How to Secure your ROR Application

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Security is quickly rising to the top of our priorities in today’s digital age since we depend on technology for even the slightest task. It is a crucial factor to consider when developing a product. Users will stop using your program if they feel it is not secure.

The purpose of web applications is to assist web application developers. A select handful of them will additionally aid in web application security. Sometimes, one framework proves to be significantly more secure than another. You can create certain apps using a variety of frameworks if you employ them properly. This is scarcely a problem because of Ruby on Rails’ sophisticated helper functions, such as those against SQL injection.

The security idea depends on how many people are utilizing the framework and, occasionally, on the procedures used to construct the method. Additionally, it depends on the online application itself and the web server and back-end storage layers of the web application environment. As a result, it is a good idea to hire a Ruby on Rails developer who knows how to use cybersecurity on the left side of the development lifecycle.

However, according to the Gartner Group, 75% of attacks occur at the web application layer, and they discovered that “out of 300 assessed sites, 97% are vulnerable to attack.” This is because web apps are straightforward to alter and understand, even by non-technical users.

Now let’s look at the methods that can help make your ROR application secure.

Methods to make your Ruby on Rails application secure

Following are some ways to make your Ruby on Rails application more secure.

Avoid using unsafe data serialization.

It will help if you steer clear of some data serialization techniques. These procedures include Marshal. load, YAML.load, and JSON.load. Combined, these techniques could give code execution access to malicious people when utilized with user data and tainted JSON or YAML. Use JSON.parse or Pysch.safe load by default as opposed to the techniques listed above.

Always check user input.

The user inputs should never be trusted, and front-end security should never be relied upon. Unknowing users may unintentionally enter data that has negative implications for your program. Also easily circumvented are front-end security measures like form controls. Using programs like OWASP ZAP or Burp Suit, an attacker can exploit his requests and modify the HTTP headers or any form field without limitations.

Always use Data Validation.

Any data originating from sources outside the program shouldn’t be trusted. Every bit of user-submitted data should be validated. Assume that none of the data coming from the external world is reliable if you require your app to be secure.

Due to Ruby’s dynamic nature, quickly tracking a piece of data throughout the program becomes highly complicated. Data validation early in the program, as close to the “edge” as possible, is one technique to prevent and ensure a “safe core” design. Another method is to use types and signatures to identify unvalidated and validated data, with Sorbet or RBS being used to enforce typing.

By doing this, you significantly reduce the risk of typical security attacks like SQL injections or other forms of assaults that use weaknesses in databases.

Don’t implement your crypto solution.

The dreaded “not invented here syndrome” affects a lot of developers, teams, and even entire businesses. Most of the time, this position is, if not harmless, at least incapable of doing considerable harm beyond the unavoidable opportunity cost.

But things are different in terms of security. Just don’t risk it; the cost of being incorrect is too high. You avoid doing that by not coming up with a custom cryptography solution. Use state-of-the-art as a substitute; do your homework and find out what it is.

Code secrets shouldn’t be added.

Here, “secrets” refers to API keys, passwords, encryption keys, SSH keys, etc. You can switch between several contexts more rapidly if your secrets are kept outside your application code. The most popular method for managing secrets is unquestionably using configuration settings to prevent secrets from making their way into your code.

Use of Security Linters

Linters are software applications that scan source code for indications of errors. Another thing exists security linters. Like general-purpose linters, they examine source code looking for warning signs as their primary method of operation. Keep vulnerable code from making it into production, including security linters in your CI/CD pipeline. Security linters cannot detect all flaws since they lack your application’s context, but they can see problems at the code level. Even the syntax and logic tests of the well-known, all-purpose linter RuboCop might hint at subtly flawed code that might lead to bypasses. RuboCop also includes some static security checks.

Implement the Pre-commit hook

While you publish to the public repository, likely, you might occasionally commit some sensitive data. Automating the process, and adding another layer, is one technique to decrease these kinds of errors. The use of a pre-commit hook is one technique to achieve it. A Git repository can have hooks, which are programs. Events bring them on. As the name suggests, pre-commit hooks are executed just before a commit is added to the repository. Security leaks can be avoided using hooks, and the commit can be securely aborted if an issue is discovered. To have this extra layer for your application, you can hire dedicated developers who can help you achieve the goal of making your application more secure.

Logging all things

When debugging a system in production, logs can be valuable allies. They can support teams in identifying and resolving a variety of issues. The exception to that rule is unquestionably security breaches. Develop a successful log management approach by utilizing logging. All your logs should be collected in one secure location so that you can examine them. Ensure to follow the GDPR guidelines and refrain from including any personally identifiable information in your log entries, such as your name or financial information.

Conclusion

Security is a topic that would require a lengthy article to explore adequately. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. It is not comprehensive. You could face significant financial and legal repercussions or even lose your business if you violate legislation like the GDPR. However, now that we’ve discussed Ruby security and what you can do to achieve it, you’re closer to developing sound security practices.

I started my journey as a Photoshop & HTML designer, my hunger takes me to the next step for PHP, Java, angular, CMS, Python, etc. Till now, I have worked on many software, mobile, web development & design projects. I want to inspire others, that's the only reason I am here to share my experience & knowledge. Let's connect on LinkedIn.