Cybersecurity for Developers

Offering insights into cybersecurity essentials for developers, covering topics like secure coding, encryption, and common security vulnerabilities

Posted Tue, Apr 16, 2024


Cybersecurity for Developers

When there is a product that is manufactured and is very valuable, unauthorized access to the product may occur, and this might make the product less valuable. For a better understanding, paint this picture in your head: When you leave your home, you ensure that you lock the door by closing the doors and windows and turning the locks shut, or you use a padlock for extra safety. You are not locking your room or house because you love the looks of a padlock. You lock your room/house so that even when you are far away jogging, having fun with your friends, or learning in an institution, you can rest assured that you will return to meet your valuables just the way you left them.

The internet is popularly recognized as a place where computers meet to network, interacting with each other as do humans. It is more like an environment where data is processed, stored, and transferred between computers. In every individual computer lies data that may not be suitable for public display because they are sensitive, and whenever a computer gets connected to the internet, its data is liable to be accessed, altered, or manipulated.

Cybersecurity is the practice of preserving internet-connected systems from potential cyber threats. This threat may be posed to the hardware, software, or computer data. The essence of a cybersecurity strategy is to ensure a strong security system designed to preserve sensitive data from any form of malicious attack. However, cybersecurity is not limited to the security of data, software, and hardware; it is also designed to prevent the disruption of the operations of a system or device. 

Cybersecurity is very important because it prevents wasted efforts. For instance, after painstakingly using your time, energy, and efforts to build an interconnected system, it would be terrible to watch it crumble because you refuse to ensure that a cybersecurity system is implemented to prevent unauthorized access. The consequences of a lack of a cybersecurity strategy are even more complicated when the data is voluminous, which can cost an organization a fortune.


Why Cybersecurity?

  • Cybersecurity offers protection for end users and endpoint devices. 
  • It is put in place to ensure that other computers that may be granted access to data from other computers through the Internet comply with regulations.
  • No one wants their data and other confidential information relating to their organization to be breached, which is why cybersecurity is important. 
  • If there is a breach in the data stored, cybersecurity also ensures an improved recovery time for the lost/breached data.
  • Another reason people should embrace cybersecurity is that it creates a sense of confidence in the products or services offered by an organization/developer.

In this article, basic concepts and essentials relating to cybersecurity will be discussed, including secure coding and encryption. 


Secure Coding

Secure coding refers to the principle of building codes that adhere to the security of code practices, thereby protecting the published code from any form of vulnerability in the form of loss of cloud secrets, shared keys, or even confidential business data.

Secure Coding ensures the following;

  • Logs and Alerts: When secure coding is enabled in a system, cybersecurity ensures that it is possible to monitor out-of-sight assets, but never check into the code repository.
  • Security as a cultural practice: The constant practice of secure coding is not something that may be easily learned in a day, but with time and consistent practice, this can result in a regular practice in an organization.
  • Review Of codes: When a set of codes or programs has been built, an expert developer usually needs to review the program.
  • Threat modeling: When software is developed, it is wise to run sample tests of threats on it, such as ethical hacking, to check for weaknesses and vulnerabilities using secure coding.

Some of the basic principles of secure coding also include:

  • Minimize attack surface area,
  • The principle of least privileged,
  • Principle of defense in depth,
  • Fix security issues correctly,
  • Keep security simple.




As part of the topic being discussed in the article, we shall also be considering encryption. Like secure coding, encryption simply refers to the system of protecting data from being comprised, stolen, or changed. Now, this works by hiding/locking the data in such a sophisticated way that no user can access the data except by parties who possess the unique digital key that was set to unlock the data. So basically, encryption works by encoding “plaintext’ into “ciphertext” using cryptographic mathematical modeling, which is known as Algorithms.

Types of Encryption

Encryption can be divided into two major types: symmetric and asymmetric encryption.

  • Symmetric Encryption is a type of encryption where you use the key for encryption and decryption. It is also known as a private key or shared key Algorithm. It is less sophisticated and less expensive to produce.
  • Asymmetric Encryption is a type of encryption that contains two separate keys for encryption and decryption. It is also known as a public key Algorithm. In this case, anyone in the public party can use the public key for encryption. Meanwhile, the second key would be made available only to a limited number of people who would be granted access to decrypt the data. It is, however more expensive to produce, and it takes more power to be decrypted.
  • Encryption algorithms are the basic components used for securing data by converting it to an unreadable format, which can only be read by using the appropriate decryption key. This is done by converting plain text data into ciphertext so as to protect communication and data.

Some examples of Symmetric encryption include:

  • Blowfish
  • ChaCha20
  • Camellia

While some examples of Asymmetric encryption include:

  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)
  • Post-Quantum Cryptography
  • Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange

How do we implement encryption in software development?

  • Choose the right encryption algorithm.
  • Use secure random numbers.
  • Manage your keys properly.
  • Validate your inputs and your outputs.
  • Test and review your codes.
  • Stay updated and informed.


Security Vulnerabilities in encryption

As much as the topic considered in this article is cyber security, it is very important to take note of security vulnerabilities. Security vulnerability refers to a loophole, flaw, weakness, or error that tends to pose a threat by an agent so as to compromise the security of that network. This loophole can also be referred to as a bug.

Examples of security vulnerabilities include cross-site scripting, broken authentication, security misconfiguration, SQL injection, and cross-site request forgery. Security vulnerability also results in data breaches.

Some of the techniques that can be adapted to mitigate vulnerabilities include:

  • Creating a secret code that is made unavailable to external websites in a form entry.
  • Practicing input-output encoding.
  • Not displaying messages that are detailed and can be used by attackers.
  • Whitelisting of the user-defined values.
  • Avoidance of unnecessary redirects.
  • Not inputting passwords in links or logs.
  • Employment of strict access control measures.
  • Obstruction of access to questionable sites.
  • Provision of real-time updates on software and applications.
  • Ensuring that search functions provide adequate results.

Security Development Lifecycle

Security practices are employed to ensure that different ranges of products/or applications are secure. However, the Security Development Lifecycle is a process that ensures that the best security practices are embraced when securing products and software. Of course, the security of a product gives one peace of mind when purchasing products, which is the goal of the Security Development Lifecycle. It is methodology-neutral, and its activity fits within any product development methodology.

Tools and methodologies for secure development

  1. The first methodology is to identify and classify your assets, i.e., knowing the right tools to use, their location, the kind of data they store, and how they can be accessed.
  2. Then, you implement access control, i.e., providing restrictions to access the data based on their responsibilities.
  3. Monitor and audit your activities by collecting and analyzing data based on the performance, behavior, and usage of your assets, such as metrics, alerts, logs, etc.
  4. Update and patch your tools and technologies in order to fix known errors, which could come as bugs or vulnerabilities of your asset, so as to keep the data from being compromised.
  5. Educate and train your team by providing them with opportunities and resources, such as webinars, quizzes, etc, to help them improve their security skills and behavior.


Taking the golden step

If you have come this far, it only shows how passionate you are about learning about cybersecurity and the role it plays in organizations. However, consider taking a course in this field. Here at Teners, you and a couple of other novices get to enjoy the privilege of experiencing personalized tutorship from experts in this field who started one time as a student and are making lucratively with this skill. What are you waiting for? Start now!!!!!!!

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