4 Best Secure Coding Practices You Need to Consider
Security risks within software code are a problem that will always be present, which means developers take secure coding seriously. Without code that’s secured, you’re giving potential hackers an easier time when it comes to infiltrating your system and stealing and misusing your data.
This post covers the best practices for secure coding and why it’s so important in today’s world.
The Importance of Secure Coding
When it comes to all kinds of software, secure coding is imperative. This is true regardless of whether you’re creating code that runs on embedded devices, mobile devices, servers, or computers.
There’s a range of methods to keep in mind when coding securely and there’s also a range of potential risks of using software that isn’t properly secured. Applications that aren’t fully secured can allow cybercriminals to gain control of a device or use it as a stepping stone to gain access to another device.
This can lead to the following issues:
- Users of a company being denied service
- Sensitive information being misused
- Permanent damage to your system
Security Risks To Code
Code injection vulnerabilities are a common type of risk that developers often come across. This leads to a bug that is caused by invalid data that has been processed. It’s an injection attack that developers and security teams must prevent.
With embedded systems being more exposed to the rest of the world, there are more chances for attackers to carry out attacks. Buffer overflows are one of the common types of code attacks.
When cybercriminals carry out buffer overflow attacks, they’re able to place data and code into your system. This can provide them with further access to the rest of the system.
Top Practices for Secure Coding
Now that you know a little more about why you need to carry out secure coding, let’s take a look at some of the best practices involved.
One of the main things to consider is that apps and devices are always coming under attack. Therefore, even if you’re confident that the current state of your coding is secure, there’s likely going to be a hacker who’s developing ways to infiltrate your system.
Therefore, you must be always keeping up to date with securing your code. In addition to this, attacks nowadays don’t need to be huge to make a big impact. Even just one flaw in your code being exploited can lead to organizations experiencing a lot of problems; some of which are irreversible.
Identifying a Hacker’s Purpose
There are many hackers available that work for companies to purposefully find and exploit flaws in their system in return for being paid for their services. Organizations do this in order to find out where other malicious hackers may find ways into their systems.
Therefore, not all hackers are bad. Some hackers exploit systems and then notify the company of their security flaws. Having said that, there are also hackers who gain access to systems and publish their findings or sell them on.
So, it’s important for developers and security teams to think about why a hacker would gain access to their system when devising procedures to strengthen their code. Once you have a better understanding of the kinds of attacks that your code is coming under, you can have an easier time preventing it and stopping similar attacks from happening again.
This means that you may need to revamp your application if it’s insecure. Being thorough with secure coding is crucial to making sure that it works effectively to keep cybercriminals out of your data.
Automatic Scanning Tools
It’s a good idea to implement code review and automated scanning systems. These systems can work around the clock to constantly keep track of any security risks. You can then be notified if there are any security flaws or attempted attacks.
This makes it much easier for developers and security teams to pinpoint weak areas without wasting time going through the system manually.
Developers who are looking for a quick way to put their code into applications must make security just as important as development. By keeping security in the forefront of your mind whilst developing, you’re able to keep each stage of the developmental process as secure as possible.
Making Code Harder to Read
There’s more pressure now than ever on developers to create code, however, this has also led to many organizations realizing that the application is vulnerable to attacks.
This process involves getting rid of any space in between your code. As a result, it’s more difficult to read. Another method involves altering the readable code into a state that’s much harder to understand. This can confuse hackers and make their job of infiltrating your applications a lot more difficult.
Weak passwords are one of the weakest links that developers face when keeping their code secured. Therefore, multiple authentication processes for passwords are now being implemented more commonly.
All of the passwords required to access your code must be of a long enough length and include more complex characters to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to gain entry. It’s also good practice to deny entry into a system if the password has been entered incorrectly too many times.
Furthermore, the only types of passwords that should be stored should include cryptographic hashes. Passwords in their plain form should never be stored as cybercriminals to gain access to this part of your system and use the password information for their own gain.
Securing your code is incredibly important to protect your code. Despite the fact that developers are now having to create and integrate code into applications at a faster rate, it shouldn’t mean that security takes a back seat.
Hopefully, this post has provided you with some insight into how important secure coding is and why it shouldn’t be an afterthought.
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