6 Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Developing for the Web
We have all heard the saying, “we are what we eat.” In terms of web development, however, the adage could be amended to “we are what we build.” While working on a website, one is confronted with many opportunities to make mistakes. Therefore, it is essential that you avoid making these six mistakes while you develop your web solutions.
1. Avoiding vulnerability scans and penetration tests
A well-developed security posture is one of the most essential elements of a successful application. Understanding and mitigating vulnerabilities are paramount to keeping your application secure from attack. This understanding starts with periodic vulnerability scans and penetration tests.
While it’s true that all applications have some kind of vulnerability, there are certain types that can seriously impact your business if left unaddressed: cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, log4j vulnerability. These attacks can devastate internal and external customers, costing thousands—if not millions—of dollars in lost revenue or lawsuits over time.
The best way to ensure your app has an effective plan for detecting these common flaws is through vulnerability scanning during development and penetration testing after deployment via third-party firms specializing in this type of work. Vulnerability scans should be done regularly as part of routine operations maintenance. However, penetration tests should only be conducted once per year by an experienced team separate from yours or your software vendor’s internal teams (who may have special knowledge about your system).
Relying on an automated tool to do the job for you
If you rely on a single automated tool to do the job for you, it’s like giving your car keys to a friend who has never driven before. They might hit all the green lights and get you where you need to go—or they could crash into several things along the way, leaving you with a pile of broken glass and twisted metal.
Automated tools can’t detect everything. They also don’t understand your business and how it operates—and they certainly don’t have any insight into what threats may be lurking in the shadows.
While these tools are excellent for performing basic scans or tests on websites or applications, they can’t provide a complete picture of the security landscape (nor should they). In fact, when it comes down to identifying unknown threats and recommending solutions based on that information—well…you’re better off doing this manually.
Ignoring social engineering
Social engineering is the act of tricking someone into giving up confidential or sensitive information. It is used to gain access to a computer system or network by deceiving an employee of the company. Social engineering can be done over the phone, via email, or in person.
The most common way social engineering works is when a hacker calls an unsuspecting user and poses as an IT administrator from another department at their company to get them to give out their password so they can fix a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. This may sound ridiculous if you think about it, but it always happens!
Overlooking the importance of good policies and procedures
Understanding the importance of policies and procedures is one thing; actually creating them is another. While you may write clear guidelines for your team, it’s vital also to make sure that everyone knows who owns each policy and how they can enforce it.
To get started on creating sound policies and procedures in your organization, start by asking yourself:
- What are my team’s goals?
- Who are we making our products or services available to?
- What type of content do we create and share?
Once you’ve identified these objectives, it’s time to consider what policies might help them succeed. Depending on the nature of your company, this could include anything from privacy policies regarding user data or information security protocols for handling sensitive information (such as passwords).
Not staying informed
You should stay informed about the latest trends and technologies to ensure your site is compatible with the latest devices.
You’ll also want to keep up with what’s happening in the internet security world. It’s important to know which sites are safe for your users to visit and which ones aren’t—especially if you’re building an e-commerce site!
If you’ve made it this far, great job! You’ve learned a lot about how to create a website from scratch. Don’t stop here; plenty of other resources can help you learn more about web development or even become certified as a web developer yourself!
Leaving security out of your initial planning
Security should not be an afterthought. It should be part of your initial planning, project management plan, and business continuity plan. Consider security as an extension of your disaster recovery plan.
It’s important to note that this advice may not be necessary for small-scale sites or applications, but it is still worth looking into.
There are many ways to develop a web application, but the most important thing is to be aware of the potential security risks and do what you can to avoid them. You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert, but if you follow these simple steps and use security best practices, then you can significantly reduce your chances of being hacked.