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Combining Cybersecurity and HTML: Best Practices for Secure Web Development

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We rely on mobile and web applications more than ever with the increasing number of tools for various purposes. One question in mind is the potential security risks associated with these applications, so web developers need ways to secure web development. 

Most hackers target web applications for various attacks, and the reason is simple. There are so many users of these applications that the amount of sensitive information stored in them is massive. 

The personal data of the users are of significant value to cybercriminals since they can either sell them or ask for a ransom to give access back. In this article, we’ll talk about how we need HTML expertise to improve cybersecurity on these tools and add a few best practices to go along with it. 

Cybersecurity and HTML

Coding skills are a must when it comes to cybersecurity. Nowadays, attack types such as SQL injection are carried out through HTML. Attackers will need HTML expertise to inject the malicious codes for their attacks. That’s why HTML is crucial when securing webpages. 

To be perfectly clear, HTML is not a programming language, but it is the language used to create and display websites. Since most attacks targeting web developers and their web pages are done through HTML, it is without a doubt a must for cybersecurity experts and web developers. 

Combining cybersecurity with HTML will make your web development journey much more secure and prepare you for the attacks like HTML injection. It’s important to remember that these attacks directly target the website and its users’ personal data. Secure web development thus becomes a priority and this language is mandatory to be protected against malicious users. 

Web Development Security Best Practices 

Web development security is a critical process for every web developer and their teams. In addition to focusing on the functionality and the aesthetic of their websites, it is important for them to consider cybersecurity as their first priority. 

People use various web applications every single day, and they always provide personal information to these applications in a way; from usernames to financial information in some cases. So securing your website with the below tips is a great idea not only to keep your brand reputation high but also to save yourself from legal troubles. 

1-) Encrypt user information 

Encryption is a well-known security practice that has proven itself over the years. To put it simply, encrypting a piece of information means that the data is turned into a puzzle instead of being stored in plain text. This puzzle can only be solved through a special key, which is held by authorized personnel. 

By storing user information via encryption, you’ll be effectively protecting them from hackers since even if they get a hold of it, they will not be able to read it through. Encryption can be acquired through an SSL certificate, and it is a must for secure web development. 

2-) Input data validation

Non-validated input is the main reason for injection attacks, which can have serious consequences. As we mentioned above, HTML and SQL injections (see here) are common attack types targeting websites, and a great way to prevent them is by validating input data before processing it. 

This protection process against injection attacks will let you review and validate any input in case there is a malicious script that targets your end users. You should never auto-process user input since it will likely result in malicious content or redirections to bad URLs through injections. 

3-) DNS filtering 

Domain Name System (DNS) filtering is an advanced method to block access to unfriendly and malicious content on the internet. This technology protects the end-users from various websites which are designed to carry out cyberattacks. If the user happens to visit this type of page while connected to a private network, they expose sensitive information to cybercriminals. 

By using content-based filtering to blacklist harmful content on the Internet, DNS filtering eliminates most of the risks such as SQL injection, malware, or phishing attacks, according to NordLayer. These threats usually target websites and their admins, so using this technology is a perfect idea to protect your users. 

4-) Implement access management 

Access management is a broad term that in short defines the ability to control the access levels of your organization to mitigate internal threats. This process makes your resources inherently more sanitized and secure since confidential information is not available to everyone. 

In a web application development process, every user should only have privileges to tools and resources they cannot do without. This means that the least privilege should be the general approach to minimize internal data breach risks and control the attack zone by managing account roles. 

5-) Use Content Security Policy (CSP)

A Content Security Policy (CSP) is a tool that lets web admins choose which content from which sources are permitted to be loaded on their websites, says Mozilla. By controlling the resources a browser can load for their page, the website is protected from malicious content on the Internet. 

The use of CSP drastically reduces the chance of cross-site scripting and injection attacks and ensures that only allowed sources are used by the browser to load resources on the website. 

6-) Use secure session management 

Whenever a person visits a website, it creates a designated session for that person. The website does that to keep track of the user’s actions and respond to their inquiries properly. But here’s the thing; someone else can get a hold of that specific session, pretend to be the user, and conduct activities without the user’s permission. 

That’s why in web applications, it is crucial to use secure session management to protect the users. One way to do this is through “session tokens”. It’s a long, randomly generated string that gets stored on both the website’s server and the client’s device as a cookie. The website checks the session token with the one stored on the server to ensure that only the real user can use it, preventing impersonation even if the session token is intercepted.

Conclusion 

By combining cybersecurity and HTML knowledge, website owners can create a secure online environment for their users and ensure the integrity of their websites. Since HTML is used to manage communications on web-based applications, it is an integral part of cybersecurity in web development.

By adopting the practices we suggested above, developers can easily manage security on their websites, which should be the first priority. However, it is also essential to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest security trends to ensure that your website is as secure as possible.

Last Updated: January 20, 2023

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