Security issues are omnipresent, especially in the development arena. Security risks can attack an application anytime and from anywhere. It could either be the overtly generous permissions or bad error handling code. Even a minute negligence is enough to spoil your entire software application. You might accept every user input without second thoughts. You might forgo the services running on your server, so on and so forth. To give you a kick start towards safeguarding your code and development network, here are 5 tips that you must be mindful about as a software developer.
- Trust User Input at Your Own Risk: This is the golden rule of security. Don’t trust user input at all. If you are one of those developers who think that user data is good, well-formed and worth using, then trouble is already knocking at your door. Most security threats arise from attackers feeding malicious data to the server machine. If you commit the mistake of trusting well-formed data, it is likely to result in cross-site scripting, buffer overruns, SQL injection attacks and a lot more.
- Beware of Crypto Code: Now, let’s take something into consideration that is very close to every developer’s heart. It is a well-known fact that of all the security codes reviewed, 30% contains security mistakes. The most common mistake is the use of local encryption code which is fragile and can be cracked easily. Don’t try your hands on encryption code; you will never get it right. Just because you have created your own cryptographic code, thinking that attackers won’t be able to crack it is a big-time mistake. Attackers are known to stay a step ahead always. They have access to debuggers. Moreover, they have all the time and knowledge in the world with which they can break down your code in a matter of few hours. Instead, you should use pre-built applications such as System.Security.Cryptography that has a plethora of well-tested and well-written cryptographic algorithms that you can use for your development project.
- Cover Up Against Buffer Overruns: A buffer overrun occurs when attacker provides such a bulk of data that is exceeds the application’s expectations and thus overflows into the internal memory. The issue of buffer overrun primarily occurs in C++ or C. They can prove to be real-time menace, but are easy to deal with. As the data influx overflows into the internal memory of an application, corresponding data structures are corrupted and the corruption gives the attacker an access to run malicious code within the memory. Array indexing mistakes also cause buffer overruns and underflows, but they are not very common.
- Reduce Your Attack Profile: By default, if a feature is not of any use to 90 per cent of your clients, installing it in your application is a complete no-no. The driving idea of installation approach is that you don’t pay attention to services that you don’t use, even if they are in running condition. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation and attack. If the feature has been installed already, you should operate it under the least privilege segment. This means if the app doesn’t require administrative rights for running, don’t give them. Follow this advice and reduce your attack profile.
Security is a pivotal element of every development process and safeguarding an application is the priority of every software developer. As a software developer, you need to be mindful about the aforementioned security tips to ensure that you keep attacks, hacking and any other malware practice at bay. This will make your development venture more reliable, highly trustworthy and of course, functional and user-friendly.
Steve Graham is associated with Xicom Technologies as a Sr. Web Developer. Xicom is leading Java Website development Company providing Java application development services, Java Software Development, custom Java development, Java Web Development services & HireJava Developers.