Code reviews are perhaps the most effective technique for identifying security flaws, particularly when used together with automated tools and manual penetration testing techniques. Code reviews can help uncover functionality issues that are currently not in use by the program or web application.
Security based code reviews can greatly benefit a business as it allows for areas of the program or application to be analysed that may have otherwise been inaccessible via penetration testing techniques.
What is a secure code review?
A secure code review is a process where security experts analyze source or compiled code to identify potential security vulnerabilities. The goal of a secure code review is to provide an independent assessment of the security posture of software and make recommendations for improving the security posture of an application.
Secure code reviews are an essential part of software security assurance and can help identify potential security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Code reviews can also help assess the effectiveness of security controls in place, such as input validation and output encoding. When conducted properly, code reviews can be an effective way to improve the security of software.
When should a code review be conducted?
Code reviews should be conducted regularly throughout the software development lifecycle, from design through to production. Code reviews conducted during the early stages of development are generally more effective at finding security vulnerabilities, as it is easier to make changes to the code at this stage. Additionally, code reviews performed later in the development process can help to verify that security controls are adequate and that no new vulnerabilities have been introduced.
What are the challenges of a code review?
Code review can be a challenge for several reasons:
Time-Consuming: A thorough code review can take a significant amount of time, depending on the size and complexity of the codebase.
Requires Expertise: Reviewing code for security vulnerabilities requires a certain level of expertise. Not everyone is familiar with all the potential risks and how to find them.
What are the benefits of a code review?
Despite the challenges, there are several benefits to a code review:
Helps Find Security Vulnerabilities: One of the main benefits of code review is that it can help find potential security vulnerabilities. By carefully reviewing code, you can often find risks that would otherwise be missed.
Improves Code Quality: In addition to finding security vulnerabilities, code review can also help improve the overall quality of the code. This is because a review provides an opportunity for a third-party to analyse the code and provide feedback.
Helps Build Trust: A code review can also help build trust within a team. For example, if you’re working on a project with someone else, going through the code together can help build trust and improve communication.
How are code reviews conducted?
Code reviews can be conducted manually or using automated tools and performed as part of a more extensive security assessment or as a standalone activity. An automated code review uses static analysis tools to help identify potential security vulnerabilities. Static analysis tools can generate false positives or negatives.
A manual code review offers the best opportunity to find security vulnerabilities as it allows security experts to analyse the code in-depth and understand the intent of the developer. When conducting a manual code review, security experts will typically review the source code or compiled code line by line to identify potential security vulnerabilities.
The expert will also look for coding errors that could lead to security vulnerabilities, such as improper input validation or output encoding. In addition, the expert will also look for signs of insecure coding practices, such as hard-coded passwords or database connection strings.
Is there a requirement for a code review?
Aardwolf Security offers static and interactive Secure Code Review services to identify and fix software vulnerabilities. Our highly skilled security engineers are experts in identifying common and obscure software security issues. We provide actionable recommendations for remediation, so you can be assured that your code is secure.
Our services are designed to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes. We offer flexible engagement options, so you can choose the level of assistance that best fits your needs. Whether you need a comprehensive security assessment or a targeted review of specific areas of concern, Aardwolf can help.
Our secure code review services include the following:
Static code analysis
Aardwolf’s static code analysis service uses a combination of automated and manual analysis to identify vulnerabilities in source code. We review code for common security issues, such as buffer overflows and SQL injection, as well as more obscure issues that can be difficult to find with automated tools.
Interactive code review
Our interactive code review service is a hands-on approach to finding software security vulnerabilities. We will work with you to understand your code and identify potential security issues. We provide detailed recommendations for remediation, so you can fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
Once potential risks have been identified, we work with our client’s development team to determine the best way to mitigate them. In some cases, this may involve modifying the code to make it more secure. In other cases, it may involve adding security controls, such as input validation or authentication.
Once the risks have been mitigated, we retest the code to ensure that the changes have not introduced any new security vulnerabilities. Finally, we provide a report to the development team detailing our findings and recommendations.
How long does it take to perform a secure code review?
There are numerous factors that influence the scoping of a secure code review, such as:
- The number of lines of code
- Programming language/framework used
- Static or dynamic analysis
How much is a secure code review?
A secure code review cost is calculated by the number of days a penetration tester will take to fulfil the agreed scope. The number of days can be determined by filling out our penetration testing scoping form or messaging us through our contact form to arrange a scoping call with one of our senior penetration testers.
What are the deliverables following a secure code review?
Following completion of a secure code review, the security consultants will produce a custom report that highlights any issues identified, their risk levels and recommendations regarding how to remedy them.