Application Security centers on three main functions:
When it comes to programming it is important to ensure proper physical and password protection exists around servers and mainframes for the development and update of key systems. Having physical access security at one's data center or office such as electronic badges and badge readers, security guards, choke points, and security cameras is vitally important to ensuring the security of applications and data. Then one needs to have security around changes to the system. Those usually have to do with proper security access to make the changes and having proper authorization procedures in place for pulling programming changes from development through test and finally into production.
With processing, it is important that procedures and monitoring of a few different aspects such as the input of falsified or erroneous data, incomplete processing, duplicate transactions and untimely processing are in place. Making sure that input is randomly reviewed or that all processing has proper approval is a way to ensure this. It is important to be able to identify incomplete processing and ensure that proper procedures are in place for either completing it or deleting it from the system if it was in error. There should also be procedures to identify and correct duplicate entries. Finally, when it comes to processing that is not being done on a timely basis one should back-track the associated data to see where the delay is coming from and identify whether or not this delay creates any control concerns.
Finally, access, it is important to realize that maintaining network security against unauthorized access is one of the major focuses for companies as threats can come from a few sources. First, one have internal unauthorized access. It is very important to have system access passwords that must be changed regularly and that there is a way to track access and changes so one is able to identify who made what changes. All activity should be logged. The second arena to be concerned with is remote access, people accessing one's system from the outside through the internet. Setting up firewalls and password protection to on-line data changes are key to protecting against unauthorized remote access. One way to identify weaknesses in access controls is to bring in a hacker to try and crack one's system by either gaining entry to the building and using an internal terminal or hacking in from the outside through remote access.