With hackers using fresh and innovative ideas for causing damage to web applications, it has becomes essential for the developers to keep their project secure and inaccessible. But many developers overlook security while developing websites using Microsoft .Net platform. As many internet security experts have highlighted, each organization must implement a comprehensive security measures right from the starting of the project. Microsoft also frequently releases security bulletins to make it easier for programmers to pick and use the most effective security measures. However, each .Net developer also needs to understand some of the security measures used commonly by web application developers residing in application development various parts of the world.
6 Effective Measures to Secure Development in Microsoft .Net
1. Secure Your Development Environment: When you are preparing a strategy to secure your project, it is important to start by making your environment up to date. In addition to the server software, operating service, and anti-virus, you also need to ensure that you have updated the security patches. The updates will make it easier for you to protect your project against latest vulnerability. At the same time, you also need to remove all types of live user data from the development environment. It is a good idea to use customized artificial data generation tools to generate fake data that can be used realistically for testing purposed.
2. Disable the Unnecessary Services: While making the web application live, many programmers forget to disable or uninstall the services that will not be required by the end-users. You can enhance the security of your web application by leavening only HTTP or HTTPS open to the public. Also, you must try to encrypt sensitive user data by enforcing SSL. However, the SSL can be enforced for specific parts of the application to ensure that only encrypted data are exchanged between the web server and client’s web browser.
3. Encrypt All Types of User Data: The way you retrieve and store data will also have a huge impact on securing your .Net development project. It is advisable to run SQL queries outside the code base to eliminate the chances of the query being manipulated. Instead of generating SQL queries dynamically, you can consider using stored procedures to avoid SQL injection and Cross-Site scripting (XSS). At the same time, you also need to store the sensitive data received from users safely by using customized functions like Server.HTMLEncode or Server.HTMLDecode. Similarly, you must store the data backups and checked-in codes in an encrypted format and in a secure location. The sanitization of data will further contribute towards preventing readable script injection.
4. Validate All Types of User Input: No web application can differentiate between the malicious and genuine data submitted by the user. If the user input fields are not validated properly, these can be easily used as a medium to access or hack your web server. So you must treat all types of user data as malicious, and validate each field to keep your project secure. Often developers are required to use third-party applications from within .Net web applications. If your app needs to use third-party applications, it is important to use application domains. As the application domain allows several applications to run simultaneously within a single process, each application will have access to its own memory. Also, the application domain will boost the performance of third-party applications, while keeping your .Net development project secure.
5. Discourage the Use of Unsecured and Public Networks: Nowadays, most companies allow the members of their .Net application development team to access the project data on their laptops and mobile devices. While access the information over external networks, developers often forget to check if the public network is secure. So you must restrict access to the development server for certain IPs that is 100% secure. It is also important to use public or private key authentication, along with locking down ports. You can even ask your development team not to access the project data over public and unsecured networks.
6. Avoid Revealing Specific Information about Errors: Despite testing the web application thoroughly, there are always chances that some exceptions will occur. A .Net developer has options to handle the error in an efficient way in the website code. You can use the Global.asax file, generated by the .Net framework for each project, to capture these exceptions using the Application_Error function. However, you need to ensure that these exceptions are being captured internally, without the viewer seeing the exact nature of the exception. You must design a user-friendly error page that will keep the users engaged without conveying the details of the exception. The hiding of specific error information will also contribute towards keeping your web application secure.
Each .Net developer also needs to implement several .Net development best practices to keep the web applications secure and inaccessible. At the same time, the programmer also need to security guidelines issued by Microsoft at frequent intervals to enhance the safety and security of his .Net applications.
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6 Tips for Secure Development in DotNET