How to Develop Applications with Minimal Security Risks

Photo of Jadon Ortlepp by Jadon Ortlepp

When we develop software we don't expect to be hacked or compromised. We build great new software for the needs of our clients. The people that use our software expect that our systems are safe and data will not be compromised. To ensure that safety we need to take responsibility and develop our applications in such a way that we can meet these expectations. Since the situation is real that our application is hacked or compromised. In the guide below, we discuss 7 pointers that can help you develop applications with a minimal security risk.

How To Develop Applications  With Minimal Security Risks

Minimising security risk is a key part of developing your application. Users of software expect that systems will be safe and their data will not be at risk. To ensure you meet these expectations, you need to avoid your application being hacked or compromised.

You will never be able to guarantee 100% infallibility, but you can reduce security risk through a combination of methods: from securing your code against common vulnerabilities to putting in place various strategies such as regular code review and dependency management. Whilst the code you write can leave your software vulnerable, you also need to take a wider view – for example, risk can be introduced through 3rd party dependencies and your runtime.

The security aspects of your application are the most important non-functional requirement. Every day, more than 20,000 websites get hacked and on average, 75 data records are stolen each second from applications.

Knowing the basic security vulnerabilities, like SQL injection and XSS attacks is a must. As a minimum, you should be familiar with the top 10 security vulnerabilities as reported by OWASP.

But it is not only the code that you write that can be the problem. Your application uses 3rd party dependencies and a runtime. They can also contain vulnerabilities. So, make sure you have a proper review of those dependencies, and a process to upgrade them regularly to address vulnerabilities that get fixed.

Each developer should be aware of the security aspects of the code he or she writes. But you need a dedicated team of people working in this area. People who do the security testing, including pen testing, reviewing code from a security point of view, identify sensitive data, documentation all endpoints and their security requirements.

This user guide takes you through 7 key pointers for developing applications with a minimal security risk. It will help you take responsibility for the security of your software, to best avoid becoming one of the 20,000 websites every day that get hacked on average.

In this guide:

  • Basic Code Exploits
  • Scanning Your Application For Known Vulnerabilities
  • Creating a Dependency Management Strategy
  • Validating Your Configuration
  • Developing a Code Review Strategy
  • Identifying Vulnerable Information
  • Following Clean Code Rules

How To Develop Applications  With Minimal Security Risks

We have developed this guide with Brian Vermeer from Snyk, an open source security platform that helps software-driven businesses develop fast and stay secure.


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