10 Common Mistakes in Software Development Cause Serious Cyber Attacks

by Uyen Le | Mar 11, 2022 10 Common Mistakes in Software Development Cause Serious Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common. Software developers need to be aware of the mistakes that they make in their code because these errors can lead to cyber security breaches. Software development is an extremely complicated process, and it’s easy for new programmers to make mistakes. 

Moreover, software developers are constantly working with new technologies and techniques, all while trying to produce secure software for the general public to use. Software errors lead many organizations into serious cyber attacks.

This blog post will discuss 10 common software development mistakes that cause serious cyber-attacks – so you know what needs to be done. 

1. Incorrect Work With Confidential Data Software

Developers should be very careful with the information that they are working on – whether it is customer data or client info. Software development companies are responsible for keeping their customers’ personal and identifiable information safe, especially in today’s day and age when cyber attacks seem more prevalent than ever before. 

If you accidentally work with confidential data, your code will not be secure. Software developers need to be careful about handling confidential data and ensure that it is not accidentally leaked or breached.

2. Lack of Escaping, Incorrect Formatting

Escaping is essentially the process of converting a computer character or sequence into another form, making it safe for use in certain situations. For example, an apostrophe can be escaped by turning it into ‘\’, which tells the software that what follows isn’t part of the original text but rather something to be used as data. Software developers need to escape their code so that it can be used properly.

If a developer fails to escape their code, the text may cause issues with certain programs or devices and eventually lead to cyber security breaches. Software developers should make sure that they are always escaping their data in order to avoid using incorrect characters – such as slashes (/) or quotes (“), which the computer could read as code.

3. Storing Authentication Data in the Source Code

After users log into your app, you may need to store a token or authentication code on the user’s device in order to identify them later. This is required for applications that require a login and must be done very carefully so as not to expose sensitive information like passwords or social security numbers. 

Software developers often use encryption methods such as hashing or salting to protect this information. However, sometimes developers will take shortcuts and store authentication codes or hashes in the source code, which compromises security if an attacker gains access.

To prevent this from happening, always use encryption on all sensitive data stored locally on a device and when it is transmitted over public networks. Software engineers should also store authentication data in a separate location from the source code.

4. Deserialization of Untrusted Data

Deserialization of untrusted data is one common mistake that developers make. The correct way to deserialize an object in Java or C++ is by using the Class.forName() method and specifying a class name as an argument, like so:

Class test = Class . forName ( “mypackage.MySerializable” );

The problem is that it’s possible to specify a class name manually, which can lead to serious security breaches. Software developers need to ensure that their code only accepts classes from trusted locations, or they should use the ObjectInputStream.resolveClass() method:

Object test = new ObjectInputStream ( new BufferedInputStream ()). readObject ();

The ObjectInputStream.resolveClass() method will return the fully qualified class name of an object that has been deserialized from untrusted data and can only be called after all potentially dangerous Java objects have been validated. Software developers should never call resolveClass when it’s possible for user-controlled input to influence their program’s behavior.

5. Using Outdated Versions of Libraries and Software

Using outdated versions of libraries and software can lead to cyber security breaches. Software developers need to check that they are using the right version of a library, or else vulnerabilities in other systems may be exploited by hackers. Programmers need to keep their system updated at all times, so they don’t fall victim to an attack from someone with malicious intent.

6. Programmers Not Using Software Security Tools

Software security tools are designed to find vulnerabilities in the code that software developers write to be fixed as soon as possible. Software developers shouldn’t rely on using simple text editors because it’s easy for human error to occur when writing code. Software security tools can be used to find errors in the code that programmers may overlook, which is why they need to use these tools as much as possible when coding new software systems.

7. Programmers Not Using Source Code Analysis Tools

These tools are also designed to detect vulnerabilities in a program’s code. Software developers have to write thousands of lines of codes for new software products, which is why it’s important that they check their work as often as possible – before releasing the product into production. It can be quite time-consuming for programmers to manually inspect all this code and look out for any vulnerabilities in existing systems, so using source code analysis tools can be very useful for them.

8. Illiterate Use of Cryptography

The first mistake is that developers aren’t using proper cryptography. Software development and cybersecurity are two very different fields, but they do intersect in encryption. Software engineers need to develop their own cryptographic functions instead of relying on other platforms or software libraries. 

This might seem like a foreign concept if you don’t know how blockchain works, but it’s incredibly important to encrypt sensitive data. Software engineers need to be aware of how cryptography works and implement their own encryption schemes if they’re writing software that deals with financial transactions or other types of personal information like credit card numbers.

9. Insecure Software Development Methods

The second mistake is that developers aren’t using secure software development methods. Software engineering is a constantly evolving field, but some tried and true best practices to follow can help you avoid mistakes in your code. Software engineers need to make sure that they’re using proper version control systems like Git (or an alternative) so they always know what changes have been made to the codebase over time. 

Software engineers also need to make sure that they’re using the most up-to-date software development methodologies. For example, agile programming has become a popular model for developing reliable and secure code – but it’s important not to use this methodology if your developers don’t have enough experience with it.

10. Inadequate Software Testing

The third mistake is that software engineers aren’t testing their code properly. Software development can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so it’s easy to skip steps or rush through the programming phase if you don’t have enough resources. However, proper software testing should always be performed before releasing new updates – otherwise, there will likely be bugs in your code that can cause serious cyber security breaches. 

Software engineers need to make sure they have enough resources dedicated to QA testing and Quality Assurance before releasing new updates, patches, or features. Besides, software engineers should also be using automated software testing tools for continuous integration, so they don’t miss any critical bugs in their codebase.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many common mistakes in software development that can cause serious cybersecurity issues. Software engineers need to make sure they’re only using secure software development methodologies and tools. Otherwise, hackers might be able to take advantage of their mistakes and steal sensitive data from your customers or clients. 

Software engineers should also be encrypting all of their data on GitHub, so even if hackers gain access to the repositories, they won’t be able to decrypt any information. Software engineers can avoid these mistakes by following best practices and using secure software development tools whenever possible.

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