Developers, ultimately, are writers who speak a machine language. And just like regular copy editors, they make mistakes from time to time.
When a regular writer gets something wrong, their clients or company slaps them on the wrist and tells them not to do it again. But when a developer makes a mistake, it’s far more serious. Basic errors in code can undermine multi-million-dollar products.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to know when you might be introducing security vulnerabilities to your software so you can avoid inflicting damage on a project or company. Here are some of the most common mistakes.
Failing To Test Adequately
Developers can sometimes fail to test their code thoroughly enough to identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities. Consequently, they leave programs and apps open to exploitation by hackers.
The biggest concern is so-called “zero-day” vulnerabilities, according to learn.g2.com. Malicious actors reveal these within hours of software going live, often causing the launch to fail.
Testing can reveal these shortcomings ahead of time, making them harder to find and exploit.
Poor Third-Party Elements
Developers also leave security vulnerabilities in code by using poorly-vetted third-party elements. These tools are necessary to speed up the process, but can also be a Trojan horse, creating unknown issues inside the program. Hackers can then use these to take control of apps and steal user data.
Lack Of Adequate Encryption
Developers should always build encryption into their websites and programs to protect users. This technology scrambles information, preventing hackers from obtaining it during transit. Ciphers are often too complex to resolve in a human lifetime, even with supercomputers, which is why they are so safe.
However, if developers don’t include these tools, user protection is non-existent. Hackers can obtain sensitive information rapidly, leaving it vulnerable to interception and theft.
Lack of Access Control
Sites like postmogul.com discuss cybersecurity issues relating to authentication and access control in detail. Many apps fail to properly curate users, or ensure they provide the right credentials to access the system. In extreme cases, anyone can access administration tools and create havoc.
Failing To Validate User Inputs
Lastly, some developers may fail to validate user inputs properly, allowing attackers to inject problematic scripts. These could include SQL injection, malicious code, and cross-site scripting.
Systems should be in place to prevent these inputs from registering. Users should be unable to manipulate the system.
Because of these threats, developers must be careful. Reducing security risks requires following established coding practices in critical areas, such as access control, error handling, encryption, and input validation.
Developers must keep their knowledge of the security risks they face up to date. Professionals who don’t know the risks are more likely to put projects and users in danger.
The key here is to prioritize cybersecurity throughout the development process. Professionals should bake it in from the start instead of tacking it on at the end.
Developers should also understand the consequences of getting cybersecurity wrong. Firms that fail to implement proper controls can find themselves paying huge fines and suffering tremendous brand damage.