Secure Coding - What Is It All About
With all of the hype created around us and the technical balloon we all live in, are you interested in coding? Well, it’s not that shocking, isn’t it? The interest in programming is growing day by day … The world unquestionably needs more nerds and geeks like you and me… But, despite being so passionate about coding, you need to ask this question to yourself - are your programs secure? This is the thing that this entire article is about.
As a software engineer, it isn't just your responsibility yet additionally moral obligation to guarantee that your codes don't have an edge which can be later on abused by some Black Hat Hacker. This is where secure coding comes in the picture.
Secure coding is the practice of writing programs in such a manner that prepares for the coincidental exploitation of security vulnerabilities. Logic flaws, defects, and bugs are generally the driving force of easily exploited system vulnerabilities.
As we all now know, by definition, what secure coding is, let’s look at some important aspects.
Why Is Secure Coding Important?
Secure coding is significant for all products — regardless of whether you write code that runs on any environment be it servers, cell phones, embedded devices, or even desktop.
We have seen a colossal increment in the number of vulnerabilities being exploited lately, and a critical number of these vulnerabilities have been followed back to coding blunders. This, combined with the way that product vulnerabilities when found underway cost much more to remediate than if they are discovered before in the development lifecycle or forestalled all together from the earliest starting point, are a few reasons why secure coding came to fruition and has become such a significant practice in software development.
Today, the developers and testers should be well aware of the security dangers and issues with applications. Developers need to guarantee that their code is liberated from vulnerabilities and known shortcomings. Testers need to test applications for use cases just as abuse cases.
In any case, you should be well aware of the threats and embrace the strategies and tools to help with this.
Risks Associated With Insecure Code
An insecure code provides a gateway to hackers. These hackers can control the compromised device along with other associated devices. This can result in:
- Loss of administrative powers.
- Denial of service attack
- Harm to the frameworks of thousands of clients.
How Do You Code Securely?
It may seem really difficult but if you get it right from the start, you will find this pretty normal. Secure coding practices are well-documented which makes the process flow smoothly. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has made a lot of guidelines on secure coding. Inside this guide, they offer an agenda of things that you use to ensure your code is as secure as could be expected under the circumstances. An example of the kinds of things canvassed in the rules are:
Data input validation: This covers various parts of the data source and data approval. For instance, the length and date range of the data. Implementing checks on data approval help to secure web applications from cyber threats.
Authentication and Password management: Coding additionally includes software architecture. In this domain, we have numerous advisories that sit at the cross-section of architecture and coding.
Cryptographic Practices: The guide recommends practices for cryptographic procedures, be FIPS 140-2 or any equivalent standard that complies the regulatory practices and standards.
Error Handling and Logging: This is an essential region and one that if not coded securely can result in the data leak.
Data Protection: The rules for the insured protection of data includes guidance for putting away passwords securely and how to maintain a strategic distance from data leaks by means of HTTP GET.
Communication Security: The guide recommends the best way to ensure information during transit, for instance, using TLS connections.
We have not mentioned all the guidelines stated by the OWASP, however, in order to code securely, each and every rule should be followed.
Best Practices for Secure Coding
Let’s move to the best practices for ensuring secure coding:
1. Accurately define security requirements
You ought to characterize security requirements at the most punctual phases of your project. Any security coding rules ought to be set by the predefined security requirements. Doing this before all else can assist you with guaranteeing your code conforms to the entirety of the requirements.
2. Identify potential risks
When you plan your project, develop a model that identifies and considers all the known dangers in a potential situation. This model ought to demonstrate what the potential risks for your project are, and which strategy should be applied to counter handle them.
3. Comply to secure coding standards
Follow the secure coding standards. These standards will serve you as a strategy during the development stage, and subsequently, in case you're responsible for maintenance as well. You can likewise make a template standard, and change it according to your projects.
4. Data approval
One of the primary reasons for security vulnerabilities is external data, which is used as a contribution to your code. All data types must be approved and hindered to guarantee no dubious data enters your codebase. This incorporates input documents that the client can change. You need to check up on command-line arguments as well.
5. Never ignore compiler warnings
It is a general practice to ignore compiler warnings, but it can prove to be a disaster for your code. Ignoring compiler warnings isn't suggested, since compiler warnings may signal security vulnerabilities. Your secure coding rules should coordinate all teams included not to disregard these warnings at any point and cost.
6. Keep it simple
The multifaceted nature of your structure builds the odds of having security vulnerabilities in your applications. It might likewise make it harder to recognize them and fix them. Keep your structure as basic as you can.
Secure Coding Can Be Achieved
By coming this far with us, you've demonstrated that you're keen on security. That is wonderful! The development network can never have such a large number of engineers who know security and write secure code. Without engineers, we cannot build secure software and applications. But where do we learn all this? Coding, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and strategies to handle them? Tada … cybersecurity boot camp.
To help you start with secure coding, nothing is more helpful than a cybersecurity boot camp. It’s time for you to do a quick research.