Basic Knowledge

Application Controls

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Trung Nguyen

CEO @CyStack|May 24, 2023


In today’s digital age, data breaches, and cyber-attacks are rapidly increasing more than ever as many companies invest their money in building data storage for sensitive information. As a result, compliance initiatives declare these threats and protect companies’ safety. One way to achieve a secured system is by implementing application controls, which can play a crucial factor in data security strategy. So what is application control, and how it benefits your data security ? Let’s find out today with us!

What is Application Control?

Application control means implementing strong security practices to the application’s database to keep them secure. The most important thing about application control is to prevent unauthorized access to the application by restricting unusual access. For example, when there is a data transmission or traffic between one user to another, the company should check and define the authentication of the data source and decide whether they will input the legitimate data to the system or remove them if it does not have integrity.

Best Security Measures of Application Control for Business

Here are some best practices for implementing robust application control for data security:

Fortify your Data Security System

First, the business needs to set up a web application firewall (WAF) to reinforce the security system. It is an essential tool for protecting web applications from prominent and potential threats. It provides continuous and real-time threat monitoring and meets the requirement of PCI DSS 6.6. In addition, it is certified to handle OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

Regular Monitor Your Coding Practices

Implementing your code to comply with security best practices is essential as it helps mitigate future system vulnerabilities. It involves input validation, sensitive data encryption, and surface attack prevention. Many businesses must apply it to satisfy industry regulations, like PCI DSS.

Restrict Unauthorized Access and Permission

If you don’t have a strict policy to control access to your application, there will be a high chance of data breaches and insider threats. Therefore, ensuring only authorized users can access the data storage and application. Here are some practices to learn and apply to implement substantial access control, including:

  • Role-based access control (RBAC): grant permission to employees based on a specific job position
  • Principle of least privilege (POLP): permits to perform a particular task
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): create the two-layer protection required before accessing a system
  • Privileged access management: to give access to a minor group of secret accounts
  • Regularly Update and Patch Applications

    When using an application from a vendor, the vendor will be conscious of the vulnerability in their product and quickly release new patches to fix critical system issues. As a business, keeping your system up-to-date is essential to application control because it enhances data security by addressing any system weakness that cybercriminals could exploit. It will help if you do it regularly to avoid any emerging threats and automate by utilizing tools to give alerts whenever the current patch is outdated. It is a recommendation to have a patch installation policy by doing step-by-step patch compatibility checks, patch installment, patch testing, patch launching, and patch verification.

    Compliance Reporting

    A compliance report is mandatory for businesses to meet the requirement of some famous compliance such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOX. By making a report, it shows how application controls have been performing efficiently in protecting data security. There are two main types of compliance reports: pre-defined and custom. The pre-defined report shows the overall system and security status, While organizations can design custom reports to meet their business requirements or compliance objectives. It also involves real-time warnings and audit analytics to keep the monitoring of the system ongoing so that businesses will take immediate action if there are any security threats. In the report, it is necessary to put details about security incidents with the solutions to handle these problems. It helps the business to have valuable insights and is always ready to take action.


    In conclusion, establishing robust and effective application controls would greatly benefit your business in data security. After this article, you will have some ideas about the best security measures, such as system fortification, monitoring coding practices, control access, patch update, and compliance reporting. If you have any questions related to data security, feel free to contact CyStack – we are the top security company in Vietnam!

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