Application security is the process of developing, adding, and testing security features within applications to prevent security vulnerabilities against threats such as unauthorized access and modification.
Application security describes security measures at the application level that aim to prevent data or code within the app from being stolen or hijacked. It encompasses the security considerations that happen during application development and design, but it also involves systems and approaches to protect apps after they get deployed.
Application security may include hardware, software, and procedures that identify or minimize security vulnerabilities. A router that prevents anyone from viewing a computer’s IP address from the Internet is a form of hardware application security. But security measures at the application level are also typically built into the software, such as an application firewall that strictly defines what activities are allowed and prohibited. Procedures can entail things like an application security routine that includes protocols such as regular testing.
Application security is important because today’s applications are often available over various networks and connected to the cloud, increasing vulnerabilities to security threats and breaches. There is increasing pressure and incentive to not only ensure security at the network level but also within applications themselves.
One reason for this is because hackers are going after apps with their attacks more today than in the past. Application security testing can reveal weaknesses at the application level, helping to prevent these attacks.
Different types of application security features include authentication, authorization, encryption, logging, and application security testing. Developers can also code applications to reduce security vulnerabilities.