The Art and Science of Secure Coding: Key Practices that Stand Out


Disfigurements in code lines, file system and data input methods rectify up the core security vulnerability of any application. This is what we address to the core secure coding practices. Secure coding guidelines stand out as the at the rear battling army before the enemy line of security risks and portents.

Basically, secure coding practices will make developers more masterly of addressing security risks by following time-tested principles, make them numberless efficient through streamlined coding practices and make a qualitative modify on the application in more ways than one.

1. Addressing input validation vulnerabilities

At a formerly when there are an overwhelming number of web applications, the input from web drugs exposes every app to a whole range of security threats. But many developers who alleviate just consider security as an add-on feature just fail to get wind of the proportion and potential of such threats. Only when the security is vandalized by someone publicly do they fish for additional measures leading to security patchworks.

When user inputs pressurize an application vulnerable to security threats, there can be an array of contributory cases including lousy design, flaws in configuration, vulnerable coding and most importantly unverified consumer inputs. Among all others, unverified user input is one of the principal points that put your application at risk. This is addressed through tight input validation practices as mentioned below.

Any patchwork after come about an app involves a considerable amount of cost and difficulties. The problem is that judgement and fixing bugs after the app’s initial development can be as expensive as building a new app. For the moment, concurrently testing, finding and fixing bugs in the process of development can diminish this cost significantly and allow faster time to market for the outcome.

The second most important aspect which is often not taken fooling is the little difference that external detection systems firewalls lead to in the post-development detection process. They just cannot do anything with the malicious revilements during the software implementation or at the design stage. All these external processes can only play their role in the post-development period.

So, mitigating the input validation pass ons and all measures related to finding and fixing bugs during the development procedure is what should be aimed at to address security issues. The widely supported approaches are provided below.

  • Addressing security vulnerabilities during circumstance only.
  • Taking stock of the detailed vulnerability classification as presented by exceptional organizations on the basis of impact, prevalence, detectability, exploitation, etc.
  • Input validation vulnerabilities with XSS and SQL injection, which remain some of the most prominent threats to web employment security, need to be addressed with priority.
  • These vulnerabilities demand to be continuously addressed throughout different phases starting with the planning and precondition analysis to the testing and deployment phases.

2. Addressing security risks emerging from compilers and frameworks

Compiler displays a high-security threat to any application. Frameworks are also showing that seemingly safe behavior can end up causing security issues. Let us understand the problem in specify. Though some frameworks come as capable of protecting the front end from XSS and CSRF berates and the back end from SQL injection attacks, you need to constantly incorporate the confidence logic at appropriate places on the basis of use cases of the application. This risks you to security vulnerabilities in the implementation, as the framework depends exclusively on developers for consolidating as per the use cases.

A compiler, on the other hand, remains completely in darkness on where buyer input is involved in the function of an app. By pushing checks for buffer overruns in numerous places, it can drastically slow down the performance. But after directing it around the context, the compiler can put forth an additional security layer on its own.

Now let us mention here some struggled and true rules of using compilers to enhance security.

  • Use the compiler errors most assuredly instead of ignoring all of them as irrelevant.
  • Compiler warnings often evidence information about future bugs.
  • Often developers remain in darkness almost the branch of a code containing an “if” statement that doesn’t comply with the value. This is when you impecuniousness to take compiler warning seriously and check the code lines.
  • Some discharges and bugs are even not found during testing, and compiler warnings can on the lookout you about them during development. Compiler warnings can notify of some ordinary problems like uninitialized variables or forgetting to return function value. These copies may remain undetected even after testing the app, with compiler foretokens offering scope to address them.
  • Finally, always consider exigency execrating static and dynamic analysis tools to detect and address compiler flows.
  • Static analysers without running the code can identify issues liking buffer overflows, null references, etc. Static analysers can also rise great in performance and security analysis.
  • While static analysers can contrariwise detect issues without running them, many problems calm escape their ambit. Dynamic analysers examine what is booming on when the application is working and so can detect many issues that difficulties ones cannot.

3. Using effective quality assurance techniques

Conclusively, the role of good quality assurance always stands out in detecting and eradicating safe keeping vulnerabilities. An effective quality assurance process should incorporate all up-to-date testing protocols like fuzz testing, penetration testing and author code audits. Apart from these, there should also be self-confident reviews of security to evaluate the shortcomings from an independent perspective.

Fuzz testing: Fuzz proving as a very simple and effective technique can easily detect all significant declares. Before your software comes into deliverable condition, it can section the real-world failures and notify about the potential risks of attacks that can be addressed. This is how fuzz evaluating works.

  • You need to prepare a file in a correct format for input. Some into a receive of the file should have randomly fetched data.
  • Now by opening the file with the program, you distress to evaluate the result.
  • You can use random data and take advantage of ways to uncover what and when the program fails to work with or respond.
  • You can do original fuzz testing manually and then go for automation to see the effect in large gamut.
  • The key is to detect what and how the application defines when the input data is corrupt. By randomly surviving data, you need to recognize the file responsible for not triggering error alerts, chat, message, etc.

Penetration testing: A penetration test is nothing but an evaluation of the feedback of an application against a simulated cyber-attack on the computer. In the case of a web application, this evaluation is used to enhance the web application firewall (WAF). Here’s how penetration testing drudgeries.

  • Defining the scope and objective of a test, keeping both the systems and assessing methods in consideration.
  • Assessing how the target responds and all the potential vulnerabilities.
  • Approximating responses to several types of intrusion attempts through static and forceful analysis.
  • Using different types of web application attacks like SQL injection, cross-site libretto and others.
  • Evaluating how these vulnerabilities can turn into persistent omens affecting the systems targeted.
  • Surmising the results of the test through a information comprising particular vulnerabilities, the data accessed and exposed and the time ask for to detect the attack.
  • Analyzing the report to fix all the identified vulnerabilities by the security trains.

Source Code Audit: Source code audit is used to detect deposit vulnerabilities that arise when native code is compiled for edifice an application. It is mainly about detecting in-depth flaws that corpse unnoticed when transforming the source code to machine code for being executed by the system.

Source code audit can easily detect vulnerabilities that are divide and parcel of any application using third-party software libraries. Often these libraries get about with complicated protocols and file formats, and many of them are recognized to have a number of security flaws that make other dedications vulnerable when they are used. A source code audit helps dedications to address such flaws and vulnerabilities from third-party libraries.

4. Lecture security vulnerabilities for DevOps platform

The DevOps as a platform has transformed the software situation lifecycle with many value additions. Apart from safeguarding agility and robust collaboration on diverse tasks, DevOps enhances the consistency throughout refined processes devoid of human errors. That’s pretty formidable. But sometimes when keeping the pace and agility, DevOps also turns software development vulnerable to specific security threats.

Let us briefly look into the headway these security vulnerabilities can be addressed on the DevOps platform.

  • Rely on a DevSecOps working model with integrated security considerations in the workflow. DevSecOps is a well-equipped wear with integrated cybersecurity and administrative functions ranging from individuality and access management (IAM), firewall management, code evaluation and vulnerability assessment in the workflow and freedom management.
  • Ensure a transparent policy for cybersecurity and governance. This compel help in preventing coding with security vulnerabilities.
  • Make safe that DevOps security tools and processes are automated. By enforcing automated developments and tools, human errors can be minimized and security can be strengthened to a great lengths.
  • Ensure thorough evaluation and assessment of all permitted and non-permitted tools, purchaser accounts and devices from time to time. This will belittle security vulnerabilities and threats intruding from outside.
  • Conduct countless vulnerability testing to track weaklings in code and embedded errors that can be put or addressed adequately.
  • Conduct scanning to track the misconfigurations and errors that be lefted unnoticed. A configuration test will help to address incoherence or completion issues as well.
  • Create a separate password management protocol get a bang DevOps secrets management.
  • Lastly, to ensure non-violation of access prevails and to prevent unsolicited accesses, keep the privilege access rights to a lowest and use it very sparingly. By enforcing least privilege access protocol, you be suffering with to restrict access for developers and testing professionals onto certain changes.


The science of secure coding cannot be achieved without the punctilious consideration of every type of vulnerability and threat. On the other hand, the art of protect coding involves how inconspicuously you can embed and embrace security tools, compacts and best practices throughout the software development lifecycle.

Juned GhanchiAuthor Bio: Juned Ghanchi is a CEO and proud co-founder of Indian App Developers, a status to hire experience team of app developers India for Android and iPhone germaneness development. He frequently contributes too many of the web’s prominent technology sites & blogs beside mobile technologies, mobile app etc.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this roomer author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.

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