Secure Coding Practices Checklist
Magnifying glass showing word BUG in software code

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When someone builds a new home, you expect that the construction crew will build it to code and make every effort to ensure that the house is safe and secure before its owners move in. You would not expect a new house to have sagging floors, leaking pipes, or holes in the walls. Similarly, when you develop software, you expect the coding to be solid so there are no vulnerabilities in the code that hackers could exploit. Secure coding standards help regulate the practices and techniques that software developers use in creating their software in order to minimize vulnerabilities and maximize security. These standards prioritize safety over speed, encouraging developers to seek out the solutions that produce the most effective security rather than the quickest results.

Developers rely on one or more of the many secure coding standards best practice guides currently in use, including the OWASP Secure Coding Practices and the SEI CERT Coding Standards.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best practices from the OWASP checklist to get an overview of how to secure your code. The ability to secure your code is a valuable asset, whether you are still a student or a young coding professional.

Seven Secure Practices Your Coding Lacks

Security by Design

When you develop code, you need to place security first, not as a value-added benefit. Obviously, every organization has many different priorities during the software engineering and coding process, and optimizing coding for security can reduce development speed. However, in the long run, designing code around security delivers better overall results because it reduces the costs of security breaches and ensures that if patches are needed to fix vulnerabilities, they will be easier to include. Be sure to analyze your source code throughout the process and implement security automation. 

Access control

When dealing with sensitive data, implement a default deny approach. Ensure that only users who need access are able to exercise privileges. Deny access to users who are not able to provide proof of authorization. When requests are made for sensitive information, check to verify that the user has proper credentials and authorization to receive the data. Authorization and credentials verification take some time, but it is one of the most effective “crude” ways of securing your code.

Error handling and logging

When software errors occur, it often means that there are bugs. And bugs are potential sources of vulnerabilities. Error handling and logging are essential for reducing the chances that bugs will turn into vulnerabilities. Error handling tries to find and fix code errors before a failure occurs while logging records errors so developers can correct them. When you document and log the various errors that occur with software, be sure to use a trusted system, and recommended by secure coding standards.

System configuration

When you code, be sure you have cleared your system of unnecessary components and that all installed software is up-to-date with recommended versions and patches. Obsolete or outdated software is a major vulnerability, particularly when unpatched versions leave security breaches exposed. Regularly updating software is one of the most effective ways to maintain a secure coding environment. If you are coding across multiple systems or environments, be sure that each is secure and that they communicate with one another securely.

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Threat modeling

There are four steps to modeling threats: documentation, location, addressing, and validating. When you code securely, you must examine your software to discover areas that are vulnerable to threats of attack. Threat modeling is a process that requires many steps, and these steps must be interlaced with the software lifecycle to ensure that you are constantly prepared for new and emerging threats.


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Cryptographic practices

To help increase the security of your code, encrypting your work with modern cryptographic algorithms is a best practice. For added security, sort the keys in secure key vaults to help protect your code from access if a breach occurs.

Password management

Passwords are a major source of vulnerability. To help prevent hackers from guessing your users’ passwords, enforce password length and complexity standards, and disable additional login attempts after a set number of failed guesses.

Beat Coding Procrastination Asking for Help

Everyone knows that coding is a complex but rewarding field, and that’s one reason that so many are seeking degrees in Do my computer science homework or information systems. For now, coding is a field that can be combined with any prospective industry. If you are a biologist who can code, you already win compared to your colleagues who are specialized only in their narrow field. The same goes for almost any sphere that is interesting to the most significant investors nowadays. That is why so many people from a variety of backgrounds choose to study programming and add coding to their skillset. Is it harder for them than for those who started with programming from the very beginning? Of course, and that is exactly why programming help gets more and more popular over the years. Coding experts working for services that offer coding help note that they receive more orders than ever from students and young professionals whose primary education is not directly related to Computer Science. If you are one of such specialists — don’t restrain yourself from asking for timely coding assistance, especially when it comes to security matters.

Final Words

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