Secure Coding

What Is Secure Coding?

Secure coding is a set of practices that applies security considerations to how the software will be coded and encrypted to best defend against cyber-attack or vulnerabilities. Defects, bugs, and logic flaws are the primary cause of commonly exploited software vulnerabilities. 

Security professionals have discovered that most vulnerabilities stem from a relatively small number of common software programming errors. Secure coding standards introduce safeguards that reduce or eliminate the risk of leaving security vulnerabilities in code. 

After defining a project and its requirements for both users and systems, considerations on best practices and plans for secure code are determined and implemented with these requisites in mind.

During the building phase of the software development lifecycle, certain coding techniques combined with early-stage security measures such as static application security testing (SAST) help security programs penetrate the technology layer. 

Why do you need secure coding? Secure code helps prevent many cyberattacks by eliminating the vulnerabilities that many exploits depend on. If the software is vulnerable, it can be exploited. The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack exploited a vulnerability in the Windows protocol.

What Are The Risks Of Insecure Coding?

Insecure coding practices endanger customers and damage the company's reputation. For this reason, it is important to have secure code. 

  1. Improper logging and monitoring: Improper logging and monitoring procedures are dangerous. This makes the data vulnerable to tampering, extraction, and even destruction. 
  2. Injection error: An injection error occurs when untrusted data is sent as part of a command or query. Attacks can trick the target system into executing unintended commands. 
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure: Sensitive data must be properly protected, such as addresses, passwords, and account numbers. 
  4. Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities: Components are made up of libraries, frameworks, and other software modules. Often, the components run on the same privileges as your application. If a feature is vulnerable, it can be exploited by an untrustworthy agent. 
  5. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Untrusted agents can exploit cross-site scripting flaws to execute their scripts on the target system. 
  6. Authentication Failure: Authentication and Session Management application functionality must be implemented correctly. Failure to do so creates software vulnerabilities that untrusted agents could exploit to access personal information. 
  7. Broken access control: User restrictions must be applied appropriately. 
  8. XML External Entity (XXE): XML is a common data format used in web services, documents, and image files. To understand XML data, you need an XML parser. However, it is dangerous if it is poorly configured and the XML input contains a reference to an external entity. 
  9. Misconfiguration of security: Misconfiguration of security can be caused by the following: Insecure default configuration, incomplete configuration, misconfigured HTTP headers, or detailed information containing sensitive information. Error message. 
  10. Insecure deserialization: If deserialization fails, code is often executed remotely.

Best Practices for Coding Security

Data input validation: This covers numerous data source and data validation aspects. For example, the length.

Authentication and password management: Software architecture is also involved in coding.

Cryptographic Practices: The handbook recommends that any cryptographic modules employed comply with FIPS 140-2 or an equivalent standard.

Error Handling and Logging: This is a critical area that, if not written safely, can lead to data leakage.

Data Protection: The data protection rules advise how to store passwords securely and avoid data breaches through HTTP GET.

Communication Security: Advice on safeguarding data in transit, such as through the use of TLS connections.

Implement a secure coding standard: Create and implement a certain coding standard for your development language and platform.