Secure coding is the practice of developing computer software in a way that guards against the accidental introduction of security vulnerabilities. Defects, bugs and logic flaws are consistently the primary cause of commonly exploited software vulnerabilities. Through the analysis of thousands of reported vulnerabilities, security professionals have discovered that most vulnerabilities stem from a relatively small number of common software programming errors. By identifying the insecure coding practices that lead to these errors and educating developers on secure alternatives, organizations can take proactive steps to help significantly reduce or eliminate vulnerabilities in software before deployment.
It is often believed that not maintaining security will hamper the business processes – this mindset has helped to propagate improper software security culture within several organizations or many companies lack in maintain security for their software developed. But however, this new age coding best practices ensure that both software development and security testing occur concurrently.
There are some key practices for the secure coding listed for your organization:
- It is mentioned monitoring of OWASP’s is the best Secure Coding Practices. The OWASP Developer Guide is also a useful foundation stone for secure coding.
- During and also after the software design and testing process, should have the input and output code sanitization, and threat modeling implementation.
- Know the use of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to secure coding. Using an SDLC-approach, will help you to ensure that security filters through all parts of the development lifecycle.
- Keep on layering defensive strategies as the code gets promoted through to production. Make sure your runtime environments are as secure as your code.
- There should be clear and defined policies, procedures, and guidelines for application security and secure SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).
- Benefit the combination of SAST and DAST while using automation and use both the automated source code review tools and manual code review.
- Use various assurance programs such as code reviews and PEN testing to ensure quality.
Advantages of following the secure code practices:
- The development time cab be reduced by the use of secure coding. As unsecured coding would leave behind loopholes that will be taken which can be advantage to the thefts. It will lead to more time spent on software redevelopment at an enormous loss of work hours and money.
- There are many SME’s where there is lack of a corporate culture and that usually lead to ignorance of secure coding practices. Ensuring that there is a conducive environment for employees to learn newer security best practices as well as implement technical and administrative countermeasures that reduces human error, is pivotal to building a security-awareness culture.
- Secure coding improves the coding standards with regular monitoring. It helps the developer understand the module better, and also assists in the improvement of the overall coding architecture.
- It is very important to patch the server before installing any applications in it. It is a must to ensure that all the default settings should be reviewed, and unnecessary services deleted or disabled.
- Train your team on application security and relevant regulations to improve awareness of possible threats.
Secure coding practice is one of the best ways you can prevent as many bugs and errors as possible. You should constantly maintain and update the secure coding standard. There are various tools available so far that can automate this process for you.