Discover why the programming language doesn't matter in secure coding.

Why Programming Language Doesn't Matter In Secure Coding

Developers build, enhance, and fix different tools and applications every day. These processes range from standardizing a company's code guidelines to simplifying workflow. Developers build various applications for various purposes. Nowadays, whether it's for financial, industrial, or commercial functions, it’s safe to assume there will be an application for it.

One of the main concerns people have about using these applications is knowing if they’re secure. Hackers continue to find ways to expose the vulnerability of an application and either exploit them for their malicious intent or report them to the developers to fix the problem.

To reduce or prevent threat actors from exploiting an application, developers should practice secure coding. But what is secure coding? Are the methods involved different between programming languages?

What Is Secure Coding?

Secure coding is the practice of protecting your application from vulnerabilities. It follows strict guidelines and techniques to minimize errors and loopholes in your code.

Secure coding is more than implementing and minimizing code errors. It would help if you also had a safe and reliable environment and infrastructure. Without the right tools and background, you'll run into the trouble of introducing errors that threat actors can use to exploit your application.

Due to the rapid deployment of different applications, companies sometimes neglect the need to secure their code, which could then run into risks and introduce vulnerabilities. Once a threat actor discovers this vulnerability, it could lead to problems like denial of service, damage to the system for the users, and security breaches.

This will cause inconvenience for the end-user since they’ll have to call reputable professionals like IT services Seattle to fix the problem.

Why Secure Coding Is 'Language Agnostic'

Every programming language has its vulnerability. The creators of these languages thrive on fixing the problems to create more secure and efficient applications. However, these fixes won't matter if the developers won't include validations during the development phase.

One good example is Python, where you accept any value for the input without validating if it's a string or an integer. It won’t cause errors during compilation because it’s designed to accept both a string and an integer. However, this will lead to bugs in the future.

Another example is when companies don't do proper testing before deploying the application. Since these companies have deadlines to meet, developers try to find a way for their programs to work. Since these companies don't do testing, they can't gauge whether the codes are bug-free. They only notice it when bugs appear after code deployment.

Ways To Secure Code

Although each company has different guidelines and policies, developers need to follow general principles to minimize vulnerability in their code. Here are a few examples:

1. Automated Code Scanning And Code Review

Code scanning and code review are essential during the development phase. There are tools dedicated to checking whether your code is up to the company's standards or guidelines. Paired with an extensive code review process, these tools can help minimize vulnerabilities in your application.

2. Minify Your Code

Another way of securing your code is to minify. Minifying, or minification, is the process of removing any white space and line breaks in your code. You can benefit from this technique since this will reduce the size of your code and can make it harder for humans, including malicious individuals, to read.

3. Use Proper Input Validation

As with the previous example, having proper input validation can help secure your code since this can filter whether a user's input is an integer or a string. If the program is designed to accept integers, then a user must only input an integer.

4. Avoid Packages With Vulnerabilities

One of the significant reasons applications aren’t secure is because they’re using outdated packages. There are times that developers don't update any of the packages they use because it's either time-consuming or a breaking change will occur. A breaking change happens when the package's creator introduces a new function or a change in a process that could 'break' your application.

Developers should also verify if the packages they install are legitimate since some threat actors mimic legitimate packages and can make this an opportunity to steal vital information or data.

It's essential that you keep your packages up-to-date, not only to keep the application healthy but also to reduce vulnerabilities in the future.

5. Logging Events

Logging is essential during development. It can help you pinpoint where the problem is and act on it swiftly before launching your application.

Final Thoughts

Developing an application can be a tedious process. Unfortunately, some developers find themselves spending more time fixing the bugs on their code rather than creating new features. So, always remember to secure your code so that you can minimize vulnerabilities and code problems in the future.