Locking the Digital Doors: Understanding Web and Mobile App Security

In our digital world, apps on our phones and websites we visit are like doors to a house. But just like we lock our doors to keep bad guys out, we need to protect these apps from cyber bad guys. One way we do this is through something called a Web Application Firewall, which acts like a security guard for our apps. It stops the bad guys from sneaking in and causing trouble.

Another important thing to know is that these apps talk to each other using something called APIs. APIs help them share information. But if not handled carefully, they can accidentally spill sensitive information. OWASP help us understand the risks associated with these APIs, so we can make sure our apps are safe and sound. Together, let’s learn more about keeping our apps safe and our digital world secure!

  1. Web and Mobile application Security

Securing web and mobile applications is crucial to protect sensitive data and ensure user safety. Here are the top 10 things to do:

  • Authentication and Authorization: Implement strong user authentication and authorization mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access certain features or data.
  • Data Encryption: Use encryption techniques (SSL/TLS) to protect data transmission between the client and server. Also, encrypt sensitive data at rest.
  • Input Validation: Validate and sanitize all user inputs to prevent common vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
  • Session Management: Implement secure session management practices to prevent session hijacking and fixation attacks.
  • API Security: Secure your APIs with authentication tokens, rate limiting, and proper access controls. Use API keys or OAuth for authorization.
  • Code Review and Testing: Regularly review and test your code for vulnerabilities. Use static analysis and dynamic testing tools to identify and fix security issues.
  • Patch Management: Keep all software components, libraries, and frameworks up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Error Handling: Implement proper error handling to avoid revealing sensitive information in error messages.
  • Security Headers: Use security headers like Content Security Policy (CSP), HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) to control browser behavior.
  • Security Training and Awareness: Train your development and QA teams in secure coding practices and keep them updated on the latest security threats and best practices.
  • Regular security audits and penetration testing should also be part of your security strategy to proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in your web and mobile applications.

2. Top 10 OWASP API Security Risk

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) provides a list of the top 10 most critical web application security and API Risk official website (

API1:2023 – Broken Object Level Authorization

APIs tend to expose endpoints that handle object identifiers, creating a wide attack surface of Object Level Access Control issues. Object level authorization checks should be considered in every function that accesses a data source using an ID from the user.

API2:2023 – Broken Authentication

Authentication mechanisms are often implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise authentication tokens or to exploit implementation flaws to assume other user’s identities temporarily or permanently. Compromising a system’s ability to identify the client/user, compromises API security overall

API3:2023 – Broken Object Property Level Authorization

This category combines API3:2019 Excessive Data Exposure and API6:2019 – Mass Assignment, focusing on the root cause: the lack of or improper authorization validation at the object property level. This leads to information exposure or manipulation by unauthorized parties.

API4:2023 – Unrestricted Resource Consumption

Satisfying API requests requires resources such as network bandwidth, CPU, memory, and storage. Other resources such as emails/SMS/phone calls or biometrics validation are made available by service providers via API integrations, and paid for per request. Successful attacks can lead to Denial of Service or an increase of operational costs.

API5:2023 – Broken Function Level Authorization

Complex access control policies with different hierarchies, groups, and roles, and an unclear separation between administrative and regular functions, tend to lead to authorization flaws. By exploiting these issues, attackers can gain access to other users’ resources and/or administrative functions

API6:2023 – Unrestricted Access to Sensitive Business Flows

APIs vulnerable to this risk expose a business flow – such as buying a ticket, or posting a comment – without compensating for how the functionality could harm the business if used excessively in an automated manner. This doesn’t necessarily come from implementation bugs.

API7:2023 – Server Side Request Forgery

Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) flaws can occur when an API is fetching a remote resource without validating the user-supplied URI. This enables an attacker to coerce the application to send a crafted request to an unexpected destination, even when protected by a firewall or a VPN.

API8:2023 – Security Misconfiguration

APIs and the systems supporting them typically contain complex configurations, meant to make the APIs more customizable. Software and DevOps engineers can miss these configurations, or don’t follow security best practices when it comes to configuration, opening the door for different types of attacks.

API9:2023 – Improper Inventory Management

APIs tend to expose more endpoints than traditional web applications, making proper and updated documentation highly important. A proper inventory of hosts and deployed API versions also are important to mitigate issues such as deprecated API versions and exposed debug endpoints.

API10:2023 – Unsafe Consumption of APIs

Developers tend to trust data received from third-party APIs more than user input, and so tend to adopt weaker security standards. In order to compromise APIs, attackers go after integrated third-party services instead of trying to compromise the target API directly.

3. Importance of WAF web application firewall

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a crucial component in modern cybersecurity, primarily focused on protecting web applications from a variety of online threats and attacks. Here are several key reasons highlighting the importance of WAF:

  • Protection from Web Application Attacks: WAFs are designed to defend against common web application attacks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and more. These attacks can compromise data integrity, steal sensitive information, or disrupt application functionality.
  • Zero-Day Attack Mitigation: WAFs can detect and mitigate new and emerging threats, even before patches or security updates are available. They do this by analyzing incoming traffic patterns and behavior anomalies.
  • Reduced Attack Surface: By filtering and monitoring incoming web traffic, WAFs help reduce the attack surface of web applications. They can block malicious requests before they reach the application server, minimizing the risk of exploitation.
  • DDoS Attack Mitigation: Some advanced WAFs have Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection capabilities. They can identify and mitigate large-scale traffic floods, helping maintain service availability during attacks.
  • Compliance Requirements: Many regulatory standards and compliance frameworks, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA, mandate the use of security measures like WAFs to protect sensitive data. Implementing a WAF can help organizations meet these requirements.
  • Logging and Auditing: WAFs provide detailed logs of incoming traffic and blocked threats. These logs can be invaluable for security audits, incident response, and forensic analysis.
  • Real-Time Threat Monitoring: WAFs offer real-time monitoring of web traffic, enabling security teams to identify and respond to threats quickly. They can trigger alerts or automated responses to specific attack patterns.
  • Traffic Normalization: WAFs can normalize incoming traffic, filtering out malicious or malformed requests. This helps ensure that only legitimate, well-formed requests reach the application, improving its overall stability.
  • Protection for Legacy Applications: WAFs can protect older or legacy web applications that may not have been built with modern security practices in mind. They act as an additional layer of security for such applications.
  • Cost-Efficient Security: Implementing a WAF can be more cost-effective than addressing vulnerabilities and responding to security incidents after an attack has occurred. It provides proactive, continuous protection.

In summary, a Web Application Firewall is a critical security component for safeguarding web applications from a wide range of threats. It helps organizations maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their web services and sensitive data.

  • Simple antivirus software is designed primarily to detect and remove known malware and viruses based on predefined signatures and patterns. While antivirus programs are important for basic protection, they have limitations that make them insufficient in today’s complex cybersecurity landscape.

 Here’s why EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) is necessary:

1.Limited Detection Capabilities: Antivirus relies on known signatures and patterns to identify threats. It may miss zero-day attacks and sophisticated malware that haven’t been previously identified.

2.Lack of Behavioral Analysis: EDR solutions monitor the behavior of files and processes on an endpoint. They can detect suspicious activities, such as unusual system behavior or data exfiltration, even if there are no known malware signatures involved.

3.Advanced Threats: EDR solutions are better equipped to detect advanced threats like fileless malware and polymorphic malware that can change their code to evade traditional antivirus scans.

4.Incident Response: EDR provides real-time monitoring and alerting, helping organizations respond quickly to security incidents. Antivirus software typically lacks these features.

5.Visibility and Investigation: EDR solutions provide detailed information about endpoint activity, allowing security teams to investigate incidents thoroughly, trace the source of an attack, and understand its scope.

6.Threat Hunting: EDR enables proactive threat hunting. Security analysts can search for signs of compromise and anomalies to detect threats that may have gone unnoticed by traditional antivirus.

7.Compliance and Reporting: EDR solutions often provide extensive reporting capabilities, which are crucial for compliance with data protection regulations and for demonstrating a proactive approach to security.

8.Adaptive Protection: EDR can adapt its response to evolving threats, applying behavioral analysis and machine learning to identify new attack patterns.

In summary, while antivirus software is a fundamental layer of protection, EDR complements it by offering advanced threat detection, real-time monitoring, incident response capabilities, and the ability to investigate and mitigate complex security incidents. In today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape, EDR is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

This blog emphasizes the critical importance of securing web and mobile applications in our digital era. It highlights the escalating threat landscape targeting crucial elements of our digital infrastructure. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are crucial for application functionality but can pose significant security risks if not adequately protected. The OWASP API Security Top 10 is a vital resource that sheds light on prevalent vulnerabilities in the API landscape. The blog delves into these risks, providing a comprehensive analysis of their implications and suggesting potential solutions. Additionally, the blog underlines the fundamental role of a Web Application Firewall (WAF) in enhancing digital security by monitoring and filtering traffic, acting as a defense against cyber threats. It invites readers to join this journey to enhance their understanding of web and mobile application security, fostering a safer digital future.


Technology Transformation in an Enterprise: Key Strategies for Success in 2023 and Beyond

Welcome to our special interview series, where we talk to people who have been there and done that. In this edition, we have Ajinkya Mulay, who is the Head of Blue Ocean at AIQoD. Let’s dive into his story, the obstacles he faced, his successes, and the important lessons he has learned throughout his journey of Technology based transformation.

With technologies like Generative AI taking the world by storm, businesses are under more pressure than ever to keep their tech up to date and use the newest tools and solutions as technology continues to advance at an unparalleled rate. Enterprise technology improvements are crucial for businesses looking to maintain their competitiveness, increase productivity, and simplify operations. These improvements, however, could potentially come with significant challenges, like budgetary constraints. We’ll talk about the numerous difficulties that companies encounter when updating their enterprise technology in this interview, as well as explore methods and best practices for handling these updates efficiently. Whether you work in IT or are a business executive, this debate will give you insightful information about the world of enterprise technology updates and give you the skills and expertise you need to compete in the fast-paced digital environment of today.

  • Why is technology upgrade important?

As we all know, technology plays an important role in everyone’s life, and to solve new-age business problems, we can’t look at the same old technologies. Technology upgrades help in many aspects, like UI/UX, speed, and security, with fewer implementation cycles. Here are some examples of the cons of remaining with older technologies:

Scalability issues may arise for older systems built with monolithic architecture, but if your tech stack is updated and you switch from monolithic to microservice-based architecture, it will benefit you in a big way. 

Building Responsive Applications on all devices and OS would have been exceedingly challenging as front-end design was only reliant on HTML and CSS. With less coding and quicker delivery, frontend technology advancements like HTML5, SCSS, Bootstrap, Material UI, and Service Workers (PWA) will meet these challenges very quickly. In short there are many benefits of being always on the latest technologies.

  • AIQoD used to work on which tech stack earlier?

In 2016, we were using the PHP Laravel framework and MySQL as our backend database.

  • I understand that you were pivotal in changing the tech stack from PHP to Mean stack, how did you do it? 

We were utilizing PHP and MySQL to build a product, as I indicated earlier, but after some time, it started to become a barrier when we tried adding new features and managing unstructured data. As a team, we made the deliberate decision to move the product to the new stack, but it was not an easy choice because we were not putting much work into the migration, which slows down the creation of new products. But after that, my technical team and top management held a brainstorming session where we identified the pros. and cons of this decision, We have already decided to use a MEAN stack after having shortlisted new stacks to migrate to, conducting research, speaking with users of the stack, and considering the product plan. We developed a migration plan after the team had unanimously approved and finalized the MEAN stack. Since we are switching from SQL to NoSQL, creating a MongoDB schema was the first thing we did. Then, because our PHP stack had previously been monolithic in nature, we opted to employ a microservice design for our backend. To determine how many microservices we should have when we begin migrating, we performed a logical breakdown of our monolithic architecture. And this is where my contribution comes in: I wrote the first MEAN stack program and structure for the platform on which we started migrating and completed the entire migration in a few months.

  • What are the technologies AIQoD is working on/leveraging presently and how it is performing?

As mentioned earlier, currently we are using the MEAN stack as our base, which includes Angular 14, NodeJS, Node MongoDB 6.0, and Express JS. We also use Python to solve problems related to AI/ML. The platform also uses Redis for caching. We are pioneers in deploying our solution on the cloud (AWS, Azure, etc.) using Docker images on the Kubernetes cluster.

Technology Transformation in an Enterprise
  • How did you see the technology change in the company throughout the years? 

The business never loses sight of technology. We review our stack every quarter and assess any improvements that have been made as well as the addition of new features in accordance with the product strategy. For instance, our front end is currently using Angular 14, although we were using Angular 2 five years ago when we transitioned to Angular we added other layers over the years, such as document digitization based on AI. In the product, we introduced a caching layer utilizing Redis and an NLP layer for categorization and Atlas for databases as a service and added an analytical engine to the solution. We recently integrated with chatGPT to generate automated code and new innovations in technologies will keep coming in where we need to think ahead and keep moving forward and adopting these technologies. We have been constantly on the lookout of technology changes and we were very conscious and planned the upgrades that we need to do on the platform this goes through a rather quick approval process to ensure bureaucracy will not cripple our platform growth.


  • What are the problems you face while changing the technology or upgrading the technology department? 

Any upgrades are first uncomfortable, but understanding what advantages we will experience in the long run always helps. Knowing the new technology is the first issue we encounter when it is implemented, thus learning the technical details of the new technology might be difficult if there isn’t a team member with experience who has already worked with it. A major issue that will arise in the first few months after a technology upgrade is, in my opinion, the team’s acceptance of the change. To get around this, I first built a straightforward prototype with a folder structure. All the vital tools needed for this stack, which facilitates streamlined development and deployment, have been identified. VS Code Studio as a code editor, Postman as a rest client, Swagger for API description, MongoDB Compass for GUI querying, and Jenkins for creating CI/CD pipelines are a few well-known names. Other developers have held thorough sessions with the team on each subject and component of the new stack after gathering information alongside me, which aids in quicker adoption.


  • As you lead the whole tech team in the company, how do you leverage people skills for completing the task? 

Every member of the team brings a unique set of abilities and talents to the table, whether it be expertise in client communication, troubleshooting complex issues, problem-solving techniques, or specialized tech skills like front-end, back-end, etc. Taking all of this into account, we examined the talent required and gave the assignments accordingly. Additionally, we offered training that will aid with task completion. We have developed a customized syllabus for each technology and divided it into basic, intermediate, and advanced levels as part of our organization-wide knowledge management program. Each level is connected to the assignment, and after review, the team is given access to the different course levels. This program’s knowledge foundation places equal emphasis on soft skills and technology.


  • What is the issue you faced while managing the team and how do you manage them? 

Since each member of your team is unique, a variety of difficulties arise on a daily basis. The difficulty is that a new fresher who has recently graduated from college joins the team and needs to be brought up to speed in order for him/her to get valuable expertise and assist the business in solving this issue. We also give them access to specialized training materials and assignment links. We must always communicate with them at regular intervals in order to understand their perspectives and take appropriate action. We also have weekly 1-on-1 meetings to provide correct counseling regarding their daily routines, etc. People may find it difficult to focus on learning new, advanced skills at work, gradually affecting their performance. We attempt to hold workshops on cutting-edge technical subjects each week to address this issue and keep people informed.


  • What is the message you want to convey to the younger generation/upcoming talent?

I always tell youngsters that we must continuously improve ourselves and to achieve the same, we should read at least one blog per day about new technological advancements. We should approach every challenge with a positive outlook and vigor.  Any technological challenge must first be broken down into a plan of action that will ultimately address the problem more quickly and most importantly be the first one to take the step and be the leader in technology upgrades. 




In today’s fast-paced world, upgrading technology is crucial for businesses. It brings scalability, improved user experience, efficiency, security, and a competitive edge. By embracing technology upgrades, businesses can adapt to market demands, drive innovation, and achieve long-term success. Regular evaluation, improvement, and adoption of the latest tools are necessary for staying competitive and maximizing growth potential.

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