Security principles: what every developer needs to know

Last updated: September 01, 2017

If you recently joined the world of professional software developers, you may think that you have it all figured out. Nevertheless, far not every specialist pays adequate attention to personal security and privacy. As practice shows, a constant danger in software development is developers that do not understand how to secure their software. 


According to the latest data, applications are often the weakest point in a company’s infrastructure since they are constantly being hacked. Thus, it is unprofessional for a software developer to build software without implementing the simplest security measures. Developers don’t need to be security experts, considering the fact that there are specialists available to provide guidance when needed. However, every developer should strive to learn key security concepts.


1)    CIA triad

Confidentiality, integrity and availability, otherwise known as CIA triad, is a standard designed to manage information security policies. The essential features of the triad are considered the three most crucial elements of cyber security.

•    Confidentiality is a collection of rules that limit access to sensitive data. The measures adopted to ensure confidentiality are created to prevent information from falling into unintended hands. 

•    Integrity assures that the information is authoritative and authentic. In other words, the process includes providing the consistency, accuracy, and trustworthiness of data over its entire life cycle. These measures include file permission and user access controls.

•    Availability guarantees reliable access to the information by authorized people. The best way to ensure the process is to preserve an operating system environment functioning and perform hardware repairs when needed.


2)    Least privilege

This principle implies that a software developer should allow only the access it needs for only the time required to have this access. In the worst-case scenario, if your application has a SQL injection vulnerability, and it is exploited, the attacker is able to drop tables and spoil the application’s database.


3)    Cryptography

It’s an open fact that cryptography is a highly relevant issue to the software that stores sensitive data. That’s why it’s extremely important for developers to understand which algorithms are stronger than others, as well as which one is better to utilize in which situation. 


4)    Convenient and trustworthy software

The visual tools and IDE’s are great to use, but in some cases, it is better to operate with trustworthy tools rather than looking for another novelty when developing something from the scratch.

One of the examples is VIM text editor, which has been designed to create and change any kind of text efficiently. It operates with an extensive plugin system and is integrated with many tools, also supported by hundreds of programming languages and file formats.

It should be stated that VIM is charityware asking for donating if customers find the program useful and think it deserves next technology upgrades. The funds are directed to help children in Uganda. In such a way, the money is transferred to the children center in the South Uganda for the fight against AIDS.


5)    Threat modeling

As a software developer, you are responsible for building a software that will not be used to cause harm and sensitive data leakage. Examine the way how data flows through the application, identify possible threats and install proper security controls and mitigations.


Cyber security is getting more important with time that provides requirements for creating secure invulnerable software. Beyond any doubt, it is easier to prevent problems than cope with them. One way of doing this is to install a reliable VPN, which secures the Internet connection by using modern technologies, making it unassailable for hackers and prying eyes.  

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