Sensitive data exposure plagues more than 69% of businesses applications, according to an article on Darkreading.com. Without borderline perfect security measures in place, this means that you risk putting the data you store or that going through your app in the wrong hands. However, a single layer of security will not suffice in the fight to protect your most valued information.
From breaching application firewalls to tampering with your access control measures, there are multiple ways through which hackers can gain access to your most protected data. As a result, this calls for a multi-layer data protection technique. In a nutshell, you need four different security layers to optimally protect your data: web application firewall, login protection, bot protection, and access control.
Here is a resourceful guide to helping you optimize this combination of security layers:
What Are Your Risking By Going Unprotected?
Your web applications will tend to house information that can range from customer to operational data. For instance, using a staff scheduling app like Humanity will mean that you might have to store some of your business secrets within the app. In case you experience a data breach, you risk your reputation as well as losing multiple customers. On the other hand, you might be on the wrong side of the law in some regulations.
The First Layer: Web Application Firewall
Your web application firewall will help set the rules which anyone interacting with your website will have to follow. It is designed to spot security threats and block them before they can cause any harm to your website. For instance, it can help prevent situations where cybercriminals inject an SQL query into your database with the aim of modifying your data, gaining administrative control or even accessing sensitive data.
However, most web application firewalls tend to be designed for enterprise-grade IT. If your application or company isn’t big enough to be described as an enterprise, you are likely to be receiving more complex or excessive protection than you actually need. You can easily avoid this through investing in cloud-based firewalls that are run by IT professionals which will give you the power to customize your application to your specific needs.
Layer Two: Access Control
While you might have a strong firewall in place, attackers can still gain access to your sensitive data through the facade of an ordinary user in your network. This is where access control comes in. It helps to determine what the users of your application have access to, what they can do with it and for how long and from where they can access the data.
In case an attacker gains access to your application, they will most likely create a backdoor entry point to ease any further access to your application database. With a great access control strategy, such illegal access entry points can be identified and blocked at an early stage.
Layer Three: Bot Protection
If not controlled well, bots can wreak havoc on your application. However, there are good bots such as those from Google and Facebook that can help to increase your rankings and the effectiveness of your app. Look for bot protection tools that can distinguish between the good, the bad and the suspicious bots and react to them accordingly.
For instance, it can alert you of suspicious bots, challenge them with a data CAPTCHA or even block them. Additionally, it needs to be updated regularly to steer away from new and more malicious bots.
Layer Four: Login Protection
While trying to deal with the above threat to your app, it is common to forget that hackers can gain access to sensitive information through cracking the login details of your staff members. As a result, using login protection tools combined with training your employees on the best password practices will help mitigate this risk. One of the most common strategies of enhancing your log in protection would be to employ multi-factor authentication into your security system.
Your app will only be optimally safe if you can use layered security while having an idea of all looming threats in mind. As much as they do not completely eliminate the threat, they mitigate it substantially. Invest in the above security tools to safeguard your sensitive data.