Tiago Rangel de Sousa
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Best practices for securing your web apps

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Best practices for securing your web apps

Tiago Rangel de Sousa's photo
Tiago Rangel de Sousa
·Feb 5, 2023·

3 min read

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Securing your web application is a crucial step in ensuring the safety of your users' data and your business. With the increasing frequency of data breaches and cyber attacks, it's important to make sure your web application is as secure as possible. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when securing your web application:

  1. Use HTTPS

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol for secure communication over the internet. It encrypts data so that it cannot be intercepted or tampered with. By using HTTPS, you can protect the sensitive information transmitted between your web application and your users, such as login credentials and financial information.

To implement HTTPS, you can purchase an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate from a trusted certificate authority and install it on your web server. Here's an example of how to set up HTTPS using Node.js and Express:

const express = require('express');
const https = require('https');
const fs = require('fs');

const app = express();

// ...

const options = {
  key: fs.readFileSync('path/to/private.key'),
  cert: fs.readFileSync('path/to/certificate.crt')

https.createServer(options, app).listen(443);
  1. Validate user input

Validating user input is one of the most important security measures you can take to protect your web application. Malicious users can use loopholes in your validation to inject malicious code, steal sensitive information, or perform other security attacks.

You should validate all user input on both the client-side and the server-side. On the client-side, you can use JavaScript to validate user input before it's sent to the server. On the server-side, you should validate all user input again to ensure it's secure.

Here's an example of how to validate user input using Node.js and Express:

app.post('/login', (req, res) => {
  const username = req.body.username;
  const password = req.body.password;

  // Validate username and password
  if (!username || !password) {
    return res.status(400).send({ error: 'Username and password are required.' });

  if (username.length > 100 || password.length > 100) {
    return res.status(400).send({ error: 'Username and password must be 100 characters or less.' });

  // ...
  1. Use prepared statements

Prepared statements are a way to separate the logic of your web application from the data it uses. They can help protect against SQL injection, which is a type of security attack that exploits vulnerabilities in the way data is processed by a web application.

To use prepared statements, you can use a database library, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, that supports them. Here's an example of how to use prepared statements in a Node.js and MySQL application:

const mysql = require('mysql2');

const connection = mysql.createConnection({
  host: 'localhost',
  user: 'root',
  password: 'password',
  database: 'database_name'


const sql = 'SELECT * FROM users WHERE username = ? AND password = ?';
const values = [username, password];

connection.query(sql, values, (error, results) => {
  if (error) {
    return console.error(error);



By using prepared statements, you can ensure that user-supplied data is safely escaped and separated from the SQL code, reducing the risk of SQL injection attacks.

  1. Keep software up-to-date

Keeping your web application software up-to-date is important for security. As new security vulnerabilities are discovered, software updates will often include patches to fix these issues. By staying up-to-date, you can ensure that your web application is as secure as possible.

  1. Use a web application firewall (WAF)

A web application firewall (WAF) is a security tool that monitors incoming traffic to your web application and blocks malicious requests. A WAF can help protect against common security attacks, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

There are many WAFs available, both commercial and open-source. Some popular open-source WAFs include ModSecurity and NAXSI.

By following these best practices, you can help secure your web application and protect your users' data. Remember to always prioritize security, and never compromise it for convenience or ease of development.