save your password with strong security in mind i.e. you can use more than 6 characters and use alphabets, numbers and special characters in your password. Don’t save your passwords in any file that is accessible by another person. Don’t allow any unknown person to your computer room. He may steal your data from your computer or see you typing a password.
There are many types of hacker attacks that are happening around. The hacker can steal your login information in many ways. He may chat with you as he was your boss. As you know that identifying a person online is not easy. The hacker can use the same picture and information of your boss and start chatting with you. He first chats with you as your boss do and then get important information about the office.
If you have a website then do use HTTPS protocol that will encrypt your data while it is travelling. Do not use HTTP because it is not safe. If you buy something online then note that this website has HTTPS before the domain name.
Tools of application security
Some of application security tools are:-
- Quixxi Security
- Cast Highlight
- VMware AppDefense
What is application security testing
Testing is a phase that is done during the development of the apps. The security team inspect all the code of the app and check if there is any security gap in the code. There are many code inspections tools available. Companies can also hire white hat hackers to check if there is any security issue in the app. Companies make their own security rules that are to be followed during app development.