Given how easy ASP.NET has made it for developing apps, it comes as no surprise to see more and more developers and companies use it as the programming language of their choice. But for all its many distinctive features and functionalities, people can still struggle to deal with the general security concerns that are typically associated with web apps. You see, while the digital realm has provided countless benefits, changing our lives for the better, the truth remains that it has an element of security challenges attached to it. And they will persist, owing to the sensitive nature of data that one shares on web apps.
Then what does one do? Well, first things first: Ensure that there’s a constant and unwavering focus on security throughout the development process. But besides that, there are also plenty of measures and focus points that will allow programmers to ensure the best possible levels of security in their web apps. And it is essential to remember that adopting these tips and strategies must happen right from the beginning, for waiting too long to implement them is likely to result in you discovering issues far too late in the process.
Let’s get started by listing some tips and focus areas that will help developers achieve top-notch security in their .NET web app.
- Sanitise the URL: Of course, there are many security features and measures one can implement in the app, but perhaps the most important thing here is preventing mischievous elements from gaining access to it. And considering that a majority of attacks occur when query string values get flow through the URL. To avoid that, start with whitelisting the URL and then cleaning it with whitelisted characters.
- Authentication: Not all the authentication methods offered by ASP.NET are as secure as one may be inclined to think. Take implementing SSL on the website, or even just the login page, for example — it is unlikely to be feasible for use in commercial web apps. So, use Silverlight to encrypt data. You can take that a notch up by instituting a password policy as well.
- Encrypting data: We don’t have to tell you just how important it is to encrypt data, no matter if you are sending it or even if you are processing it. In this context, it may help to remember that when you encode data, the XSS continues to be inactive and hence, aren’t executed. Thankfully, Microsoft now offers an AntiXSS library to empower developers with robust encryption methods.
- Safeguard the service calls in the web app: Opening WCF services via rudimentary HTTPBinding translates into the risk of the message being intercepted by hackers. HTTPBinding must send only encrypted messages.
To cut a long story short, to ensure the highest levels of security in your web apps, the Microsoft ASP.NET development services you use must fortify it with not one or two security measures, but rather by building an entire arsenal full of them.