According to The Software Engineering Institute, 90% of software security problems arrive from the exploitation of design or code flaws. Creating code based on unsafe practices, in consequence, may lead to costly incidents. Secure coding standards are a necessary element of software development. Best coding practices enable developers to secure code delivery and as a result, maintain high-quality products. These standards leave nearly no space for any attacks by an outside force. To help you with improving your safe code delivery process we provide you with different perspectives on that issue.   

Secure coding and why it is important

Software security threats have increased at an alarming rate in the last few years. Data breaches have caused losses of data, trust, and financial damages for many different organizations and companies. As more and more transactions are moving online, safety becomes the number one priority. Safe code delivery includes strict principles and guidelines to ensure potential software vulnerabilities are prevented. These practices are beyond just writing quality code. A holistic approach to this issue requires attention to safe and reliable hardware infrastructure, bulletproof software, secure processes, and verified providers. 

A good rule of thumb is to keep the entire process as simple as possible. Overcomplicated procedures may be costly in time and can lead to inconsistency while dealing with many deployments.  

DevSecOps approach

Creating an application is a balancing act between invested time and the quality of the final product. Rapid software development creates opportunities for many vulnerabilities. Therefore the entire process should be foreseen before starting the project. DevSecOps means development, security, and operations. It should be included in company culture to make sure that every team member is familiar with its core. In practice, this approach insists on the planning application and infrastructure security from the very beginning. To keep DevOps workflow more efficient it means also automatization of possible security gates. The main idea is to look at security as an integral part of the entire app life cycle.    

Safe code delivery and backup – your must-have element of the CI/CD pipeline. Meet compliance needs with the first professional GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, and Jira backup on the market.

OWASP checklist

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a nonprofit worldwide foundation that strives to improve application security all across the web. OWASP provides a road map build on years and years of research and experience, which is easily and freely accessible on their website. Thousands of members and wast amount of covered chapters make OWSAP highly credible. It’s a great source of guidance for developers to introduce safety measures to their code. 

Checklist for secure code practices

Last but not least, after considering all of the above aspects, we’d want to share with you the top secure coding practices. The list isn’t extensive, but it serves as a good starting point for creating unbreakable code. 

Ensure input validation and output encoding

All data validation and encoding should be done on a reliable system. These secure coding standards are straightforward in that they require you to identify all data inputs and sources and validate those that have been labeled as untrustworthy. For output encoding and input validation, you should use a standard method. Input validation, often known as data validation, is a thorough examination of user or application input.

Authentication & password management is crucial

All sites and resources, excluding those that are explicitly meant to be public, should need authentication. Many software systems include passwords as a weak spot, which is why multi-factor authentication has grown so popular. Nonetheless, passwords remain the most widely used security credential, and adhering to basic coding principles reduces risk. To survive any conventional or frequent attacks, you should need all passwords to be of sufficient length, an appropriate level of abstraction, and complexity.

Improve session management

Session management is the technique of safely processing several requests from various users to a web application’s service. Make a point of keeping track of authentications and avoiding multiple logins with the same user account. It’s as simple as setting up a server-side Session identifier.

Access control 

Access control is a security method in which users are granted access to resources or systems based on their level of privilege. Only authorized users should have access, and authentication should be implemented at every stage. When it comes to sensitive data, take a “default deny” strategy. Limit rights and safeguard data access to just those who require it. Any user who cannot provide authorization will be denied access. Make sure that requests for sensitive data are double-checked to ensure that the user has permission to see it.

Simply said, provide the smallest number of team members with the least amount of access feasible. 

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Create reliable backup

Keep in mind that your code is most likely your most important asset. You can handle your data protection fast, conveniently, and painlessly with a git backup plan. Save code using credible tools such as Reliable git hosting platforms or Jira backup software should provide you with automation, multi-storage compatibility, long-term retention, advanced encryption, with your own encryption key, central management with the possibility to add additional users and grant privileges. A great advantage is CI/CD API integration which lets you make sure your source code backup is an integral part of the entire development process. 

Cryptographic practices

Cryptographic procedures are typically used to encrypt sensitive data so that only authorized individuals may view and modify it, ensuring secrecy. For example- when random numbers or random texts are meant to be unguessable, they should be created using the cryptography module’s authorized random number generator. Replace your keys regularly and keep them in a secure location.

Memory management

Because many threats are connected to memory, memory management is a critical part of dealing with applications and software. At the end of each function and all exit points, properly release allocated memory. 

If you’re calling the function in a loop, double-check the buffer boundaries to make sure you’re not going over the allocated space.

Error handling & logging

Error handling refers to the techniques used to deal with unexpected output, such as that which occurs when a program or software is given an unusual input. You may use logging to keep track of changes to a piece of software or an application. In error answers, do not provide sensitive information such as system specifics, session IDs, or account information.

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