Common Cybersecurity Threats for Developers: Ways to Prevent Them
October 24, 2023 - 12 min. read
Various entities around the world reported about 493 million ransomware attacks in 2022. With many organizations underreporting their security vulnerabilities to protect their reputations, the true number of cyber attacks is likely much higher.
Protecting their company’s reputation is one of the biggest reasons why developers must employ tight security measures for their projects. Companies that experience security breaches go on to spend millions of dollars mending the situation. But before everything goes back in order, their reputation will take a hard hit, resulting in lost client trust.
In other words, businesses cannot afford any security breach, especially a serious cyber attack. And the best way to prevent them is to understand the core of the problem.
Let’s talk about the common security threats facing developers.
Common Cybersecurity Threats for Developers
According to an IBM report, around 83% of organizations experienced more than one security breach in the course of doing business.
Here are some of the most common security issues:
Phishing remains the most common cybersecurity issue developers face. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in its Internet Crime Report 2022, received over 300,497 phishing complaints.
Unfortunately, most people are not very careful about opening or interacting with questionable communications. Cybercriminals have also upped their game. Many phishing emails and text messages today seem legitimate at first glance, as they very capably mimic credible companies and personalities.
2. Man-in-the-Middle Attack
It cannot be emphasized enough that all company data must be encrypted—any unprotected information can be the gateway to a security breach. Even when developers do everything to ensure security, they don’t have complete control over the system or the rest of the organization’s actions.
Cybercriminals have been known to install packet sniffers to hunt unencrypted data and isolate them for nefarious purposes.
3. Third-Party Attack
Many organizations rely on open-source software for security. This is hard to fault because it saves them money and time. However, it may also be the reason why a security attack happens. Open-source codes and applications have glaring vulnerabilities hackers can easily take advantage of.
A third-party attack is when cybercriminals inject malicious code into the development project through the vulnerabilities they spot. If they are successful, they can manipulate the system however they want and deliver serious attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS).
4. Brute Force Attack
This type of cyber attack is like a game of luck where hackers try to get into a system by brute-force guessing login credentials. With the use of automated bots, they could make their way into any system within hours or minutes.
Brute force is made easy using the credential stuffing technique. Hackers use compromised credentials across various platforms and use it for their attacks, based on the largely accurate belief that people usually use the same login information.
Malicious software or malware is the use of invasive software to either steal data or manipulate the system for their selfish gains. Some examples of malware are ransomware, adware, trojans, logic bombs, and backdoors.
6. Unsecure Coding Practices
It is a well-accepted equation: unsecure coding practices result in bad websites or apps with weak security.
There are dozens of examples of insecure coding practices:
- Lack of standards in security checks
- Trust of system event data
- Active or enabled debug code
- Use of hard-coded, security-relevant constants
- Dead code
- Reliance on a single factor in security decisions
- Use of redundant code
Developers for organizations across all niches need secure coding practices to ensure long-term security for all parties now and in the long term.
Tips To Prevent Cybersecurity Threats for Developers
The previously mentioned IBM report also noted that the global average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million in 2022. This would be a major financial setback for small companies—one from which some won’t recover.
Make sure your website and development projects are secure with the following approaches:
1. Update All Software and Systems
Your software and system might be top-notch today, but it may not be the case a month or even a week from now. Cybercriminals work fast, and they leverage cutting-edge technology for successful attacks.
Regularly updating all of your technology is a must. As soon as the provider releases a software update, integrate it into your system.
2. Secure Authentication and Authorization Practices
Now that you are aware of credential stuffing and brute force attacks, it might be a good route to go passwordless for the authentication process. This way, there are no vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to get hold of—there would be no usernames and passwords compromised through various online activities.
The organization may also implement a federated login and single sign-on using attested credentials, such as Google or Facebook accounts.
Another vital policy involves hardening authentication functionality through the following practices:
- Establish a secure account recovery process protected with another authentication step
- Secure the session management process and ensure that all sessions are managed server-side
- Adapt safe and audited authentication libraries
- Monitor dependencies and vulnerabilities
- Implement design controls that reduce or prevent logical flaws
- Employ two-factor or multi-factor authentication processes
3. Educate Developers on Emerging Threats
Cybercriminals always seem to be one step ahead, so developers, the security team, and the rest of the organization need to be forward-thinkers. A big part of this is education. All team members must have comprehensive training on emerging threats and how to combat them.
One important security practice is the use of a virtual private network (VPN) at work. It adds security and anonymity as the team works on any project. NordVPN or ExpressVPN are two of the best VPNs that developers can use to prevent hackers and other third parties from stealing data.
Security education and training should not be a one-time thing. Because cybercriminals are always elevating their game, developers must also be updated on the latest trends in threats and prevention.
A single security breach could have devastating effects on an organization. And the impact may be passed on to its clients.
Knowledge of the common cybersecurity threats for developers is an important step in preventing security breaches. But of course, this has to be complemented with best security practices that every member of the development team must be educated and trained on.
To ensure you’re well-protected against cyber threats, it’s crucial to choose your software company wisely. Opt for a provider that offers secure authentication practices, robust hosting, and reliable maintenance. At 34ML, we prioritize your digital security, providing you with peace of mind and top-notch protection. Check out our service and secure your online ventures.
In collaboration with Cyber News.