July 25, 2016

The Case for Multiple Layers of JavaScript Application Security

By Amit Ashbel | 4 min read

The Case for Multiple Layers of JavaScript Application Security

JavaScript is here to stay. First shipped in September 1995, over the last two decades has become the most popular programming language on earth. As of today, in 2016, over 88% of all websites use JavaScript and they do not show signs of stopping. You will find it also on mobile sites, games and web applications.

The fact that it is simple to implement, it’s flexible and allows to give the best, real-time experiences for the user, amongst other advantages, have led companies like Youtube, Facebook or Google to adopt it and contribute to its hegemony. And not only on the client-side, the Developer Survey Results 2016 by Stack Overflow show that even Back-End developers are more likely to use JavaScript than any other programming language.

However, there are some issues concerning security. JavaScript is a very dynamic language that allows one to easily add/inject code that interferes with the applications and make them do something else. JavaScript vulnerabilities are both client-side issues and potential enterprise problems as anyone can steal server-side data and infect users with malware. And since we are developing everything in it, those are vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

Keeping ahead of hackers is crucial when developing in any language, and this is especially true for organizations using JavaScript. The potential attacks facing organizations using JavaScript include Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), improper client-server trust relationships and can result in devastating losses of revenue, reputation and sensitive data for the exploited organization.

The best way to keep ensure that your JavaScript code is vulnerability free and secure is by utilizing multiple layers of security solutions to ensure that your code is secure and can resist the threats posed by hackers, cyber criminals and pirates.

js scanner

1. Early Code Analysis

Analyzing your code as early as possible is crucial not only for your application’s security, but also for your budget and release date as vulnerabilities discovered at the production stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC) can cost up to 100 times more to fix than ones discovered at the development stage. When this cost is combined with the time needed to fix mitigate these risks, which includes the amount of time needed to re-acquaint the developers with their code that needs to be fixed, the overall cost in resources to the organization can be astronomical.

Checkmarx’s JavaScript scanner is a code analysis solution that is adapted specifically for developers and scans uncompiled source code for vulnerabilities at the development stage of the SDLC.

Checkmarx allows for the quick mitigation of vulnerabilities via the “Best Fix Location” feature which presents developers with a data flow graph that allows them to quickly mitigate numerous vulnerabilities at a single point. The incremental scanning feature lets organizations scan only modified code which can save hours, and days, depending on the size of the code portfolio.

Since developer buy-in is crucial for the adoption of any additional security solution, Checkmarx offers out of the box integration with the most common development systems available. This includes seamless integration with the IDEs, source code repositories, build servers and bug tracking systems that your developers are already using.

Since vulnerabilities are mitigated during the development process as the developers are coding, developers become more and more aware of the vulnerabilities in their code and, as a result, are less likely to make the same mistake again.

One of the goals at Checkmarx is to help organizations attain a high level of “application security maturity” where vulnerabilities and bugs are given the same attention.********

jscrambler

2. Additional Layers of Protection

While there is no silver bullet that will resolve all the issues facing your application, applying multiple layers of application security will greatly enhance the security posture of your application.

Once your JavaScript code is scanned and secure, you’ll want to find a solution to further lessen the chances of your code and application being exploited, reverse-engineered or tampered with. Jscrambler offers a comprehensive solution that is simple to implement and easy to adopt. While Checkmarx will ensure that your application is built vulnerability free, Jscrambler makes sure your application is safe against attacks and works exactly how it was developed to work.

Jscrambler allows developers and security professionals to add several layers of protection to their JavaScript applications. A first level is attained through concealing the logic of the application, by obfuscating the JavaScript. Then, code traps can be added – controls that enforce restrictions such as making the code only run in the right domain or in the right browser – and finally the app can be made self-defensive, a feature which makes it defend itself from tampering and reverse-engineering attacks.

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Automated attacks can be also stopped by making the app polymorphic – which basically means the Jscrambler’s protection engine will produce very distinct versions of the code in the app with each build.

Jscrambler is compliant with all the main JavaScript stacks currently being used and it is the only solution to offer Real-time Application Self-Protection (RASP) on the Client-side, meaning that it embeds security in JavaScript applications allowing them to detect and deter attacks in runtime.

For organizations with application security at the core of their values, combining two, or more, layers of application security helps ensure that the application, its users and the organization stay safe from hackers and cyber criminals.****

Analyzing your JavaScript code with Checkmarx’s JavaScript scanner as you develop your application and protecting your code before it hits production will allow your application to stand tall against potential exploits, copyright infringement, malicious reverse-engineering attempts and other malicious threats which could bring immeasurable harm to your organization, reputation and clients.

Amit AshbelAmit Ashbel is the Director of Product Marketing and Cyber Security Evangelist at Checkmarx. Amit has been with the security community for more than a decade.
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