6 Best Practices for a Secure Code Review

6 Best Practices for a Secure Code Review

With the increasing demands and rapid application development, many organizations fail to consider security as an important part of their business strategy. Companies need to get their systems, networks, and apps tested for a number of security flaws so that cybercriminals cannot misuse these vulnerabilities.

With the help of security code review services, companies can identify security issues and weaknesses that are not detected during the regular testing processes. Testing experts apply security standards to the code to ensure that developers have followed the best practices. During a code review, testers use automated tools, threat modeling, and security experience to identify security loopholes that can be rectified at earlier stages.  

Best Practices for Secure Code Reviews

Apply Code Security

When a software code is developed, there should be a signed code to prevent unwanted warnings faced during downloads. Users will move away from such unknown downloads. For a secure code practice, the use of a cheap code signing certificate is essential that will digitally sign the software code and identify the publisher’s identity to make the software legitimate.

Creating a Checklist

Since each software application has different features and requirements, its code review can vary as well. By performing a comprehensive code review, teams can ensure that they haven’t missed out on anything and performed an effective code review. Following are a few questions that testers should answer before beginning a code review:

  • Have they implemented effective authorization controls?
  • Have they applied effective authentication controls? Does the application have a two-factor or multi-factor authorization? 
  • Is data-encrypted?
  • Does an error message display sensitive user information?
  • Have they placed other security checks to prevent SQL injections, XXS attacks, etc.?

Creating a Checklist

The above questions can be included in the security code review checklist to ensure that your application is safe and secure. It is important to keep in mind that a checklist may not be enough in all cases, however, it can help a code reviewer to ensure delivering secure code. 

Reviewing is a Constant Effort

Some organizations have a misconception that code review in single time activity. It is important for enterprises to perform this activity regularly so that whenever a change is made into the code, it can be reviewed effectively. It is not necessary for a code reviewer to wait for the development to be completed. They can perform it during the development process. Businesses that invest in reviewing code regularly are more likely to identify issues that could be exploited by malicious hackers and resolve them in a timely manner. Besides enhancing the security of the code, it also ensures easy implementation. 

Threat Modeling

This technique allows companies to identify threats and develop solutions to mitigate associated risks. With the right threat modeling process in place, companies can identify, understand, and communicate threats with their dev and QA teams and find solutions to protect the application. This way they can identify DDoS attacks, DoS attacks, and other minor cyber threats to devices, machinery and systems. Code reviewers can perform threat modeling during planning, design, or development phases of the app development life cycle. It helps in risk identification and teams can better understand the relationship between the various components of an application.

Since an application’s design changes throughout a project’s development, it is vital for teams to know about how the components are connected with each other. This can help teams in understanding risks and threats in a better way.  

Using Automation Tools to Save Time

There are high chances that a manual code review may not be able to get efficient results as compared to those using automation tools. As an application consists of hundreds and thousands of lines of code, it is not possible to perform code reviews manually, in the available time limit. Thus, with automation tools, code reviewers can streamline the process using minimum human input, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

Using Automation Tools to Save Time

Hiring Security Professionals 

We understand that automated tools have more capability in performing time-consuming and repetitive tasks in no time. However, there are certain tasks that are not possible to be carried out without human intervention. Thus, it is important to hire professional security code review services to ensure that it is secure from all aspects. Experienced security analysts or code reviewers have indispensable expertise in their field and they know how to ensure a secure code. So businesses can also implement code reviews along with automated tools to make the most of their testing efforts. 

Managing Security Weaknesses

With the help of security code review services, you may highlight a number of security risks and vulnerabilities in an application. It is extremely crucial to identify, evaluate, and mitigate the risks and then report them to the teams so that they can take the necessary actions. Managing these weaknesses is important for companies to prioritize the threats and minimize the attacks.

Managing Security Weaknesses

The above guidelines can help businesses in implementing the right code reviews and ensuring applications free from issues in code.

Guest Blogging Team

Article by: Guest Blogging Team
Published on: June 03, 2020
Last updated on: July 14, 2022