Cyberattacks are a constant threat to modern businesses, and software security is a crucial requirement for business continuity. This article will discuss four common software security issues and how you can address them.
Developers who want to release features as soon as possible may encounter unexpected obstacles in managing and maintaining secure software. Research has shown 59% of companies now deploy code multiple per day, once per day, or every few days. Cyberattacks are a constant threat to modern businesses, and application security is essential for business continuity.
Although the shift left movement, which involves security testing and fixing bugs earlier in the development process, has increased the demand for developers to be involved in application security, there is still a significant skill gap in security-trained developers. Understanding common DevSec issues is a good place to start for developers who want to improve their security knowledge.
Issues #1: Slowly remediating vulnerabilities
Security debt is a common problem for security teams and developers. These security flaws have been present in code for a long period of time and are much more costly to fix than they were when they were first introduced. Developers can use automated scanning and testing to avoid security debt.
Automation is better than manual work: Our annual State of Software Security report found that organizations that combine Dynamic Analysis with Static Analysis (SAST), fix 50% of their security flaws on average 24.5 days faster.
Scan more often to identify and fix flaws quicker. Organizations can reach the halfway point 22.5 days sooner if they scan more often. Additionally, API allows for SAST scans to be run in 17.5 days to reduce the time required to fix 50% of flaws.
A steady scanning pace can also help your team to see significant changes in the percentage of flaw types over time. Security testing is a marathon and not a sprint. You don’t train for a marathon if you only run 50 miles the week before.
Issues #2: Common code security flaws
It is crucial to understand which flaws are most dangerous to your applications, and how they are introduced. This will help you avoid the damaging cyberattacks these flaws can enable.
The most prevalent flaws in applications were identified by the SoSS report as information leakage (64.9%), CRLF injection (65.4%), cryptographic issues (63.7%) and code quality (60.4%).
These common flaws can be addressed by developers:
- Secure coding practices are key to preventing information leakage. You should also implement security testing procedures when you code.
- You can prevent CRLF injection by not trusting user input. Sanitize user-supplied data using proper validation and encoding. Also, ensure that output is correctly encoded in HTTP headers.
- Secure coding practices can prevent cryptographic vulnerabilities. Good cryptographic practices are built into most languages, so concerns about incorrect implementation usually only arise on a case-by-case basis.
- Avoid poor code quality issues with consistent coding patterns and automated security testing within your SDLC. Keep up-to-date through effective training.
These same flaws are consistently ranked in the top 10 every year of the report, which indicates a lack of awareness and training for developers. Security training for developers could be the most difficult. Secure coding is not something that is taught in universities. On-the-job training can be equally difficult since the majority of application security is handled by security teams.
Organizations need to offer practical, actionable training that developers can immediately use to reinforce their learning and make code fixability a part of their daily lives.
Issues #3: Rely on open-source libraries but scan only in-house code for application code
Nearly everywhere, open-source code is used. It’s not just that open source software is used everywhere. 46.6 percent of insecure open-source libraries found in applications are transitive.
They were brought in by another library. This makes it easy to see how open source code increases the vulnerability of applications. Our research revealed that 71% of applications had a flaw in an Open Source Library on their initial scan.
Software Composition Analysis (SCA), a scanning tool that can detect open-source vulnerabilities, can be integrated into the system. This process allows for efficient mitigation, as 74% of open-source flaws can easily be fixed by a patch, revision or major/minor update.
It is important to use the right tools to keep up with code. This will reduce risk and allow you to use open-source libraries with confidence.
Issues #4: Code with too many high- and very high severity flaws
It doesn’t matter what software language you use, knowing the most critical flaws will help you avoid making mistakes that can lead to bigger problems. Data shows that certain languages have more high-risk flaws. This means that code written in particular languages should be carefully crafted and tested.
Here are some examples:
- C++ applications Nearly 60% of applications contain high- and very severe flaws. Common flaws are error handling, buffer management mistakes, numeric errors and directory traversal flaws.
- PHP applications 52.6% of PHP applications contain high- and very severe flaws. The most common flaws include cross-site scripting, cryptographic issues and directory traversal bugs.
- Java applications Java is vulnerable to CRLF injection flaws and code quality issues. Information leakage and cryptographic problems are all common issues in Java. Java applications are 97 percent third-party code, which means they pose greater unseen risks.
Developers can gain a better understanding of flaw frequency trends in common languages and use that information to avoid problems.
Secure coding practices should be followed and developers should receive hands-on training in order to improve their knowledge.
This will ensure that applications are secure enough to meet modern development requirements. Developers will be able to find and fix bugs in their code and become more security-conscious.
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