The Necessity of Encryption and Testing in Web Apps

Web applications are specifically designed to process and display files obtained from untrustworthy sources. Doing so securely is a challenge when the files in question are large and complex. To ensure reliable security strategies, the applications for processing these files must be thoroughly tested. Even considering modern comprehensive testing methods, we live in an age of anonymous attacks and regular security breaches. Testing is mandatory to reinforce defenses against as many of the common security threats as possible. Basic testing methods save millions of dollars for companies every day.

One way to build security into an application by making sure the application is not doing more work than it is designed to do. Trying to squeeze ten pounds of functionality into a five-pound application unnecessarily stresses the normal defenses of the software. Over time, the app develops issues that make breaking in easier for individuals interested in stealing sensitive or personal data. Creating simple objects which are responsible for no more than 30 percent of the processes within an application simplifies testing, bug fixing, and security.

Don’t forget to use encryption in addition to the “keep it simple” rule just described. Occasionally something as fundamental to security as encryption is overlooked. If the application is intended to process credit card information or other personal details, failing to include some encryption technology is a recipe for disaster. Neglecting security measures as basic as encryption during the planning stages forces IT professionals to go back to the beginning and rework the application.

In addition to simplicity and encryption, it’s critical to test for vulnerabilities. If no dedicated testing time is included in the development plan, often times, no testing will take place at all. To forget this essential part of the plan could render a business’ development investment as nothing more than a sunk cost. A ratio of two hours developing to one hour testing is usually considered standard, and for complex applications the ratio may be closer to one-to-one.

The cost of investment associated with all three of these security measures will surely inflate the initial cost of developing the software. But catching security issues before the customer finds them – or even worse, an individual with unscrupulous intentions – can save the company much more money than those initial expenses. Avoiding security breaches preserves and enhances a business’ reputation. Customers will come back for more knowing that services and/or products are trustworthy. They will recommend services to their colleagues and peers with confidence. Investing in security leads to happy users, and plenty of them.



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