The digital market is a mixture of genuine as well as fake software, apps. Be it websites, or software, it’s essential to keep them secured from hackers. Nowadays software and applications are in demand and developers are under constant pressure to release secured software/applications for their users.
The global software development market size was valued at USD 24.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 22.3% from 2022 to 2030.
With such a huge market, hackers love to find vulnerabilities in source codes to steal confidential information. As a web developer/publisher, you need to be aware of the best security practices to be implemented for securing the source code of your software/application.
At times, mishaps occur due to weak securities and it becomes late to mend them. Ranging from large enterprises to individuals, many have made mistakes in securing software codes and have paid heavily for them.
Let’s discuss some of the best practices which need to be implemented by software developers for ensuring code security.
Best Secure Coding Practices for Software Developers
Tips on Code Security:
- Instead of Using Encryption, Hash the Passwords:
Though encrypting the passwords is a strong security solution implemented by developers, there may be chances that a hacker gains access to the decryption key and tampers the code.
Hashing is another security solution that converts the data into a coded form by using hashing algorithms. For dual security of the source code and their passwords, developers should use hashing, since it’s a one-way function and impossible to decrypt a hash.
Hashing also helps in ensuring data integrity.
- Plan For Security Patching:
Security patches fix the security vulnerabilities and help secure your software code from bugs, malware, or any endpoint breaches. If these security loopholes are unattended; attackers can instantly penetrate your networks and malice them.
Being a developer, it’s vital to update your software regularly to fix these vulnerabilities and lapses, before an attacker attacks and destroys it.
- User Authentication:
The importance of authentication can’t be ignored, since it enables organizations to secure their networks by permitting limited user access. This restriction not only helps in securing codes and applications but also networks, devices, and digital data.
At times, developers may miss out on vital security features, thus causing security lapses. One such factor is to authenticate each page of the code.
Example: When a URL having sensitive data is copied from one browser and viewed/opened in another browser, it should ask for user login details. If it doesn’t, then anyone (intruder) can open and misuse it.
Ensure that the code is authenticated by asking for user login details before displaying the page requested by the user. Other authentications include retina scans, cards, fingerprints, voice recognition, etc.
- Code Minification and Obfuscation:
Obfuscation is the process of converting your code into an unclear and unreadable language. This adds an extra layer of security to the source code. Minification is the process of deleting unnecessary data, white space, and other line breaks present in source code, thus creating small file sizes.
This not only helps in the quick loading of files but also makes it difficult to read. Implement both these techniques to harden your code accessibility and readability for deterring potential intruders.
- Use a Code Signing Certificate:
Though your software is top-notch, nicely developed, published, and in demand, it’s vital to secure it with a code signing certificate. Buy code signing certificate from a reputed Certificate Authority (CA). This digital security certificate will permit you to digitally sign your code and secure it from tampering done by intruders. It also confirms, validates, and displays the publisher of the code. The certificate ensures that the code is not modified since it is signed.
- Enhances Reputation and Trustworthiness
- Eliminates Warning Signals
- Displays Software Integrity and Authenticity
- Enhances User Trust
- Add Appropriate Security Requirements & Test Cases:
Being a developer, make a list of all the functions, validations and other requirements to be added to the software. Check out what can be misused by attackers amongst these requirements and secure those vulnerabilities.
Rather than using a tailor-made approach for securing each application, developers should use security solutions as per the company’s requirements, thus ensuring best practices.
It is advisable to use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption security for securing the data-in-transit as well as data stored in sites and devices.
- Control User Access:
This is one of the most important factors for securing your code. User access should be limited and restricted to prevent open gateways for hackers.
Software developers should make provisions for the same during the development phase since it will be difficult to incorporate the same in the later phase.
Ensure that access is given only to the required personnel. Restricting user access to sensitive stuff can help in restricting the risks of data exposure.
In short, fewer access rights can help prevent insider threats and hacker attacks.
- Security Management Framework:
When appropriate security procedures and policies are defined, established, and maintained by the company, it’s a sign of a strong security framework. These frameworks are created keeping in mind the business objectives and requirements and they act as a shield for the critical infrastructure of your company.
Use the latest security framework which aligns with your business and which keeps your digital code secured from cyber threats.
Wrapping Up: Best Secure Coding Practices for Software Developers
Recently, developers have started implementing the zero-trust approach wherein all the digital assets (computers, networks, software, systems) of the company are assumed to be at continual risk of a data breach. So, these digital assets must be regularly secured by constant monitoring of threats and identity verifications. The main motto of zero trust is to create more resilient codes/software by diminishing all the risks.
Creating a code is an easy task for developers, but creating a secured code requires awareness of security solutions and prompt efforts for implementing them. Use the above-stated security strategies for code security and give your users a secure digital environment.