Secure Web Development

Popular Programming Languages

In today’s tech-driven world, every industry is getting influenced by technology fundamentally, and programming languages are the superpowers that help in this progression. Though some developers prefer one programming language over another, in reality, each of them comes with its own pros and cons. Though there’re hundreds of metrics to consider when it comes to deciding on the best ones, we’ll review the popular programming languages from a security standpoint in this post.

Before we delve deeper into the review, let’s have a quick look at the ways to secure your online browsing, regardless of the programming language used to develop the website.

Tips to stay safe on the web

Today, simply downloading and installing an anti-virus software isn’t enough to get optimum security online. You’ve to take a comprehensive approach to solidify your online security. Here’s how you can do it.

  • refrain yourself from warez downloads and look for secure websites only.
  • don’t click on unknown links and stay cautious about shortened URLs.
  • while shopping online, do it from reputed websites only and make sure that your browser is connected with “https” instead of “http”.
  • buy VPN client to maximize your online security.

Though there’re certain other ways to ensure your online security like using devices that detect and block endpoint threats, performing regular security checks done by a professional etc, they may come at a significant cost. So, if you’re a general user, implementing a VPN client from a trusted provider would be your best bet.

Programming languages and their security vulnerabilities

Just as application security professionals need to stay up-to-date with different development platforms, developers should also be pressed to understand security principles, including the programming language they employ. Here, in our endeavor to narrow down the most secure programming languages among the frequently used ones, we’ve focused on their vulnerabilities alone.

PHP

A server side programming language, PHP can be found in almost every application. It can run on both Windows and Unix, apart from being fast and cheap. SQL injection, which is one of the most common vulnerabilities found in a web application, can be noticed in a substantial number of apps written with PHP. Cross-site scripting, directory traversal and code infection are some other vulnerabilities with PHP that can be highly damaging for the end users.

.NET

Though the framework of programming guidelines has helped developers a lot in terms of handling tasks like garbage collection, memory allocation etc, some critical issues are found with it. Those include directory traversal, cross-site scripting, information leakage, cryptographic issues etc, apart from it being a bit expensive sometimes.

Java

Despite its huge popularity, applications developed with Java are subject to some potential security vulnerabilities. Java LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) injections and SQL injections are two of the most common attacks on Java applications. Some other vulnerabilities include resource injection, command injections, stored XSS, connection string injection etc.

HTML5

As the standard markup language together with JavaScript continues to gain traction, and more websites, games and apps are being built, client-side solutions may have to face potential cyberattacks. Several areas of the new feature set of HTML5 can become targets for potential threats. These may include cross-document messaging, SQL injection, inline multimedia and SVG, attribute abuse, flawed input validation etc.

Python

While Python’s core programming is secure enough, third-party components used for developing applications may not be. Some of the potential vulnerabilities in the applications developed with this high-level, object-oriented, interpreted language include CSRF (cross site request forgery), SQL injections, LDAP injections, command injections, cross-site scripting etc.

C

The function-oriented language that traces back its origin to the early 1970s is widely known for its different kinds of vulnerabilities including buffer overflow, improper memory management, cross-site scripting, insecure random numbers etc.

Perl

While improper user input is perhaps the major source of security vulnerabilities in Perl, there’re other factors that can make the end product an insecure one. These include insecure environmental variables, XSS vulnerabilities, and LDAP injection, among others.

Ruby

Though there’re hundreds of thousands of applications built using the Ruby on Rails framework, there’re certain vulnerabilities that can heavily affect end users. Apart from SQLi and XSS, command injections and remote file inclusion are two high-risk vulnerabilities of this open source programming language.

Things you should know about secure coding

Secure coding refers to the practice of preventing software from security vulnerabilities. Implemented properly, it can prevent, identify, and eliminate errors which could compromise software security. In today’s world of increasing cyber threats, secure coding has become more important than ever and it’s applicable for every software – no matter if the code runs on personal computers, mobile devices, embedded devices, or servers. An insecure application can lead to various threats including compromised secrets, denial of service, damage to systems, and loss of service, just to name a few.

However, secure coding can be ensured to a good extent by implementing some guidelines. For example, security has to be kept in mind throughout the process of development as an insecure application is likely to require extensive redesign. It’s also important to understand that as attacks can be replicated and automated, any weakness can be exploited and may end up triggering a considerable damage. So, developers need to identify the nature of the threats that can happen to their software. That’s why it’s of immense importance to implement secure coding practices throughout the planning and development of a product.

Conclusion

Finally, there isn’t any programming language that can be considered as the most secure as each one comes with its own pros and cons. While the discussion above may not help in identifying any one as the most secure language, it can surely offer developers ample guidance in terms of what security measures need to be implemented with their preferred software stack.