Common and Deadly Security Mistakes Coders Make

In 2013, when Burger King’s official twitter was hacked and replaced with a bio that led to McDonald’s, the food conglomerate learned the hard way that social media is a double-edged sword.

Pranks like these make headlines.

But the focus is more on the individual responsible than on security gaps that lead to a vulnerable situation in the first place.   

The truth is, most businesses don’t think twice about application vulnerability, which is the real culprit that allows “hacktivists” to penetrate through security systems. It’s because of these subtle errors in programs that let cyber criminals slip in effortlessly between the cracks.

But programmers are also human beings. Even the most experienced coders make mistakes. But these mistakes are often costly and can lead to dangers. Here are common and deadly security mistakes to keep an eye out for:

  • Trusting Third-Party Code That Can’t Be Trusted

Professional programmers do not build an app from scratch. They develop apps by imitating code from other developers. This is done through an open source or a third-part software that are used for performing important functions.

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These can either be presentations with a license or graphical interference elements, or user encryption and authentication.

However, these third-party services are often full of vulnerabilities that go unnoticed by developers. And what makes the matter worse is that most businesses don’t know which third-party service they have used and whether or not they were checked for security loopholes.

So what is the solution? You can’t expect coders to write programs from scratch. The only solution is to check the guidelines by the International Education Association of Australia for working with third-parties. 

  • Keeping Backdoor Accounts

Cisco Systems recently had this problem. They discovered various backdoor accounts that led to security loopholes. Sometimes coders use backdoor accounts or hard-code passwords for testing applications and then forget to take them out.

While most coders believe that nobody will find out about these accounts, the truth is that if they fall into the wrong hands, it will give hacktivists root access to affected routers.

The problem is that many organisations don’t take the initiative to be careful and the password and login for administrative rights are often written into the original frameware of running ICS devices.  

The problem is that so many organisations believe that this helps make their applications more manageable which is a big mistake. You don’t know who will become interested in your application!

  • Forgetting to Secure Data

Sans Institute ranks sensitive data exposure as number 8 on its list of 25 dangerous programming mistakes.

In simpler terms, it’s not acceptable to handle sensitive data carelessly and you’re obligated to follow your country’s federal laws regarding vulnerable data. This includes usernames and passwords of employees, as well identification data and anything that can compromise an individual’s security.

Most organisations take the approach of employing encryption into their applications but this is not enough. You’re going to have to use powerful encryption tools that are immune to harmful attacks. Make sure not use reversible ‘symmetric’ algorithms to protect your passwords because this can jeopardise your identification system.

To ensure the safety of your app against loopholes and vulnerabilities, go for professional web application testing services. We offer top-notch vulnerability scanning service for web and mobile applications. Feel free to get in touch with us learn more