In today’s world where the paradigm shift from traditional working practices to a completely remote setup has been profound, security is a major concern. As a business owner, if your website is not safe and secure, you are not only putting your consumer’s data at stake but also creating a sense of distrust among your potential clients. 

According to HostingTribunal, a total of 2 Billion websites (yes, you read that right!) are active as of the year 2021. Though only 400 million are active, by the time you’ll finish reading this article, another thousand websites are speculated to be built and deployed live. 

Thus, the numbers are enthralling and lay enough emphasis on the fact that web application security is of paramount importance. There are as many websites out there as any other point of contact between an enterprise and the end-user. Therefore, ensuring web application security should be the first priority for all business enterprises to ensure that their BAU (Business As Usual) activities are up and running at all times.

Web Application Security Development Technologies

Web Application Security Development Technologies not only ensure that your web app is secure but it also tends to make your IT ecosystem work efficiently by adhering to a set of guidelines that fall under the security protocols laid by your country’s government. For instance, the GDPR followed in European nations has a comprehensive rulebook for the dos and don’ts if your business operates in the European regions and procure user data at scale. Thus, having a team of Web Application Security Developers can help you craft the security strategy for your organization appropriately. 

With the right knowledge, tools, and skills, web application security developers can help you establish a secure framework for overall organizational security and safety adherence to the industry standards. Let’s take a look at the top skills that every web application security developer must possess in order to serve the industry best.

1. Vulnerability Management

The process of detecting, classifying, prioritizing, and addressing vulnerabilities in operating systems, software, browsers, and end-user products is known as vulnerability management. 

Vulnerability management is a continuous process that aims to detect vulnerabilities that may be fixed by patching and configuring security settings. This along with other security measures is critical for businesses to prioritize potential risks and reduce their "attack surface." Every additional vulnerability increases the organization's risk. As a result, a defined procedure is frequently utilized to offer companies a means to swiftly and consistently detect and fix risks. And thus arises the ardent requirement of having an in-house Web Application Security Engineer. A Web Application Security Engineer will function as the main point of contact who owns the vulnerability management for the organization and ensures security at all times.

2. Application Encryption

The ideal web application security developer should be equipped with the mechanism to secure the data both in stagnant form as well as in data streams that are highly dynamic. Database encryption, cloud encryption (for cloud-based applications) should be highlighted skills.

Application encryption is a full-service cryptographic feature provided by the Key Management Enterprise Server (KMES) Series 3 that integrates general-purpose data encryption and key management technologies into applications. End-to-end encryption techniques are used in secure messaging apps to prevent other parties, as well as the messaging service provider itself, from seeing the plaintext of communications. The master secret key is then used to symmetrically encrypt each communication, with a unique message key computed based on the master secret key.

3. Statics and Dynamic AppSec Testing (SAST and DAST)

SAST and DAST are network security testing methodologies that are used to identify security flaws in an application that might render it vulnerable to attack. SAST (static application security testing) is a white box testing approach. Static application security testing (SAST) and dynamic software development testing (DAST) technologies both aid in the detection of security issues in code, frequently before they reach a production environment. Thus, a sound knowledge of both static and dynamic application security testing is essential for every Web Application Security Engineer.

4. Threat Analysis and Modelling 

Your AppSec engineer should take a proactive approach to deal with attacks by utilizing threat analysis to identify and harden your application's most susceptible components. Potential risks, such as structural vulnerabilities or the lack of adequate protection, can be discovered, listed, and mitigations prioritized using threat modeling. The objectives of threat modeling are to define security needs, locate security threats and possible vulnerabilities, quantify threat and vulnerability criticality, and prioritize repair approaches.

5. Understanding of Various Threats and Attacks

Cyberattacks can come anytime and in any form. Your engineer should be familiar with the most prevalent risks and attacks as well as the methods hackers use to carry them out. They should also know how to deal with vulnerabilities. From a security standpoint, threats and attacks are two critical occurrences. From the standpoint of network security, it is critical to grasp the differences between the two.

A threat is a potential security breach that exploits a system or asset's weakness. Accidental, environmental (natural catastrophe), human carelessness, or human failure may be the source of the hazard. Interruption, interception, fabrication, and alteration are all different sorts of security risks. 

An attack on a system or asset is a purposeful, illegal activity. Active and passive attacks are the two types of attacks that can be executed. When the chance arises, an assault will have a purpose and a means.

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Hard Skills

  • Detecting vulnerabilities and security flaws, performing testing of various types of codes, inspecting the code manually, designing reviews, and vulnerability scanning of internal web applications and external partner apps.
  • Facilitate the achievement and execution of robust design concepts in compliance with data protection, regulations, and protocols.
  • During the development phase of corporate projects, work as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to provide Information Security advice and suggestions, guaranteeing the formulation of authorized security criteria. 
  • Implementation of secure design concepts in accordance with information security rules, standards, and patterns in the protection of web applications.
  • To enforce security requirements, develop and implement human and automatic internet security monitoring of e-commerce web applications.
  • Work with surveillanced software manufacturers and network operators to assess security solutions, such as product assessments, concrete evidence implementations, and prototype deployments.
  • Using a technical reference architecture to implement, test, and operate sophisticated software security methods.
  • To increase software security, do regular security testing and code review.
  • Detailed technical understanding of authentication and authorization methodologies, standards, and state-of-the-art capabilities, as well as applied cryptography, security flaws, and repair
  • Experience with at least one of the following essential languages: Ruby on Rails, Java, Javascript, and.NET
  • Knowledge of web-related technologies (Web applications, Web Services, and Service-Oriented Architectures), as well as network/web-related protocols, is required.
  • Participate in application security assessments and threat modeling, including code review and dynamic testing, and provide assistance.
  • Own and manage application security vulnerabilities.
  • Encourage others to participate in the bug bounty program.
  • Assist in the preparation of security releases by facilitating and supporting the process.
  • In the field of application security, assist and consult with product and development teams.
  • Contribute to the development of security training.
  • Assist in the creation of automated security testing to ensure the implementation of secure coding best practices.
  • In the technology industry, it's typical to pass up individuals with computer science degrees in favor of developers with real-world expertise. AppSec engineers, on the other hand, will require both.

Certifications in Web Application Security go a long way toward demonstrating that individuals have specific expertise that is relevant to their job. The following are some certificates to be aware of.

  1. Professional in Systems Security Certification (CISSP): The UK National Recognition Information Centre considers this certification issued by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, the same status as a master's degree in the UK.
  2. Manager of Information Security Certification (CISM): An advanced certification showing that the bearer has the knowledge and expertise necessary to create and manage enterprise application security.
  3. Auditor of Information Systems Certification (CISA): This certification, while not as well-known as the CISM, validates an engineer's competence to monitor, audit, and regulate IT and business systems. This is an entry-level qualification, thus it must be accompanied by more advanced credentials.
  4. Investigator in Hacking Forensics Certification (CHFI): Investigates and extracts evidence in order to report a cybercrime (helpful in situations of financial fraud) and prevent further assaults.

Soft Skills/Others

  • Work in close congruence with product managers, architects, SROs, business, and automation teams.
  • Familiarity with common security libraries, security controls, and common security vulnerabilities.
  • Experience and abilities in basic development or scripting are required. Ruby and Ruby on Rails are popular programming languages.
  • OWASP, static/dynamic analysis, and popular security tools knowledge.
  • TCP/IP, UDP, IPSEC, HTTP, HTTPS, and other network and web-related protocols
  • Familiarity with cloud security measures and best practices.
  • Working with developers is a plus.
  • Excellent written and vocal communication abilities, with the ability to communicate difficult subjects in a clear and succinct way.

Hiring Remote Web Application Security Developers

The COVID outbreak forced all of us to sit back and work from our homes. And with this, finding the right talent has become a challenge. Whether you’re looking for freelance, full-time, or contract Web Application Security developers, we at Skuad can help you hire the best talent that aligns with your vision as well as the industry standards.

Industry Expertise

We at Skuad cater to various sectors — Edutech, Fintech, Healthcare, Logistics & Transport, Retail & Ecommerce, Travel, Banking, Media, and more. From selecting to onboarding, invoicing, compliances, and taxation, we act as your local HR to manage the day-to-day operations related to your overseas employees.

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