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Best Security Practices For Node.Js Web Applications

There are many security tools or platforms that can help developers solve vulnerabilities in code and applications.

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There are many security tools or platforms that can help developers solve vulnerabilities in code and applications. They make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to take security measures on the system.

In any case, whether you use these security platforms or not, you should understand and be aware of the security threats that applications may suffer, and adopt some simple and effective best practices to eliminate these threats, which is also the subject of this article.

In fact, although we chose Node.js as the target object, many of the concepts mentioned in the article are also applicable to other platforms.

Let’s take the Node project as an example to understand these security threats.

Injection attack

One of the biggest security threats facing web applications is that an attacker may send a piece of destructive SQL code to the back end and execute it.

If the Offshore Node.Js Programmers Team does not verify the input parameters carried in the request, the attacker can pass not only an integer ID, but also an SQL command that can obtain sensitive information or even delete it. (This is not to emphasize the importance of a reasonable backup strategy)

Most programming languages ​​and their respective object-relational mapping frameworks provide ways to avoid SQL injection. These methods usually parameterize the input parameters in the statement before directly connecting to the database to execute the statement. This parameterization process is completed by the internal logic in the executable library of the programming language.

Identity verification error

Identity authentication is a part of the function that needs to be focused on in a system, especially when the framework or tool used fails to conceal sensitive user information.

There are many ways to implement it, and how to implement it depends on the business scenario of the project. The company can also customize the appropriate standard usage by itself.

If your team or company can purchase large and mature security services for the project, such as Auth0 , Amazon Cognito or many other tools , then it can be said that you are halfway through security best practices.

Leakage of sensitive information

First of all, it is also very important to define what kind of data is sensitive and sensitive data. This definition varies from project to project. However, no matter what kind of application, information such as credit cards or personal documents must be sensitive information.

Let’s look at the list of must-dos:

  • Encrypt sensitive information. MD5 is not strong enough, your data should be encrypted with a stronger algorithm, please use Scrypt for encryption.
  • Remind users how the application protects sensitive information. You should regularly send emails to users with information explanation charts, and push some information patterns when users log in. Of course, your terms of use must also explain this.
  • The application needs to be based on the HTTPS protocol. Otherwise, Google may not be compatible with your application.
  • If you can go a little deeper, then please use the HSTS protocol. HSTS is a protocol that helps applications defend against man-in-the-middle attacks.

(Old) XML external entity injection

An attacker may define external entities and inject those external entities into the application by exploiting vulnerabilities in the process of parsing XML files by the application. Old versions of XML parsers are more vulnerable to this kind of attack, which we call XXE external entity injection.

If the configuration of the parser is not strong enough, an attacker can steal similar sensitive data and confidential information, such as server passwords.

Access control failure

Whether this problem exists depends largely on whether the application has thoroughly tested user permissions from different domains or URLs.

In other words, when there is a restricted access part of your application, such as a page that ordinary users do not have access to, such as the administrator panel, there will be access loopholes in your application.

This kind of vulnerability is easy to modify and does not require deliberate correction and any special solutions, you can continue to use the original code. The only thing that needs to be paid attention to is to correctly implement access control and use appropriate testing procedures to ensure that the scope of access control covers any new endpoints.

Incorrect security configuration item

In the early stages of a development project, developers need to define three main environments (development environment, test environment, and production environment), and usually initialize these three environments with the same configuration.

This incorrect configuration may persist for a long time without anyone noticing, and may lead to serious attacks. Because the configuration of the test environment and the production environment usually only provides very weak protection, such applications are very fragile.

When we talk about configuration, make sure we are talking about all types of dependencies (databases, external integrations, APIs, gateways, etc.).

Headache XSS

XSS is a headache. The busy work every day makes developers often forget to deal with this famous problem. This problem is somewhat similar to SQL injection. There is an endpoint on your application that receives requests and returns responses. This is not a big problem, however, when you put the request parameters directly in the response without processing, the problem comes.

Unsafe deserialization

This situation mostly occurs when your application accepts a serialized object from an untrusted source, because such a serialized object may be tampered with by an attacker.

For example, imagine a situation where your Node application interacts with the client, and after the customer logs in, a serialized object is returned and stored in a cookie for a long time as the user’s session, where information such as the user’s id and permissions are stored. An attacker can tamper with such a cookie object and then grant himself an administrator authority.

Inadequate logging and monitoring

See the name knows the meaning. We’ve talked about Splunk before, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg to choose from.
A large number of different tools integrate and interact with other logging tools to provide complete information-based protection when you choose Node.js for enterprise app development.

To sum up

This checklist is an introductory book for developers, especially newcomer developers. The purpose is to enable developers to better understand the form of security threats in the network and how they can affect applications-even if you Don’t believe someone is trying to break your application.

Keep this in mind, the bigger and more important your application is, the more vulnerable it is to security threats and there are more potential attackers.

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