Let’s get started with my recommendations for secure code review practices that are ideal and will help enhance your code review process to foster a culture of secure coding.
1. Node.js API Documentation
Consult the official Node.js API documentation regularly. Familiarity with the documentation ensures you’re using Node.js APIs correctly and securely. Leverage the documentation’s code examples to understand how to implement features securely.
One example where this is paramount is when you work with cryptographic operations. The Node.js crypto module provides cryptographic functionality that includes a set of wrappers for OpenSSL’s hash, HMAC, cipher, decipher, sign, and verify functions.
Reading the Node.js API carefully to understand how to leverage the crypto module to implement cryptographic operations securely is key to avoid security issues.
2. Utilize Secure APIs
Always opt for secure versions of Node.js APIs when available. For instance, prefer the crypto module for cryptographic operations rather than attempting custom implementations.
One example where this is paramount is the Node.js
exec function which is used to execute commands in a shell and buffer the output. The
exec function is a common source of command injection vulnerabilities in Node.js applications.
3. Dependency Scanning
Regularly check for known vulnerabilities in your project’s dependencies and address them promptly.
4. Code Security Linting
If you choose ESLint, then you have the
eslint-plugin-security plugin which provides ESLint rules for Node.js security.
However, ESLint and the
eslint-plugin-security is very rigid and doesn’t provide much flexibility. You may end up with a lot of false positives and it’s not very easy to customize the rules.
I’m biased but I’d recommend you take a look at Snyk Code which provides you with secure code linting in real-time on your VS Code IDE. It’s free too.
5. Data Validation and Sanitization
6. Staying up to date with Node.js releases
Stay updated with the Node.js release notes to identify security enhancements and new features.
7. Error Handling
Review error handling practices to prevent information leakage. Avoid exposing detailed error messages to users. Encourage the use of custom error handling middleware to centralize error management and enhance security.
Another important tip here is to take notice you don’t leak data from
process.env as that is a very common source of information leakage.
8. Secure Package Management
Educate developers about secure package management practices. Ensure they only install trusted packages from reliable sources.
Implement lockfile linters such as lockfile-lint to ensure that dependencies specified in the lockfile adhere to pre-defined security policies and mitigate a vector of attack where malicious actors can tamper with the lockfile.
9. Threat Modeling
Introduce threat modeling during code review discussions. Encourage developers to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities in their code.
Consider using threat modeling tools or frameworks tailored for Node.js security assessments.
10. Continuous Education
Emphasize continuous education within your development team. Encourage developers to stay updated on security best practices through training, workshops, and online resources.
Two resources I’d recommend you check out are:
- The Snyk Learn educational platform which is open and free for everyone to learn about security.
- My book Node.js Secure Coding: Defending Against Command Injection Vulnerabilities which is a practical guide to understanding, identifying, and mitigating command injection vulnerabilities in Node.js applications.
What’s next? Skill up with Node.js Secure Coding
As a next step, I invite you to explore: Node.js Secure Coding: Defending Against Command Injection Vulnerabilities 🌟
This Node.js security book is a comprehensive resource designed to deepen your understanding of command injection vulnerabilities and equip you with the skills needed to defend against them effectively. Dive into real-world vulnerable npm package code examples, practical self-assessment Node.js security questions, and expert insights to bolster your Node.js security expertise.
Visit https://www.nodejs-security.com to learn more and take your Node.js development to a new level of security. Secure coding isn’t just a goal; it’s a journey, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way.