Categories
Dotfuscator

Presenting Dotfuscator 6.5: Major Maintenance Update!

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PreEmptive is pleased to announce the release of Dotfuscator 6.5, a tool used by software developers to protect code from hacking and reverse engineering.

The version 6.5 update is a big one. It addresses various .NET Core, .NET 5, and cross-platform support items, fixes various bugs, and improves performance of the licensing system that was introduced earlier this year. We’ve added new static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks to ensure security in all stages of the development process. We also amplified defense against de-obfuscators and de-compilers.

 

 

Dotfuscator at a Glance

Dotfuscator is a DevSecOps tool that protects .NET applications from reverse-engineering and hacking. Using static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks, Dotfuscator obfuscates source code on .NET, Xamarin, and Windows Platform Apps. It integrates into the development build process and operates on the .NET Intermediate Language. Dotfuscator Professional supports .NET, including .NET Core, .NET 5, Xamarin, and Mono.

For more information, check out Dotfuscator 101. It’ll walk you through its features and show how the program provides ironclad security against common (and uncommon) software development vulnerabilities.

 

 

 

New Features & Fixes in Version 6.5

The release notes provide fully detailed information about the updates in this version, which include: 

  • Simplified license key use
  • Improved subscription checks  from the license server
  • Status messaging for Dotfuscator CLI and MSBuild integration users
  • Added support for NuGet packages
  • Improved V2 license verification
  • Compatibility with both forward and backslashes
  • Accelerated Dotfuscator GUI build time
  • dnSpy detection
  • Improved support for Nullable Reference Types
  • Updated Xamarin Android Tamper Check to use new APIs
  • Sample project showing how to use Dotfuscator with Azure DevOps
  • Additional samples for non-Windows environments
  • Tamper and Debugging Check for .NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5 apps

 

 

Upgrade or Download a Demo Today!

Every organization developing .NET software needs Dotfuscator in its development process. Data breaches are no longer a maybe. They happen every day to companies of all sizes in all industries. If you don’t protect your code at the onset, you risk becoming just one more data breach statistic.

 

PreEmptive Dotfuscator has been the leader in In-App security since 2003. We serve clients of all sizes, including enterprise and Fortune 500 companies in medical, government, and other industries. This release is supported for licensed users as described in the release notes. We encourage you to upgrade your software to enjoy the new features. And if you haven’t tried Dotfuscator yet, request a demo today.


Categories
DevSecOps

10 DevSecOps Best Practices to Implement Now

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Organizations are under constant pressure to deliver software faster and more efficiently. In response, many have turned to DevOps, a set of practices that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and integration between software developers and IT operations professionals.

However, simply adopting DevOps practices is not enough to ensure success. To truly reap the benefits of DevOps, organizations must also adopt a security-minded approach known as DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is a set of practices that focus on integrating security into the software development lifecycle. By automating code scanning, defect reporting, and incorporating security into the development process, organizations can reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and ensure that their applications are secure.

In this article, we will discuss 10 DevSecOps best practices that your organization can implement now.

10 DevSecOps Best Practices To Implement Now

The speed and complexity of modern software development have made it necessary for organizations to adopt DevSecOps practices in order to remain competitive. DevSecOps is a set of best practices that seek to integrate security into the software development process. By doing so, organizations can more effectively secure their applications and reduce the risk of defects.

There are many DevSecOps best practices that organizations can adopt, but some are more important than others. Here are 10 of the most important DevSecOps best practices to implement now:

1. Shift Left

The first and arguably most important DevSecOps best practice is to shift security left. What this means is that security testing should be integrated as early as possible into the software development process, rather than tacked on at the end. By doing this, security risks can be identified and mitigated much more effectively.

2. Implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

If you’re not already using continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), now is the time to start. CI/CD are key components of DevOps, and are essential for implementing DevSecOps best practices.

With CI/CD, teams can automatically build, test, and deploy code changes. This helps ensure that code changes are integrated and delivered quickly and efficiently. It also helps reduce the risk of human error.

3. Implement Obfuscation Techniques

One of the best ways to protect your code from being reverse engineered is to use obfuscation techniques. Obfuscation is the process of making code difficult to understand, to obscure its meaning If you will. Doing so makes it more difficult for attackers to understand the code and find vulnerabilities.

Many different obfuscation techniques can be used, such as code encryption, code compression, and white-box cryptography.

4. Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing the risks to your systems and data. It’s a key part of DevSecOps, and it’s important to do it early and often.

There are many ways to approach threat modeling, but one popular method is the STRIDE method. This involves identifying six different types of risks:

  • Spoofing – When someone pretends to be someone else
  • Tampering – When someone modifies data
  • Repudiation – When someone denies having performed an action
  • Information disclosure – When someone gains access to data they should not have
  • Denial of service – When someone prevents legitimate users from accessing a system
  • Elevation of privilege – When someone gains access to a system or data to which they should not have access

5. Adopt a Microservices Architecture

One of the key benefits of DevSecOps is that it enables you to adopt a microservices architecture. This means breaking up your monolithic applications into smaller, more manageable services.

There are several benefits to this approach:

  • Services can be developed, tested, and deployed independently
  • Services can be scaled independently
  • Services can be updated without affecting the rest of the application

A microservices architecture also makes it easier to implement security controls. For example, you can deploy security controls at the service level, rather than at the application level.

6. Use Cloud-native Technologies

The world is moving to the cloud, and so is DevOps. But DevOps in the cloud is different than DevOps on-premises. When DevOps teams move to the cloud, they need to use cloud-native technologies.

Cloud-native technologies are those designed to run in the cloud. They are built to be scalable, fault-tolerant, and easy to manage.

Some of the most popular cloud-native technologies include:

  • Containers (Docker, Kubernetes)
  • Microservices
  • Serverless computing
  • NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Cassandra)

If DevOps teams want to be successful in the cloud, they need to use these cloud-native technologies.

7. Encrypt Data in Motion

Another important DevSecOps best practice is to encrypt data in motion. This means that data should be encrypted when being transferred between different systems. This is important because it helps protect the data from being intercepted and read by unauthorized people.

8. Implement Role-based Access Control

Organizations need to trust that the right people have access to the right information at the right time. Role-based access control (RBAC) is a security model that can help accomplish this. RBAC can be used to control who has access to what resources in an organization. It can also be used to control what actions users can take with those resources.

RBAC is an important part of DevSecOps best practices because it can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and systems. It can also help ensure that only authorized users can make changes to systems and data.

9. Monitor and Log Activity

To ensure your system is secure, it’s important to monitor and log all activity. This way, you can see what’s happening on your system and identify any potential issues. By monitoring and logging activity, you can also detect patterns of behavior that may indicate an attempted attack.

10. Implement DevOps at All Levels of the Organization

The success of DevOps implementation cannot be overstated. In order to truly reap the benefits of DevOps, it must be implemented at all levels of the organization. What this means is that everyone, from the CEO to the front-line workers, must be on board with the DevOps philosophy. This can be a challenge, but it’s important to remember that DevOps is about culture first and foremost. Only by getting everyone on board with the culture change can an organization hope to fully reap the benefits of DevOps.


Getting Started

It’s easy to see how following best practices can help keep your software development process safe and secure. Implementing these 10 DevSecOps best practices is a great way to get started, but it’s only the beginning.

Make sure you also have the right tools in place, like PreEmptive Solutions‘ products, which make it easy to follow standard processes and ensure that your code is always up-to-date and compliant.

Want to learn more? Check out our product pages for more information on how we can help you stay safe and secure while you develop amazing software.


Categories
Risk Management

How Your Android App Can Be Stolen for Hacking

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Android is the most common mobile OS by far, cornering 87% of the market share — a number which is expected to grow. Android’s open platform and extensive library of resources make it easy for developers to create and integrate new apps. However, the same features that make Android easy for developers to use also make it easy for hackers to exploit

Android apps have become the most widely used alternative to desktop software. Because apps are used for banking, shopping, and transmitting personal information, they’re a prime target for cybercriminals. One of the most common methods hackers use to carry out various attacks is reverse engineering your code.

1. Reverse Engineering

Android’s open environment makes it an easy target for reverse engineering. Reverse engineering analyzes an app to figure out how it works and its design and implementation process. This is done by examining the compiled code, observing the app during runtime, or both. There are numerous free tools available to reverse engineer the binary code of Android apps. 

Attackers can use reverse engineering to steal your intellectual property, modify your code, attack your back-end systems, discover security vulnerabilities, and gain access to confidential data. The first step in almost all Android hacking attempts is reverse engineering the code. 

2. Repackaging Attacks

Repackaging, or cloning, attacks are a problem for apps of all sizes. Hackers often take good but not very popular apps and reverse engineer their code. They then modify the code to suit their purpose, which could be embedding malware to steal credentials or ad revenue. The modified code is then repackaged, and consumers may be convinced to install it, thinking they’re installing a trusted app. Another variation of the repackaging app is when hackers rebrand an app and publish it as their own, often making more than the original developer. 

3. String Table Analysis

String tables are frequently used for storing sensitive information such as license keys, credentials, and other confidential data on both the client and server sides. Hackers can analyze the string tables to gather information, identify algorithms, understand database designs, and more. The string table may contain the data they want to steal, or they may use the information they gather to launch a different type of attack. 

4. Functional Cross Referencing

Cross-referencing can help hackers determine where a particular function was called from. They can use that to detect vulnerable code they can use to execute malware or find the code that does the encryption of data they want to steal. Cross-referencing can show how information was accessed, which is invaluable to hackers trying to steal intellectual property, sensitive data, or insert malicious code. 

5. Debugging and Emulator Attacks

Hackers can use debuggers and emulators for dynamic analysis during runtime. Using these tools, they’re able to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them with runtime attacks. Unlike the other methods, these attacks require active hardening. Your app needs to be able to modify its behavior and response during runtime if an active threat is detected. 

Preventing Reverse Engineering With Obfuscation

Almost any code can be reverse-engineered given enough time and resources. However, obfuscating your code can make it more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming for hackers to reverse engineer. The free decompilers make it extremely simple for hackers to reverse engineer code that isn’t obfuscated. 

If your code is obfuscated, hackers are more likely to give up and move on rather than investing time and money into reverse engineering the source code. Code obfuscation can consist of a number of different techniques designed to disguise your code from hackers while not interfering with its execution. 

Data obfuscation 

Data obfuscation scrambles data via tokenization or encryption to make it unreadable to hackers. 

Code obfuscation 

Obfuscating your code makes it look like unusable nonsense to hackers. There are many ways to obfuscate your code, and your hardening process should use a layered approach to make it harder to crack. At PreEmptive, we employ a range of different obfuscation techniques to provide a high level of security. 

Our DashO security application provides passive hardening through the following types of code obfuscation: 

Rename obfuscation 

Renaming changes the name of methods and variables. 

String encryption 

Even when you rename your methods and variables, your strings may still be discoverable. String encryption provides an additional layer of security to your software by making it harder for threat agents to decipher and understand.

Protecting Against Runtime Attacks

Obfuscating your data and code isn’t enough to secure your Android app. You also need to use active hardening to protect against runtime attacks. Some of the methods DashO uses to deflect runtime hacking attempts include: 

Tamper detection and defense

You can prohibit or modify your app’s behavior if it detects an unauthorized attempt to gain access. 

Root detection and defense

Jailbreaking a device compromises the security of your app. Control whether your app will run on a rooted device and how it will respond.

Emulator detection and defense

Running an app on an emulator allows a hacker to understand and analyze an app’s functioning in a controlled environment. DashO can sense when your app is being used in an emulator. You can decide whether or not your app will run in an emulator and how it will respond if it is. 

Hooking detection and defense

Hackers use hooking frameworks to modify your app at runtime without altering the binaries. If DashO detects a hooking framework, the app can respond by shutting down, throwing an exception, or sending an alert, among other options. 


Multi-faceted App Hardening

App hardening

To protect your Android app from ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, you must take a multi-pronged approach. However, hardening your app is pointless if your app breaks as the runtime platform evolves. At PreEmptive, we are constantly monitoring, testing, and upgrading our solutions to protect your app from runtime issues and to respond to new hacker threats and tools.

Your organization can’t afford the expense, exposure, or possible brand damage associated with having your app hacked. Contact us today to find out how our solutions can integrate with your current DevOps practices to provide the security and protection you need.


Categories
DevSecOps

Application Development Security Trends 

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Threats to application security are ever-evolving, and finding ways to adapt to these changes is key to successfully protecting businesses and the privacy of their customers. 

In 2021, developers working on application development security shifted their focus to an earlier stage in the SDLC. Rather than putting measures into place to react to security threats and attacks once they happen, developers began trying in earnest to integrate security measures into the code. 

Developers were also spending a lot of time on cloud security in 2021. Corporate applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming increasingly cloud-based, so strengthening cloud security measures is critical. Unfortunately, companies remain extremely vulnerable to attacks. In a study of corporate sites in 2021, NTT Application Security found 50% had at least one serious exploitable vulnerability. 

For this reason, security efforts in 2022 are in many ways expanding on concepts from the previous year. These are some of the most significant trends in security for applications that have emerged in recent years.

Protection for APIs

APIs become more integral to businesses every day. In fact, 98% of enterprise leaders say that APIs are an essential part of their plans for digital transformation. They can be seen in practically every aspect of day-to-day life, from reserving plane tickets to ordering dinner to transferring funds. 

Such explosive growth in API usage has equated to a significant increase in attacks against them, and subsequently created a need for equipping APIs with better defense mechanisms. The primary focus for many web developers used to be web application security, but due to recent trends in API usage they have now begun to shift their focus to improving security for APIs.

Today, the web attack surface for corporations has become more of a mixture of both web applications and APIs, so it’s important to pay equal attention to security for both. While there are some parallels and overlaps between security for web applications and for APIs, there are also unique API challenges that developers are encountering for the first time. 

In response, experts expect to see continued developments in security measures designed specifically for APIs. By reducing their vulnerabilities, developers will create a much more secure digital network for businesses.  

Consolidating Security Operations

In a world of near-constant cyber attacks, security operations center (SOC) teams have never been more necessary or more overloaded. A study by Enterprise Management Associates shows that 79% of security teams feel overwhelmed by the volume of threat alerts, with 27% seeing more than 1 million alerts per day. 

This creates a number of problems. For one, urgent threats can get lost in a sea of alerts, putting companies at risk. When genuine threats slip through the cracks, they can quickly become incredibly costly for businesses. 

Another hindrance for modern SOCs is that business networks are comprised of so many different elements. In many cases, various aspects of networks, including on-premise environments and the cloud, are protected by separate security solutions. This creates an inefficient and cumbersome system that makes security more challenging for everyone involved. 

To rectify these issues, there is a push to consolidate and simplify security systems so that they can address a company’s entire IT network. On top of that, there is increasing pressure to incorporate the implementation and testing of security into every stage of the SDLC

Ensuring that all members of a company across all departments have a consistent understanding of the potential cyber-threats that exist, how to prevent them, and what to do if they occur is vital for maintaining robust cybersecurity measures. Ultimately, a company-wide understanding of cybersecurity makes threat detection and response more efficient and effective. 

Automation in Security Operations

Adding to the struggle to optimize SOCs is the tendency for teams conducting manual research to follow-up on false positives. No matter how well trained a team may be, human error is unavoidable. Studies have shown that almost half of all alerts are actually false positives. When they are pursued, the result is wasted resources, excessive downtime, and enormous financial losses.  

One strategy to reduce the frequency of false positives is more reliance on machine learning and artificial intelligence. These automated systems are capable of analyzing data with a very high degree of accuracy, and they have also been shown to reduce costs and response times.  

Despite all of these benefits, there is still a lot of work to do to fully capitalize on automation in SOCs. Additional research and expertise in how to train and maintain automated systems are necessary for them to be truly effective. Overall, however, automation in SOCs is a valuable and promising area for developers to pursue. 

Integrated Security Solutions for the Cloud

Finally, it’s impossible to discuss current security trends without addressing cloud-based programs and systems. There are substantial benefits to using cloud storage and systems, including the fact that it is flexible and allows for remote work. These and other factors have led to an enormous cloud services market that is only expected to continue to grow. The notable downside is that security developments have lagged behind the rapid market growth. 

In contrast to all its advantages, the cloud creates dangerous vulnerabilities for corporate assets and data, so securing it is of the utmost importance. At this stage, businesses store at least 48% of their data on the cloud, including classified and unencrypted material. For this reason, one of the biggest efforts in application security for the foreseeable future will be finding better solutions for securing the cloud. 

One necessary step is to improve and increase the number of security solutions that are actually designed for, and at times integrated, into the cloud. This is not only a better system, but it is also the preference of business leaders. 


The Best App Security

Application security is a complex landscape with high stakes. Properly protecting applications and data can mean the difference between having a successful or failed business. 

In these circumstances, seeking out the best possible security provider is an important step. As a global provider available for use on multiple platforms, PreEmptive offers professional app hardening with a line of premium obfuscation tools. There’s no better time to make application security a priority. Visit the PreEmptive products page to see all of the available options for increasing your application security.


Categories
Mobile Application Protection

Preventing Cyber Threats for Mobile Applications

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the advent of new technologies and the rapid shift in consumer habits, applications on smartphones and tablets have become prevalent in our everyday lives. It has never been easier to access mobile banking than it is now, let alone to book flights or shop online. But with this ever-increasing dependence on our smartphones and tablets, we are also more exposed to cybercrime than ever before.

The myth that mobile apps are invulnerable to cyberattacks hasn’t withstood scrutiny. It’s true that mobile apps, on average, have fewer vulnerabilities than desktops or laptops, but their widespread use and application present hackers with a broad. and nearly irresistible, attack surface area.

The good news is that there are many steps the tech industry can take to protect itself from threats.

Mobile Application Breaches

Mobile devices are vulnerable because of their open architecture and their ability to connect to other devices and networks. Mobile apps are particularly at risk. Hackers can exploit bugs and errors, either in the code of the app or on the app store that hosts them.

The top vulnerability is unencrypted data transmission. Bad actors can easily intercept unencrypted data when it travels from one device to another. That often happens when a user goes online while using an unsecured network, like their coffee shop Wi-Fi network, and connects their device to it.

But there are other potential problems, especially in app development. Incorrect default credentials or failing to validate input parameters before storing them in memory can lead to serious vulnerabilities within the app itself.

In one major breach that just happened recently, cybercriminals uploaded a counterfeit crypto wallet to the iOS App Store. The unfortunate users who downloaded it and entered their credentials, thinking it was safe, were instantly deprived of their funds. And this while using iOS, often considered a safer alternative to Android! 

How Mobile Application Breaches Affect the Industry

Mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives and we depend on them for everything from banking transactions to social networking. They contain sensitive information, such as passwords and payment card data, which makes them especially vulnerable to security breaches. 40% of all data breaches were traceable in some way to a mobile device. 

These breaches create a lack of confidence among users and can cause them to question whether it’s safe to conduct transactions on their mobile device. As more people use mobile devices for financial transactions, the number of security breaches will probably continue increasing at an alarming rate.

The Industry Response

App developers must double down on their security practices during and after development. That includes investing in secure coding practices like encryption and making sure they’re using the latest version of any tools they use. They should also consider implementing application hardening tools, such as those that PreEmptive offers, that can help uncover any security threats before they become major problems.

The added expenditure into security means that the tech industry is spending more money on product development. After many painful lessons, industry leaders have learned to take the threat of mobile cyber attacks seriously, no matter the platform. This means that not only are companies creating more secure applications and platforms, but they are also investing in security tools that can help them identify vulnerabilities.

Mitigation Measures Within App Development 

The risks of launching untested applications are clear: potential data breaches and reputational harm. But how can companies mitigate these threats? There are several things to consider before releasing an application, including legal matters and security vulnerabilities. Here are some best practices for mitigating these risks:

  • Make sure developers understand the app’s purpose and requirements.
  • Conduct thorough testing before launch, including penetration testing, end-to-end testing, and user acceptance testing.
  • Make sure to have documented processes in place to handle any security issues that arise after launch.

App testing, for example, is the process of ensuring that an application meets its business requirements, functional requirements, and quality standards before being deployed for use by end users.

Software testers play an important role in ensuring that applications are free from defects and ready for release. They identify errors or defects in software requirements, design, code, and other elements of the software lifecycle. They also help ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. Testers can work as part of a group or individually on specific projects within the organization.

Developers can also contract with third parties like PreEmptive to help them reduce security vulnerabilities in their apps. Third-party utilities can be used to scan the code for vulnerabilities, perhaps even finding some that would be otherwise missed by the developers themselves.

Building More Secure Mobile Apps

Given the threat of mobile breaches, there’s an ever-increasing need for developers to create more secure applications. App developers can start reducing their risk at multiple different levels:

  • Secure Coding Practices. Developers need to use secure coding practices that provide protection against common vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting and insecure data storage. These types of bugs can expose sensitive data to unauthorized parties or even allow attackers to take over an app.
  • Protecting Sensitive Data. Sensitive data includes credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other personal information. User data should always be encrypted and securely stored, whether on a company’s own server or a hardened server owned by a third-party.
  • User Authentication and Authorization. User authorization refers to restricting what resources each user can access at a given authorization level. An example is only allowing certain users to access specific features or functionality within the app based on their role within the organization.
  • Auditing, Testing, and Training. App developers can hire a team of experts to audit their apps, both internally and externally. They should also test their apps to make sure they work as intended. New security-oriented training procedures can be implemented across the entire organization as well.

Whether speaking about a corporate entity or an independent developer, mobile app security is a serious issue that can have disastrous implications if not approached carefully.

Companies should build their apps with security in mind from the start. PreEmptive is the leader in application security testing and analysis. We provide solutions that are easy to use, yet effective in preventing many types of vulnerabilities and defects in common mobile applications and systems. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you. 


Categories
101

How Important Is CI/CD in DevSecOps?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There is no doubt that devsecops has become a critical component of application development and security. By integrating devops and security practices, devsecops can help organizations speed up their application delivery while ensuring that they build security into their process. Devsecops is defined as a set of practices that combine development and operations teams with security teams to secure the application development process from the beginning.

One of the critical components of devsecops is continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD). CI/CD helps organizations  automate the application delivery process, from code development to product deployment. This can help organizations speed up the delivery of new features and fixes while reducing the risk of errors and security vulnerabilities.

This article will look at the importance of CI/CD in devsecops and things to watch out for in application development. It will also highlight reasons why developers should use CI/CD in devsecops, and how CI/CD can help organizations improve their applications’ security.

Why CI/CD Is Useful in DevSecOps?

CI/CD is a process that helps developers quickly build and test code changes, making it easier to integrate new features into applications. CI/CD is vital in devsecops because it helps organizations automate the application development process, from code development to product deployment.

The process also creates a feedback loop between developers and operations teams, helping them to identify and fix problems quickly. The ability to rapidly resolve problems helps reduce the chance of business-critical systems going down and can lead to improved customer satisfaction.

The overall process helps improve the quality of the code and speed up delivery times, making it an essential part of devsecops. There are three main reasons why CI/CD is so useful in devsecops:

  1. It helps organizations automate the application delivery process.
  2. It helps organizations improve the quality of their code.
  3. It helps organizations reduce the risk of errors and security vulnerabilities.

Automate the Application Delivery Process

One of the most significant benefits of CI/CD is that it helps organizations automate the application delivery process. By automating the process, organizations can save time and effort that would otherwise be spent on manual tasks. Automation can also help organizations improve the consistency and quality of their code and reduce the risk of errors and security vulnerabilities.

Automation further provides an opportunity for standardizing the development process across the organization, making it easier for developers to work together on code changes. By merging the testing and  deployment processes into a single automated pipeline, it is easier to manage and monitor the application development process.

Improve Code Quality 

Another significant benefit of CI/CD is that it helps organizations improve the  quality of their code. By  automating the testing and delivery process, organizations can ensure that their code is of a high quality before deploying it. Improving the quality leads to the development of better products and eventually better customer satisfaction.

High-quality code becomes easier to maintain and scale as the product evolves. The use of  in-app protection tools offered by PreEmptive can further secure the code base.

Reduce the Risk of Errors and Security Vulnerabilities

Finally, CI/CD can help organizations reduce the risk of errors and security vulnerabilities. Organizations can ensure that their code is tested and deployed quickly before any security vulnerabilities can be exploited. The use of devsecops tools and techniques can further help organizations secure their code and reduce the risk of errors. One such tool is static code analysis, which can help organizations identify and fix security vulnerabilities in their code before it is deployed. 

The use of  in-app protection tools can also help secure the code and reduce the risk of errors.  PreEmptive offers a variety of protection tools on a variety of platforms. The tools assist in protecting against intellectual property theft and data breaches while identifying potential attack vectors. PreEmptive protection tools are available for .NET, Java, and iOS. The tools apply a layered approach to security that includes code signing, tamper resistance, string encryption, and app-hardening.

Why Developers Should Use CI/CD in DevSecOps?

As devsecops teams have gained prominence in recent years, so has the need for better tools to help manage the security of code bases. CI/CD is one of the most important security tools in this space.

One of the most significant challenges in devsecops is that developers are often working on code that needs to be released quickly, which can lead to security vulnerabilities being introduced. CI/CD can help mitigate this risk by automating the process of checking the code for errors and potential vulnerabilities before it is released.

CI/CD helps developers  prioritize security, from one-off assessments to daily or weekly tests that are built into the development process. By automating these tasks, devsecops teams can save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent on manual code reviews.

What to Watch Out For!

While CI/CD can help organizations improve the security of their applications, there are a few things to watch out for. First, it is important for developers to ensure that their CI/CD pipeline is configured correctly. Otherwise, they may inadvertently introduce new security vulnerabilities into their code. Second, it is important to ensure that their code is properly tested before it is deployed. 

Thorough testing of the code before deployment is essential in detecting  security vulnerabilities. Finally, it is crucial for developers to monitor their CI/CD pipeline for any signs of abuse. If there’s suspicion that the CI/CD pipeline is being abused, it is vital to take action to secure it. PreEmptive can help developers secure their CI/CD pipeline and prevent abuse. 


Conclusion

In conclusion, CI/CD is a critical part of any devsecops strategy.  PreEmptive offers high-quality, highly flexible,  smart application protection for a wide variety of industries. PreEmptive helps protect and secure applications for a broad range of platforms, including .NET, Java, Android, JavaScript, and iOS. 

PreEmptive’s solutions are backed by a world-class support team, which is available 24/7 to help developers get up and running quickly.  Review the wide range of products and services today, or  contact the team to learn more about how PreEmptive can help developers achieve their security goals.


Categories
Support Corner

How to Leverage Incremental Obfuscation when Protecting Large Applications

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the previous Support Corner article, we discussed the significance of Cross-Assembly Obfuscation when configuring Dotfuscator.  Cross-Assembly Obfuscation ensures that classes, methods, properties and their references are automatically renamed uniformly across all Dotfuscator inputs.

Separated Assemblies Obfuscated

When related assemblies are obfuscated separately, they’re processed in Library Mode by default.  Library Mode does not rename public and protected types and members so that they can still be called by assemblies not included in that Dotfuscator project.  (Obfuscation transforms like Control Flow, String Encryption, and Tamper detection will be performed regardless of access modifier).

What if the different components of our app must be obfuscated as separate projects, but we still want to fully rename public types and members? This can be achieved by using Incremental obfuscation.

Incremental obfuscation

Incremental obfuscation uses Dotfuscator’s Rename Map file to maintain consistent identifier renaming across Dotfuscator builds.  It was created to enable patching a subset of assemblies for an obfuscated app already in production.  It can also be used to rename serializable types, so that full Renaming can still be performed on apps that persist serializable types to file. 

Along these same lines, Incremental Obfuscation can be used to maximize renaming when separating components of an app into multiple Dotfuscator projects.  

Example:

Consider the following example: a company maintains a set of common assemblies used by several different projects.  Each project has completely different sprints and release cycles.  In this scenario, the team maintaining the common assemblies uses Dotfuscator to fully obfuscate and rename publics.  They store the Rename Map file with their build artifacts.  Any team creating a front-end app will use that map file to rename references to the shared assemblies in their Dotfuscator project.  Only the map file is needed – they do not need to re-obfuscate the common assemblies.  When it’s time to deploy to production, all public and protected types and members for the full application will be renamed.

A simple example illustrating this concept can be downloaded here.


If you have feedback on this topic or other topics you would like us to discuss in the Support Corner, please feel free to contact our Support Department.


Categories
Risk Management

Common Mistakes Developers Do When Building Apps

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the rapid rate at which new apps are popping up, it goes without saying that app development is becoming increasingly popular. Over 143 billion apps were downloaded in 2021 alone. However, not all apps garner the success their developers may have initially hoped to achieve. Many end up getting uninstalled after their first use.

The competitive market is partly to blame for this. But mistakes that occur during the application development process are to blame as well. Here, we’ll go over eight of the most common mistakes developers make so that you can avoid them and position your app for success. 

1. Skipping Over Research

After coming up with or hearing an idea for an app, many developers want to dive right into bringing the vision to life. However, rushing in without research can lead to numerous issues and wasted money. 

Successfully developing and marketing an app relies on user research. Is there a need for the app? If so, who is the target audience — what are their demographics? And what are their typical behaviors and motivations?

Competitor research is also critical. If they’re also developing an app — or if they already have one — then keeping tabs on what they’re up to will help you create something unique and appealing. 

2. Striving to Create a “Perfect” App

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to create a great app that users will love. In fact, that’s usually the point. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” app, though. Trying to create something that’s free of all flaws could lead to a never-ending development cycle. Ultimately, you may never launch it. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to develop an app that continues to improve over time. One way to do this is by creating a minimum viable product or MVP. An MVP is a version of an app that only includes the essential features it needs to work. You can then release it to early adopters who can assess its functionality and performance. Their feedback allows you to create a better final product, avoid time and budget waste, and may even speed up the time to launch. 

3. Failure to Test Properly

Testing is a critical component of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). It ensures a smooth, pleasant user experience and helps developers squash “bugs” before launch. The problem is that several challenges still exist

There are several strategies for dealing with common testing challenges. Here are a few that may help:

  • Develop a solid testing process that includes how often you’ll test an app and who will do it. 
  • Consider using in-house and outsourced testing experts. 
  • Make sure you have all of the proper tools to run tests.
  • Make sure there’s ample time to devote to testing (schedule it if you have to). 

4. Creating a Poor User Experience

It’s not uncommon for developers to get so entrenched in the development process that they forget about how users will interact with an app. Unfortunately, that mistake can be costly. A poor user experience is one of the top reasons people uninstall apps. 

Several issues can impact an app’s user experience, including:

  • Slow loading speeds
  • Difficult to navigate (it takes too many clicks for users to find what they need)
  • Unnecessary log-in pages
  • Intrusive ads
  • Low-quality content
  • Boring design

An essential consideration for a good user experience? The user! Put yourself in their shoes when assessing the overall experience. The feedback you get from your MVP version can come in handy, too.  

5. Trying to Squeeze Too Many Features and Functions Into the App

Unique features and functions that serve a purpose for app users are great. Trying to squeeze in too many, however, can be detrimental. 

For one thing, the more features you add, the more expensive the project becomes. Excessive features can bog the app down, hindering its performance and ruining the user experience. The app can also become too large and require too much space on users’ phones.

When determining what features to add to an app, consider if they’re necessary first. Leave out the ones that don’t offer any value. If you start hearing a call for specific features from users, you can add and optimize them later. 

6. Building for Every Possible Platform

You might feel tempted to develop your app for every possible platform right out of the gate. After all, it’s a surefire way to attract more users.

But trying to tackle multiple platforms from the start could quickly destroy your budget. It can also be incredibly time-consuming. Instead, consider starting with one platform — basing your decision on market research — and expanding to others after your initial launch. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t develop an app for more than one platform to start. Make sure that you have a cross-platform strategy, though. For instance, you could use a single source code on a cross-platform app development tool to deploy on Android and iOS devices. 

7. Ignoring Feedback 

Feedback has come up a couple of times already. Listening to what your app users have to say is critical for building an app that they want to use. It’s about more than just listening, though. It’s also about using that feedback to improve your app with each update. Along with eliminating pain points for your users, using customer input lets them know you care. That’s one of the best ways to earn their loyalty. 

What happens if you don’t listen? User satisfaction decreases, and people start uninstalling your app in favor of something else.

8. Neglecting the Importance of Security

A recent survey found that 86% of developers don’t view security as a top priority when writing code. Half of the respondents also said they wouldn’t be able to guarantee their code to be safe from common vulnerabilities. 

Hackers don’t only attack websites. Some can reverse engineer mobile apps to inspect them while they work or capture communications between an app and server. They can also use code-based attacks to steal data, get around security checks, or compromise your app’s integrity. 

Prioritizing security is a must. One way to do this is with comprehensive mobile app protection with PreEmptive. Applying a layered approach, PreEmptive Protection uses obfuscation, encryption, tamper-proofing, and more to make your apps more difficult for potential hackers to exploit. It integrates seamlessly into your build process and requires no code changes. Best of all, it goes wherever your apps go. 


Avoid Common Mistakes for Better Apps People Love to Use

App development can be a time-intensive and sometimes frustrating process. Even the best developers make mistakes from time to time. Understanding the most common ones can help you avoid them or manage them more effectively if they do happen. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your apps more secure, PreEmptive is here to help. Visit our products page for more information about our app protection, or check out our resources to see what else we can do for you!


Categories
101

Spring Boot: An Overview

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you develop web or cloud applications in Java, you’ve probably heard about Spring Boot. This convenient tool is found in a huge range of Java applications, supporting them and keeping them running. However, if you’ve never worked with Spring Boot before, it’s not always immediately apparent what it is or how it works. You don’t need to guess anymore. Keep reading to learn what Java Spring Boot does, how it’s used in different applications, and what you need to do to make sure your Spring Boot application has all the security protection it needs to keep your users safe.

What Is Spring Boot?

Spring Boot is a tool designed to make it easier to write applications that run through the Java Spring framework. The Spring framework is an open-source Java framework designed to help enterprises develop standalone applications. The framework is structured to support applications for Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installations. 

Spring Boot makes that process simpler by offering three critical features for app developers:

  • Supports the standalone nature of Spring applications
  • Implements automatic configuration of Java libraries when possible
  • Provides an “opinionated” set of starter configuration beans for apps

Essentially, Spring Boot helps you bootstrap the development of your application by handling many of the behind-the-scenes concerns for you. Using Spring Boot, you can get quickly get started on development proper and waste less time setting up the basic Java Spring framework requirements. This makes it an excellent tool for any developer who wants to increase productivity and ship applications faster.

How Does Spring Boot Work?

Spring Boot accomplishes all that it does by setting up a microservice architecture within the Spring framework. Microservices are small, independent programs within a larger application that can either produce or consume data. In the case of Spring Boot, it produces data based on best practices and your pre-configured settings to handle many tasks automatically. 

For instance, the microservice nature of Spring Boot allows the tool to automatically set up a basic set of beans for an application. Depending on what jar dependencies you’ve included when you initialize Spring Boot, it will take that input and automatically find and include any beans you’ve left out that may be necessary. If, for example, you don’t include any database support beans in your application, Spring Boot will quietly implement them in the background. 

Similarly, it will autoconfigure the libraries that you add based on your settings. When possible, any libraries that you add will be configured to fit the settings and other libraries involved. 

Just as importantly, Spring Boot allows you to override any auto-configurations easily. If, at first, you allowed the program to configure embedded database support, you can replace it just by adding your own datasource bean. 

Setting up a Spring Boot application is easy, too. The Spring.io project offers a Spring Initializer that lets you input all of your important pre-configurations and generate a project file in which you can start writing right away. There’s no need to waste time putting together the base file. Spring does it for you.

Examples of Spring Boot Applications

Spring Boot is most commonly used for web and cloud applications. GitHub is full of excellent examples of applications developed using Spring Boot, such as:

  • Web Applications: The Spring.io website has been built using Spring Boot, so it perfectly demonstrates what the tool looks like in action. The code is up on GitHub, so you can explore how the tool was used to simplify the site’s setup.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Applications: Spring Boot can kickstart IoT applications. A great example of how the tool can be used for IoT programs is the IxorTalk library, which can be quickly added to any Spring framework project to connect the app to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services IoT offerings.

Still, Spring Boot isn’t perfect. Before you implement the tool in your next application, it’s essential to understand the potential drawbacks of Spring Boot and how to mitigate them. 

The Importance of In-App Protection for Java Spring Boot

Spring Boot has many benefits, but one thing it lacks is automatic security features. While the Spring framework does have some simple security options, they aren’t particularly thorough. Furthermore, you’ll need to continually update your app’s security whenever new threats appear.

You need to make sure your app has more protection than that. The solution is to implement your own in-app security. Hardening your app against security threats requires you to include features like:

  • Obfuscation. If your app contains any kind of private data, it needs to have obfuscation features. You should look for app security solutions that offer multiple forms of obfuscation, such as renaming, encryption, and control flow. This will help you protect everything from login credentials to personal user data.
  • Runtime checks. It’s just as important to ensure your applications aren’t tampered with. Runtime checks let your applications confirm whether or not they have been altered before they start any sensitive tasks. Furthermore, they can help you shut down the app if any unauthorized tampering occurs, helping you avoid data loss.
  • Regular updates. If you want your app to remain safe in the future, you must implement a security solution that will stay up-to-date. The best security solutions automatically update to continue protecting your applications whenever new threats appear.

PreEmptive’s DashO offers all of these features and more. You can add DashO to your Spring Boot application to ensure that it’s secure today and years from now.


Protect Your Spring Boot Application With PreEmptive

Spring Boot is an invaluable tool for Java developers who like the Spring framework. However, it’s important to have proper protection built into your program to avoid common risks native to the framework. That’s where PreEmptive can help. 

With PreEmptive’s DashO, you can protect your application from unnecessary security risks and keep things secure. It’s as easy as following a few simple instructions to ensure your application has built-in hardening protections to keep user data safe. You can learn more about how PreEmptive can help you protect your Spring framework application or get started with DashO today. 


Categories
101

PreEmptive – JSDefender 101

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Did you know JavaScript is used by 13.8 million developers worldwide? This means that 53% of developers either use or have used JavaScript at some point throughout their career. Making this the most popular coding language in web and cloud development. As programming languages are an essential tool, they are a critical security & quality priority that all developers are focused on. And since programming languages are also opportunities for attack, it is essential to implement obfuscation protection as preventative measures to protect your work from being copied, attacked or leveraged to cause further damage.

Just like in our previous 101’s for Dofuscator for .NET, in this article we explain how JSDefender for JavaScript can help secure and protect your work using obfuscation techniques with additional layered security.

What is the Product used for?

Similar to Dotfuscator for .NET, JSDefender is primarily used to protect and harden your applications that are composed of JavaScript. It encrypts your projects through a layered approach. Javascript is commonly used and as the risks of hacking continue to expand, it’s more proficient to implement code security at the early stages of development. In other words, by not using some sort of cybersecurity, it is like leaving your phone on the table and unlocked for the world to see what you’re up to. But, on this scale it is not just your data that is exposed, but the entirety of your users data and product IP.

How does JSDefender work?

JavaScript apps are typically distributed in source form, meaning your code can easily be visible to anyone with access to a browser. If a project isn’t protected, a hacker can conveniently use a debugger (that is built in their browser) along with other sophisticated tools to analyze your code for vulnerabilities – which highlights the path of hijacking your project. JSDefender uses a layered approach that is applied to the binary code using obfuscation, encryption, tamper detection, domain locks, debugger removal, function recording and more, basically scrambling the source code making this very difficult for the average hacker.

When should you use JSDefender?

Anyone who is developing an IoT (internet of things), mobile/desktop application, SaaS (software as a service), or any system software program using JavaScript as your language of development, should be using JSDefender. It’s widely known that investing in DevSecOps (development security operations) is of increasing importance for not only companies, but freelancers as well. There is not an industry that has not been affected by a data breach, and any company who uses or has built a website should know the importance of investing in DevSecOps. We did a case study of GlobalMed who used JSDefender in order to protect their advanced virtual health platform and now they have become the world’s number one telemedicine company!

Where does JSDefender work?

JSDefender is injected directly into your source code. You can specify your own configuration file or use command line options to set up protection attributes. It takes minutes to set up and seconds to begin securing your source file. We have developed a demo so that you can visually see how this works in real time!

JSDefender demo

Why should you use PreEmptive JSDefender?

By using JSDefender you are taking action against any type of attacks to your JavaScript projects by obscuring and managing your vulnerabilities directly in your code within a matter of seconds. We know time is of the essence in development, but implementing security in the beginning of the SDLC saves you time, money and protects your reputation in the long-run. Waiting until the end to scan for vulnerabilities will only prolong the development cycle and you will end up running into issues that could have been avoided if security was part of the process early on. JavaScript is here to stay and as the world of tech advances, so will hackers. So if you feel that your DevSecOps isn’t up to par or stressed about being hacked, download a free trial by visiting our product page and start protecting your intellectual property today!


For more information on how to get started or need further help, we encourage you to use our resources, found in our navigation bar. We hope this blog has guided you to better understand JSDefender for JavaScript. Be on the lookout for our upcoming 101’s!