Every company that uses GitHub should be cautious about threats that could come with choosing that tool. There’s no such thing as a perfect hosting platform that will never face problems such as outages, cyber threats, or software errors. The human factor also should be taken into account while dealing with GitHub security. Fortunately, there are some precautions to be taken for your source code safety. In this article, you will get to know the main threats to GitHub safety and how to ensure git security.
What is GitHub
To answer the question “is GitHub safe?” let’s talk briefly about what GitHub is. Git is used for source code management, it’s an open-source DevOps tool, and GitHub is a Git repository hosting platform. It is used widely for control and collaboration purposes. The platform is a place for storing code which is intellectual property, so it is very important to make it a safe space.
You may share your code with others via GitHub, allowing them to make changes or adjustments to your various Git branches. This allows teams to collaborate in real-time on a single project. New branches are formed when changes are made, enabling the team to continue editing the code without accidentally overwriting each other’s work. Changes made on these branches do not appear in the main directory on other users’ devices until users decide to push or pull the changes to incorporate them. A desktop version for GitHub is also available, which provides some additional features for experienced coders.
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GitHub currently has over 73 million developers that use the service for Git version control and hosting for software development. GitHub is a huge code repository that has grown in popularity among developers and corporations that use it to host complete projects and code.
GitHub is only a tool, so how developers use it is at such scale while talking about GitHub security. One of any software development company’s most valuable assets is certainly the code as intellectual property. Data breaches, system outages, policy changes, and other events can all restrict access to your GitHub repositories, putting your intellectual property in danger. Here are some most costly risks that may occur while using GitHub.
It is hard to believe, but there are times when GitHub is down, leaving its users without any access to anything stored there. This could lead to delays in software development and affect major financial losses. On the GitHub Status site, you can see the current status as well as scroll through a long list of incident history. There are many different incidents, associated with Pull Requests, Issues, GitHub Pages, Codespaces, and many more. It could take many long hours before those problems are solved and developers could get back to work.
Cyber threats – hacker attacks
If you don’t take the right security measures with passwords and sensitive information, using GitHub may become dangerous. Many GitHub repositories were held for ransom by criminals that removed all source code from them. The exploitation of weak passwords is a really common problem, but it could be avoided with due diligence. If you’re concerned with securing your repository, you might also set up two-factor authentication. Many attacks have happened because of a lack of sufficient security measures, such as two-factor authentication (2FA).
Malware uploaded to GitHub
Developers need to be cautious while downloading the repositories from GitHub because platforms do not perform antivirus scans on uploaded files. The responsibility lies in the hands of company employees and it could lead to costly problems.
Team members negligence
Git best practices should be known to every software development team member. Sometimes developers leave the repositories open to anyone. Careless employees may unintentionally disclose critical login passwords or other user data in unprotected public repositories. Embedding login credentials in code or storing them in a config file unfortunately is still pretty common.
How to minimize the risk of GitHub data loss?
To make sure your software delivery process is protected from different risks coming from using GitHub here are some steps and good practices to follow.
- Never store credentials in GitHub code or config – you can find several excellent tools on the market, such as git-secrets, that can statically analyze your commits via a pre-commit Git Hook to verify you’re not attempting to push any passwords or sensitive data into your GitHub repo.
- Private Repositories – you should use a private repository for sensitive code. Everyone can see public repositories, and they can easily be copied. To avoid problems later on, always double-check your repo settings at the start of a project.
- Validate your GitHub Applications – It’s necessary to make sure that every application you grant access to your repository is secure. Before giving access, do some research on the developer and make sure they’re trustworthy.
- Manage Control Access – use strong passwords & 2FA, delete old accounts. Also allowing users to share GitHub accounts is never a good idea.
- Backup your Repositories – preserving compliance, maintaining maximum repository uptime, and avoiding data loss all require a great backup and recovery process.
GitHub backup with GitProtect
To ensure an uninterrupted software delivery process make sure to backup your repos and metadata. Connect your GitHub account to easily set up daily GitHub backups of repositories and related metadata, such as problems, pull requests, activities, wiki, and more. Is there a new repository? It will be added to your GitHub backup plan and schedule automatically.
You make GitHub as safe as you want it to be. If you are careless with your repositories and passwords, you may become a target for hackers. As a developer, you should take the security precautions mentioned above, such as using secure passwords and checking code before importing it. Use GitProtect to back up your repository and recover it if something goes wrong. It will help you save both time and money.