Improving web application security

Friday, 9 April 2004, 5:23 AM EST

This guide helps you build hack-resilient applications. A hack-resilient application is one that reduces the likelihood of a successful attack and mitigates the extent of damage if an attack occurs. A hack-resilient application resides on a secure host (server) in a secure network and is developed using secure design and development guidelines.

Web application security must be addressed across the tiers and at multiple layers. A weakness in any tier or layer makes your application vulnerable to attack. Figure 1 shows the scope of the guide and the three-layered approach that it uses: securing the network, securing the host, and securing the application. It also shows the process called threat modeling, which provides a structure and rationale for the security process and allows you to evaluate security threats and identify appropriate countermeasures. If you do not know your threats, how can you secure your system?

By J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Michael Dunner, Srinath Vasireddy, Ray Escamilla and Anandha Murukan at Microsoft.

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