Ivan Homola, Author
Indie maker with a passion for SEO working on web projects. Ex-mobile dev-agency owner. Now, helping early stage founders turn their side projects into businesses.
Are you a software developer concerned about the security of your code?
Do you want to ensure your software security from cyber-attacks and data breaches?
If so, you're in the right place.
I will tell you about code security scans and their crucial role in software development in this article.
You will also learn about the core benefits and a tool that can help you in code scanning quickly and efficiently.
What is a code security scan?
When you get health problems, the doctor recommends you go for an X-ray or CT scan to diagnose the disease.
Just like that, a code security scan is a process of finding vulnerabilities in your application.
The process includes automated tools like Codiga to check for potential breaches in source code.
It scans code for known security flaws and checks for insecure coding practices.
The scan's analysis results can help developers identify and fix security issues before they become a problem.
There are two main types of code security scans:
Static Code Analysis
It scans the code of an application without running it. You can identify security weaknesses such as:
- Code Injection: An attacker adds malicious code.
- Buffer Overflow: Input data exceeds the amount of allocated memory.
- SQL Injection: The hacker injects SQL code to execute unauthorized database queries.
- Access Control: When an application allows unauthorized access to sensitive data.
There is much more you can do with static code analysis.
It's a first step towards finding the possible threats inside your code base because it scans code during development and before moving the application to production.
Dynamic Code Analysis
The type of testing which occurs when your application is running. It can detect issues like:
- Misconfigurations: Improper configuration of an application that leads to vulnerable attacks.
- Insufficient logging and Monitoring: When monitoring for suspicious activities is disabled.
- Broken authentication: When an application does not check the identity of users. Hackers can pretend to be someone else or gain control of their accounts.
- Stress Failure: When your application cannot handle the stress (traffic, strength of users, and server outrage).
You can do more with dynamic code analysis.
It's a second step in finding the vulnerable issues in your code.
Since it doesn't have direct access to the code, it can highlight the problems where your application's code fails.
Core benefits of code security scans
You have learned about the types. Here are some core benefits which can help you understand further:
Improve Code Quality
The quality of source code matters a lot in software development.
It brings huge value in scalability, reliability, accuracy, maintainability, and usability.
If you are writing insecure code with bad standards or practices without knowing. Then, you need a way to detect coding issues inside your applications.
That is where automated code security scanners shine. You can easily improve the code without worrying about the breakage of secure coding practices.
Reduce the risk of vulnerabilities
Security scanners can identify potential weak points in your code, allowing you to take proactive steps to prevent attackers from exploiting them.
These tools inspect source code for errors, insecure coding practices, and suspicious patterns that could lead to potential vulnerabilities.
By finding these problems early in the development stage, you can remedy them before they become an issue.
Better Compliance Posture
It provides an automated way to ensure compliance with industry standards, such as PCI DSS, SOC-2, GDPR, and HIPAA.
Ultimately, It can help you to stay compliant with regulations and avoid costly penalties for non-compliance.
Increase Developer Efficiency
It can help developers by automatically scanning code for any possible security vulnerabilities and providing feedback on how to fix them.
It saves developers time and effort; they don't have to search their code to identify and address any issues manually.
Furthermore, some scanners can detect coding patterns that may be vulnerable to attack, which can help developers proactively prevent any potential threats before they arise.
Prioritization with severity
Scanning tools use a set of pre-defined rules to assign a priority level to each issue based on its severity and impact on the application.
For example, a critical vulnerability that could lead to a data breach or system compromise would be assigned a high priority score. In contrast, a minor coding error that does not affect the application's security will be considered a lower priority.
It helps organizations prioritize the tasks based on the issue severity.
How can Codiga help you run code security scans?
Codiga is helping developers to perform code security scans with ease.
It supports the best static analysis engine and is considered the fastest-growing SAST tool.
Several features make it a modern and advanced static analysis tool:
- A pre-defined set of rules to detect OWASP Top 10, SANS-CWE Top 25, and MITRE CWE.
- Create custom code analysis rules
- Works in your favorite IDEs like VS Code, JetBrains, and Visual Studio
- Supports multiple platforms: GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab
- Identify vulnerabilities in third-party packages or libraries.
- Get instant real-time feedback for quick deployments.
- Ease of integration within any CI/CD pipeline: GitHub Action, AWS CodeBuild, and Circle CI.
- Git Hooks support makes it easier to push code in repositories without worrying about security.
If you're serious about the security of your application, you should look into Codiga's static code analysis. Then, with ease of use, you can integrate it into your software development quickly.
Code security is a fundamental part of software development. With the ever-increasing risk of cyber-assaults, developers or security experts must prioritize safety during the development procedure.
Code security scans provide an approach to recognize and tackle possible security violations in source code before evil actors misuse them.
By incorporating these scans into the software engineering process, developers can be confident that their code meets the best security principles and limit the hazard of security violations.
Who can run a security scan?
Anyone like software developers, network administrators, quality assurance teams, system administrators, and security experts can run it with the appropriate technical knowledge.
When should source code security scans be triggered?
It should trigger at various stages in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). For example, to ensure the security issues in the early stages, you can trigger it before pushing code to the git branches, during CI/CD pipelines, or before the software release.