In a nutshell, secure code review is a specialized task and a systematic process that includes a combination of automated and manual code review services of the source code of an application to discover and highlight any security issues or weaknesses in the code.
The fundamental aim of the secure code review is not to pinpoint all issues that are rampant in the code base, instead, the main goal is to understand all the issues and what classes do they actually belong to. This, in turn, arms the developers with the required knowledge and skills to create a more sound and defect-free code for the software application.
One of the most important aspects of the code reviews that it systematically applies a collection of audit methodologies for security that has the ability to ascertain that not only can the coding practices and environment contribute significantly to the development process, but that they are also resilient in the face of environmental and operational threats.
In terms of practical application, code review services can take many forms to achieve their goals, comprising of lightweight code discussions, or more engaging and collaborative approaches like over the shoulder programming, pair programming, and tool-assisted practices. Some of the more advanced forms of code reviews include manual inspection, automated static code analysis, threat modeling, and formalized communication methodologies.
Why Secure Code Reviews Are Business Critical for Companies?
An effective and secure code review discovers and pinpoints the weak nodes and vulnerabilities in a company’s system before any hacker or threat actor is able to exploit them for malicious purposes. Companies that develop software applications and generate code unknowingly add attack vector points in their firm and expose the company to numerous threats and risks through the vulnerabilities and loopholes in the code.
With a security code review, organizations are able to test whether the defects and issues in software code can allow the hackers access into the system and break the security controls to fulfill their nefarious goals. In addition to this, with the increasingly complex of the project scope and web applications, it is becoming more difficult than ever to prevent any bugs from creeping into the code.
However, a secure code review facilitates the testing teams to detect the weak nodes which can be potentially used to generate bugs in the code, and eventually create a strong security wall to prevent any threats from materializing. Most importantly, code reviews are also an effective way of sieving through the code and detecting if the source code is giving away confidential information about the company inadvertently.
How Code Reviews Help Developers in Practical Implementation?
By testing the source code through a comprehensive and thorough review, the company is able to get the most accurate picture of the current security situation of their software application.
Through this, the teams across the board are able to communicate and collaborate better owing to the common knowledge which is generated by the detailed report that outlines the weaknesses in their system, possible vulnerable spots, exposure points of security, and also provides high impact suggestions and recommendations for these threats based on their root causes.
With this approach, everyone is on the same page with regard to the prevailing problems and can work together effectively to come up with sustainable solutions. An action plan and a security roadmap for actionable insights are included in the package to facilitate the developers and testers in creating robust source codes. Moreover, enhanced protection for sensitive data of the company, business intelligence, the IT infrastructure, the reputation of the company, and the brand name is also ensured.
Best Practices for Code Reviews
Tracking patterns and continuous monitoring of insecure codes – tracking of repetitive issues in the application system and code allows the testers to create patterns which inform the future reviews.
Hybrid of automated and manual code reviews for best results – a combination of automated static analysis and manual code reviews is one of the best ways to ensure that the testers do not miss any blind spots.
Frequent reviews of the code, especially if there has been a significant modification – every time an important change or alteration is introduced to the code, it should be reviewed for any bugs and defects.
Creating a collaborative environment for the developers and testers to work together – the company should create a culture where the developers and testers do not play the blame game, instead, they work together to resolve issues.
Scott Andery is a senior Marketing Consultant and technical writer at Daily Tech Times. He has worked with different industries. He started his career with one of the consulting company based in New York. Scott has 10+ years of experience in technical writing.
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