Archive for July, 2021

Web Application Vulnerabilities: Securing Online Applications

Web application vulnerabilities are system flaws that can arise due to improper validation or sanitization of form inputs, misconfigured web servers, or application design flaws. Such vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals to compromise the application’s security and gain access to use the application as a breeding ground for malware.

Common security vulnerabilities that affect web applications.

  • Injection: This happens when an interpreter receives a compromised query or command. Examples of injection flaws include SQL, LDAP, and OS. The best way to stay protected against injection flaws is to avoid accessing external interpreters. Language specific libraries can be used to perform functions for system calls or shell commands as they don’t use shell interpreter of the Operating System. If a call must be employed (such as calls made to backend database), make sure to validate the data carefully.
  • Cross Site Scripting (XSS): XSS attacks occur when a web application sends data to a client browser without thorough validation. XSS vulnerabilities allow intruders to run malicious scripts on victim browser which spy on user sessions and redirect users to malicious websites in some cases. In order to avoid XSS, applications should be designed to perform vigorous checks against defined specifications. It is recommended to adopt a positive security policy which defines only what should be allowed.
  • Broken Authentication & Session Management: If these functions aren’t properly configured, attackers can compromise user identities and exploit a vulnerability to steal session tokens, keys, and passwords. This type of attack can be avoided by using custom authentication and session management mechanisms. Some session management criteria that should be incorporated include password change requests, password strength checks, session ID protection, browser caching, trust, backend authentication, etc.
  • Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF): In this case, the attacker forces the victim to send requests that the server will consider to be legitimate. The requests are sent in the form of forged HTTP requests including session cookie of victim and other identification information. To prevent this, applications should use custom tokens in addition to tokens received from browsers because custom tokens are not remembered by browsers to initiate a CSRF attack.
  • Security Misconfiguration: It is important for applications to have a secure application environment. Application developers need to consider guidelines pertaining security mechanisms configuration, turning off unused devices, logs & alerts, etc.

Centex Technologies offers web application development and cybersecurity solutions to its clients. For more details on how to make your web application secure, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Enterprise Network Security: Zero Trust Security Or VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Networking. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic in real time and disguise your online identity. This makes it difficult for third parties to track your online activities and steal data.

How Does VPN Work?

A VPN hides an IP address by letting the network redirect it through a specially configured remote server run by a VPN host. This states that when surfing online with VPN, the VPN server acts as the source of your data. Due to this, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other third parties cannot see the websites you visit or data you send or receive.

Benefits Of VPN:

  • Secure Encryption: VPN ensures secure encryption of data transmitted and received. User requires an encryption key to read the data. This makes it difficult for the hackers or third parties to decipher the data, even if they corrupt the network.
  • Disguise The Location: VPN servers act as a proxy for you on the internet. This ensures that the actual location of the user is not determined. Additionally, most VPN services do not store activity log which further ensures that no information about user behavior is passed on to hackers or third parties.
  • Secure Data Transfer: As the trend of working remotely is gaining popularity, secure data transfer has become immensely important. Organizations can make use of VPN servers to ensure the security of data being transmitted and reduce the risks of data leakage.

Zero Trust Security

Main tenet of “zero trust security” is that vulnerabilities can appear if businesses are too trusting of individuals. This model maintains that no user, even if allowed on the network, should be trusted by default because it may lead to end point being compromised.

How Does Zero Trust Security Work?

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is an important aspect of Zero Trust Security model. ZTNA uses identity based authentication to establish trust before providing access while keeping the network location (IP address) hidden. ZTNA secures the environment by identifying anomalous behavior such as attempted access to restricted data or downloads of unusual amounts of data at unusual time or from unusual location.

Benefits OF Zero Trust Security:

  • Increased Resource Access Visibility: Zero Trust Security model provides organizations better visibility into who accesses what resources for what reasons and understand the measures that should be applied to secure resources.
  • Decreased Attack Surface: As Zero Trust Security model shifts the focus to securing individual resources, it reduces the risk of cyber-attacks that target network perimeter.
  • Improved Monitoring: Zero Trust Security model includes the deployment of a solution for continuous monitoring and logging of asset states and user activity. This helps in detection of potential threats in a timely manner.

Zero Trust and VPN are both types of network security and although they seem to have different approaches, these can be used in conjunction for a comprehensive security strategy. Organizations can use Zero Trust concepts and VPNs to delineate clear network perimeter and then create secure zones within the network.

At Centex Technologies, we recommend network security protocols and solutions to formulate an effective network security strategy. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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What Is Encrypted Virus?

PDF Version: What-Is-Encrypted-Virus

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Vertical SaaS VS Horizontal SaaS Model

Advancements in technology and increasing use of internet as a source of information has resulted in immense growth in SaaS industry. A large number of businesses are adopting SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) models for a number of benefits.

Benefits Of SaaS For Businesses:

  • Updates: SaaS solutions provides a seamless process for updating a software on regular intervals. Real-time software updates save business resources that would have been spent for hiring a professional to update it otherwise.
  • Scalability: Scalability of existing systems is one of the prerequisites for business growth. The solution implemented should be able to quickly respond to increased work load and should be scalable to incorporate advanced features. In case of SaaS, businesses can select the type of features they want as the business needs change. This helps them in offering quality services and delivering products in time by ensuring easy scalability.
  • Enhanced Security: A simple data breach can have immense negative impacts on a business. However, SaaS models have robust enterprise-level security that employ a holistic approach.
  • Collaboration & Team Work: SaaS models make it easier for teams spanning across different locations to collaborate for a project seamlessly.

While businesses understand the benefits of adopting SaaS models, they need to choose a suitable model as per their business architecture and needs. There are two main types of SaaS models:

  • Vertical SaaS
  • Horizontal SaaS

Both the models have different features and offer different benefits to the businesses. Let us help you understand both the models.

  • Vertical SaaS: This model is focused on creating niche-specific software solutions and thus, can be used in a specific industry only. A simple example of vertical SaaS solution may be any software specifically designed to monitor email marketing campaigns. Some real life examples of vertical SaaS include BioIQ (for health testing), Guidewire (insurance industry), etc. Vertical SaaS solutions can be referred to as purpose-built solutions.

Benefits Of Vertical SaaS:

Facilitate business growth by capturing industry-specific data

Higher returns on investment

Increased competitiveness

  • Horizontal SaaS: This model provides solutions for diverse types of industries. Some examples of software under this category are QuickBooks (can be used for accounting by any industry), HubSpot (digital marketing), Asana (Project Management Solution), etc.

Benefits Of Horizontal SaaS:

Cost-effective solutions

Better growth opportunities

Better collaboration among different departments

The choice of right SaaS model is governed by the purpose why business needs the software. Centex Technologies helps its clients in making right choices by offering expert IT consultation and solutions. To know more about SaaS models, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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