The quest for complete web application and software security has gotten software companies and developers spending massive amounts on various tools that can help them safeguard their property against cyber-attacks. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help improve software security.
Always opt for reliable frameworks and libraries that are known to work
Through years of trial and error, developers have created numerous libraries and frameworks that other developers can benefit from. The primary goal of using these frameworks and libraries is to ensure that all necessary security features are included in your software, without worrying about any weaknesses that may sneak in. While mostly used to save time and effort, the use of established libraries and frameworks is a boon for software safety. The libraries and frameworks also form an excellent base for developers to build their own custom libraries. However, it should be known that the more customization is done, the greater the chances of a security flaw. No matter what language is used, it is possible to introduce a weakness into the framework if the developer does not have access to a good resource library.
Make security a part of every stage in the software development cycle
Every software developer can vouch for the fact that the best way to make a software secure is by integrating security as a crucial component in every stage of the software development cycle. Many companies make the wise choice of establishing a SSG (software security group) to ensure that this is the case. Every stage of the software development cycle (requirements specifications, designing, implementation and integration, testing, deployment, and maintenance) should play an important role in software security.
Do not continue using the same method to detect flaws; mix it up
Certain detection methods are a lot better at finding certain kinds of flaws, but are hopeless against others. A particular method you use may be excellent against XSS, but may leave your software vulnerable to CSRF. The best thing to do is to use a variety of methods to make sure you have all your bases covered. The most common testing methods include: static code analysis (automatic and manual), dynamic code analysis (automatic and manual), application firewalls and control frameworks testing (external monitoring), threat modelling, framework and architecture review, and ensuring that all coding standards, specifications and guidelines and met. Applying a fair mix of testing methods should weed out almost all the issues listed on the SANS 25.
Let locked-down clients interact with your application
When used in conjunction with various other tools, these simple tips will help ensure that your software and applications are well protected from internal and external threats.
Tom Rhoddings, a software engineer by profession helps provide tips related to software development and security.