4 Common Software Security Development Problems And How To Solve Them
The process of managing and maintaining secure software can present unexpected hurdles for developers looking to deliver functionality as quickly as possible. Research shows that 59% of businesses now deploy code multiple times a day, once a day, or once every few days. However, as software has become the backbone of modern businesses, cyber attacks have become a pervasive threat, making application security a critical necessity for business continuity.
The left-turn movement, which involves performing security testing and fixing flaws earlier in the development process, has increased the need for developers to play a role in application security, but it remains an important lack of skills among developers trained in security. Developers wishing to improve their security know-how can start by understanding some of the common DevSec issues.
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Challenge # 1: Slow patch time for vulnerabilities
One of the most common challenges for developers and security teams is security debt – security holes that have been in the code for a long time and, like an old credit card balance, are now much more costly to correct that at the time of their introduction. To avoid increasing security debt, developers can implement automated analysis and testing.
The more automation, the better: In our annual State of Software Security (SoSS) report, we found that organizations that combine dynamic analysis (DAST) with static analysis ( SAST) fix 50% of their security vulnerabilities on average 24.5 days faster.
Another way to find and fix new vulnerabilities faster is to scan more often. More frequent scanning allows organizations to reach that midpoint 22.5 days faster, and running SAST scans through the API cuts the time it takes to fix 50% of 17.5-day vulnerabilities.
Research also shows that a consistent pace of analysis can help your team see a significant change in the proportion of default types and reduce security debt over time. Think of safety testing as a marathon rather than a sprint: You don’t prepare for a marathon by only running 50 miles the week before the event.
Challenge # 2: Introducing Common Security Flaws in Code
Understanding which vulnerabilities pose the greatest risk to your applications and how they are introduced is critical to preventing the damaging cyber attacks that these common vulnerabilities enable. Our SoSS report found that information leakage (65.9%), CRLF injection (65.4%), cryptographic issues (63.7%), and code quality (60.4%) are the most common faults in applications. To remedy these common flaws, developers should consider the following:
- For information leaks, rely on secure coding best practices and implement security testing procedures when writing code.
- To prevent CRLF injection, do not trust user input, clean up user-supplied data with proper validation and encoding, and be sure to encode the output correctly in them. – HTTP headers.
- Cryptographic vulnerabilities can be avoided with good secure coding practices. Additionally, most major languages inherently support good cryptographic practices, and concerns about incorrect implementation usually only arise on a case-by-case basis.
- Prevent poor code quality issues by using consistent coding patterns, automating security testing in your SDLC, and keeping up to date with effective training.
It should be noted that these same four flaws consistently rank in the top 10 of the report year after year, indicating a gap in awareness and training among developers. In fact, security training for developers is potentially the biggest challenge of all. Not only is secure coding not taught regularly in college, but on-the-job training is also difficult to come by, as application security is largely the responsibility of the security team. To enable developers to prevent, find, and fix loopholes in code, organizations must provide hands-on, hands-on training that developers can apply immediately to reinforce what they are learning and make it part of their daily routine.
Challenge # 3: depend on open source libraries, but only digitize application code written in-house
Open source code is used almost everywhere. And when you consider that many open source libraries are not chosen directly by developers – 46.6% of unsafe open source libraries in applications are transitive, brought into the application by another library in the process of being developed. usage – it is easy to understand how open source code extends the attack surface within applications. In fact, our research found that 71% of apps had a vulnerability in an open source library during the initial scan.
Integrating an analysis tool like Software Composition Analysis (SCA) can help detect open source vulnerabilities with greater precision. And since 74% of open source vulnerabilities can be fixed with a major / minor version patch, revision or update, this process allows for effective mitigation.
Using the right tools to stay on top of the code is essential for reducing risk and ensuring that you can use open source libraries with confidence.
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Challenge # 4: Excess High and Very High Severity Flaws in the Code
Whichever software language you prefer, understanding the flaws that affect them the most will help you avoid mistakes before they turn into bigger problems. Our data shows that some languages have more high-risk flaws than others, meaning that code written in specific languages needs to be thoughtfully designed and tested. Here are some examples :
- C ++ applications: Almost 60% of applications have high and very high severity defects; Common faults include error handling, buffer handling errors, numeric errors, and directory traversal faults.
- PHP applications: 52.6% of PHP applications have high and very high severity defects; the most commonly found vulnerabilities include cross-site scripting (XSS), cryptographic issues, directory traversal bugs, and information leak vulnerabilities.
- Java applications: Java leads with CRLF injection flaws, code quality issues, information leaks, and cryptographic issues; Java applications are 97% third-party code and carry a greater invisible risk.
By examining fault frequency trends in various common languages, developers gain a better understanding of the day-to-day risks they face while coding and can use that knowledge to get ahead of those faults before they become a problem.
Implementing secure coding practices and using hands-on training to increase know-how will help ensure that application security can meet modern development needs. When developers are empowered to not only find, but also fix loopholes in their code, they will be well on their way to becoming more security-savvy developers.