Node.js has been a popular platform in recent days because it serves as a back-end server for different web apps. However, when microservices are considered, it’s necessary for developers to follow Node.js security practices. There are various best practices, but here’s a step-wise guide on Node.js best practices for app security.
Node.js is a cross-platform, open-source web app development platform. It’s a JS runtime environment built on the V8 engine. Using node js best practices helps the developers create functional, futuristic, and secure node apps.
Developers can build scalable web apps for both back-end and front-end using Node Js. For that, we will see the eight best node js practices that are necessary to follow for every Node Js developer. Let’s begin the discussion then.
Node.js Best Practices to follow
It’s simple to use Node until you start developing enterprise apps with complex features. It gets hard to manage the complexity of the code at that time. So, NodeJS developers should know to write code in a structured format and handle errors and challenges by implementing these best practices:
- Managing Insecure deserialization
- CSFR (Cross-Site Forgery Requests)
- Monitoring & Logging
- Build strong authentication policy
- Avoiding DOS attacks
- Stop sending unnecessary informations
- Scanning apps regularly and automatically for checking vulnerabilities
- Security Linters
Let’s explore each practice in detail.
Managing Insecure deserialization
Managing the insecure deserialization is a major security concern when there’s tampering in the code’s logic with utilising unstructured data. Insecure deserialization is a hot spot from which hackers can always insert the DOS attack.
For preventing these attacks that are caused because of ID (Insecure Deserialization) developers will require preventing CSRF. The security issues can be prevented by using cross-site request forgery tokens.
CSFR (Cross-Site Forgery Requests)
CSFR attack forces end-users to take unnecessary actions upon authenticated webapps. The targets of this attack are updates in app state requests.
With the use of social engineering techniques like chat/email, attackers can make users execute unnecessary actions. CSRF can make state-changing requests look simple like changing an email address and then transfer all the funds. This attack compromises performance and security of the entire web app.
Developers can use Anti-Forgery Tokens to prevent CSRF attacks in Node.js apps. Anti-CSRF tokens validate and monitor the authenticity of requests sent from users and prevent security attacks.
Logging & Monitoring
Logging & Monitoring are important for uninterrupted security of Node.js.
Monitoring the logs can give you insight of what happens in your app so that it gets easy to investigate if anything suspicious happens in the app.
Info, warn, debug, and error are a few levels that are inevitable for logging. To decrease the manual effort one can use modules like toobusy-js and Bunyan for performing automatic monitoring and logging.
Build strong authentication policy
Strong authentication policies is one of the best Node.js practices that every developer should follow while working in the Node ecosystem. It helps in enhancing security. Any incomplete, weak, or broken authentication can be the root cause of a security breach.
Here’s how to build strong authentication policies:
- Implementing two-factor or muti-factor authentication while logging in to your app. And avoid weak passwords.
- Consider using OAuth, Auth, Okta, or Firebase like ready-to-use authentication services.
- Using Bcrypt or Scrypt libraries rather than Node.js built-in crypto library.
- Create strong session handling policies.
- Restrict situations like failed login attempts and avoid telling users whether password or username is incorrect.
- Prefer solutions that have high security standards.
Avoiding DOS attacks
Necessary security concerns in the Node.js app ensures that requests from the users are in limited size. It avoids huge bodies from attackers. It’s important to think about the bigger body size. It makes it more difficult for the single thread to process the requests.
Just as the result of this, attackers can send larger amounts of requests which drains the memory server, crashes the app, and even fills the disk space instantly that results in DOS (Denial of Service).
Here are the steps that we can take to avoid DOS attacks:
- Limiting request sizes for using raw-body, external tools- ELB and firewall.
- Configuration of express body-parser for accepting small-soze payloads.
Stop sending unnecessary informations
Make sure you are just delivering the most important data to the front-end whenever you send data. In spite of the fact that you may theoretically choose which information is exposed, hackers can still obtain concealed data through the back-end. Sensitive information can only be prevented from being accessed by simply not sending it unless it is strictly necessary.
Scanning apps regularly and automatically for checking vulnerabilities
The Node.js environment has multiple libraries & modules for installation. Many of them can be utilised usually in your projects. This produces a security risk. You can’t be sure that it’s safe using the code somebody else has written.
There are numerous libraries and packages to install in the Node.js environment. A lot of them can typically be used in your initiatives. There is a potential threat as a result. Using code created by someone else makes it impossible to know for certain that it is secure.
You need to perform routine automated vulnerability assessments to fix this. This aids in the discovery of dependencies with widespread weaknesses.
Additionally, you can choose NPM analysis for fundamental checking, but you could also want to consider WhiteSource Renovate, Retire.js, OSS INDEX, OWASP Dependency-Check, NODEJSSCAN, and Acutinex.
Use Security Linters
Automatic security testing is possible. Additionally, you could discover fundamental security flaws even when you’re building the code. Linter extensions like eslint-plugin-security may be used. When you use unsafe programming techniques, this kind of security linter can alert you.
These 6 are the Node.js best practices that developers are implementing while using Nodejs as the frontend and backend development of different apps.
Smarsh Infotech is one of the top-notch software development service provider companies. Our team of skilled developers will help you quickly develop your business application. So, let’s discuss your app requirements and begin the development process soon.