Categories
Risk Management

Does Obfuscation Affect Code Performance?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The digital age has built bridges to new frontiers. However, these frontiers aren’t limited to the well-intentioned. Unfortunately, malicious online characters are common, and studies show that a new cyber attack is carried out every 39 seconds. 

 

Such high cybercrime rates imply that keepers of online assets must find ways to protect those assets. In addition, coders face unique threats to their work, given that their products form the foundations of the digital world. Thankfully, there are ways to defend code from being accessed, reengineered, stolen, and abused.

 

Open-source code obfuscation is a security application technique that prevents all forms of hacking and tampering. It takes executed code/data and reorders it, rendering it unidentifiable to hackers and other third parties looking to cause trouble. The benefits of code obfuscation are numerous:

 

  • It defends open-source code information and data.
  • It can eliminate debugging loopholes.
  • It slows down hackers trying to re-engineer programs and applications.
  • It helps protect intellectual property.

 

Although obfuscation has considerable upsides, many ask the question: does obfuscation affect performance? It’s a common defense tactic, but many claim that it harms source code performance and decide that the tradeoff between execution and security isn’t worth it. 

 

It’s important to understand obfuscation, what it accomplishes, and its varying methods to engage in this debate with the necessary information. Only then should someone judge whether it’s the right decision for their digital assets.

 

What Is Code Obfuscation?

 

Code obfuscation is the process of encrypting and complicating lines of code, data, and communication loops. These measures cause hackers immense difficulty in interpreting and changing existing information. Ultimately, obfuscation stymies potential hackers, limiting their access and ability to steal and manipulate.

 

There’s a broad range of methods used to carry out code obfuscation. However, in essence, obfuscation is any method implemented to make source code harder to understand. Intense levels of encryption make it so hackers require more time and resources to figure out the code they’re trying to infiltrate.

 

Renaming Obfuscation

Renaming is one of the most common and accessible forms of obfuscation. This method is used in Java, IOS, Android, and NET. Renaming code consists of disguising the variable and method names while retaining the fundamental execution. It’s useful because it directly alters the source code, leaving the program’s functions untouched. 

 

Programmers can also insert “dummy code,” additional strings of false code that mean nothing and only exist to increase the difficulty of reverse engineering. Another method removes unnecessary and gratuitous lines of code and metadata, which improves performance and shrinks the availability of hackable material. 

 

Data Obfuscation

Obfuscation takes many forms, and another standard method is encrypting stored data that’s layered into the code. This form of security creates a barrier between hackers and the valuable data within the program and memory. Data obfuscation can involve aggregation and storage-based methods. 

 

Then there’s string encryption, which entails encrypting legible strings of code. Then, each time a line of code is needed, it must be deciphered before becoming usable again. 

 

In terms of implementation, data obfuscation is more intense than renaming methods. However, combining both practices leads to amplified security. 

 

Control Code Obfuscation

Plugging in additional control loops causes hackers to lose track of any sense of a program’s patterned intent. Furthermore, tinkering with the flow of the codebase — by entering dead-end statements, for example — leaves hackers struggling to find patterns. These statements create a labyrinth, making it especially challenging to reverse engineer a coding pattern.

 

Many consider control code obfuscation the most effective way to guard their program from hackers because it removes all logic from the code’s flow, confusing those looking to cause harm. 

 

Disadvantages of Code Obfuscation

With the what, why, and how of obfuscation established, it’s time to examine the other side of the aisle: why do some cast a wary eye on the practice of obfuscation?

 

The main weakness cited against obfuscation is that adding extra layers of security bogs down code performance. Some estimate that obfuscation can impact program performance between 10% and 80%. This criticism is reasonable because it’s true: adding obfuscation tactics results in extra layers of complexity and affects performance. But there are important caveats — namely that not all obfuscation methods impact performance to the same extent.

 

Renaming obfuscation rarely impacts code performance as it only deals with the semantic structure. As a result, the program function remains nearly identical after obfuscation. Any resulting performance drop-off from this method is minor, if not non-existent.

 

On the other hand, data and control flow obfuscation can sometimes cause a significant performance reduction depending on the intensity of the encryption. Baking additional safety layers into the data and code flow cause the application to take on extra work to execute its function. However, as opposed to renaming methods, data and control flow provide more comprehensive defense against hackers. 

 

Nothing is guaranteed, and there’s never 100% certainty that obfuscation prevents hacking. Some hackers can overcome even high levels of obfuscation. Nevertheless, obfuscation should always be considered because without it, the results can be severe.

 

Leaving Coding Insecure

The rate at which hackers attempt to steal information makes preparation vital to maintaining online safety. If that’s not a good enough reason, up to $400 billion in capital is lost to online hackers every year.

 

Even though obfuscating code comes with some slight downsides, nothing compares to being left helpless as hackers infiltrate, ruin, and steal the hard work of entire companies.

 

Refusing to obfuscate significantly increases the chances of falling prey to such schemes, which can lead to unimaginable consequences depending on what was left unsecured. Such dangers all but necessitate analyzing programs for weaknesses and finding the right solution to protect sensitive data. 

 

Forming a multi-layered obfuscation strategy is a great way to defend digital property from being stolen or attacked. Anyone looking for best-in-class code obfuscation needn’t look any further than PreEmptive’s vast offering of protective services. Visit PreEmptive’s product page for more information or to sign up for a free trial.

 

 

 

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
Press Releases

Major Updates in Dotfuscator 6.5 Release

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Maintenance updates, bug fixes, and new features significantly increase functionality and ease of use.

 

PreEmptive has deployed version 6.5 of its obfuscation and optimization software, Dotfuscator Professional. The latest version continues the legacy of seamless integration into the development environment to protect .NET applications from reverse-engineering and hacking while adding a new variety of static and dynamic code transforms and injected runtime checks to ensure security at every stage of the development process.

 

This release addresses various .NET 5 and cross-platform support items, bug fixes, and cleanup of the new licensing system introduced earlier this year. We also amplified defense against de-obfuscators and de-compilers by making them ineffective against Dotfuscator. See our Change log for more information. 

 

New and updated features 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
  • 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

 

Whether a start-up company, freelancer or an organization developing projects using .NET software, using this in the development process can prevent theft or catastrophic outcomes. Data breaches happen every day, but being proactive about security will help protect your business. 

 

About PreEmptive

 

PreEmptive is a trusted global leader of protection tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We help organizations make their applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering while protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue. For more information, contact our sales team and we can walk you through a demo!


 

Categories
DevSecOps

Defining Data Obfuscation and How It Works Within Your Development

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nowadays, the stakes of cybersecurity are higher and the methods of data breaches are becoming more sophisticated. Cyberattackers are inventing more lethal data breach strategies such as reverse engineering tools, decompilers, and disassemblers.

In response, developers must take extra steps to ensure the safety and security of their code and their users’ data. The healthcare industry is the most targeted by hackers, followed by the financial services and retail sectors. According to a study cited by the National Library of Medicine, there were 2216 incidences of data breaches reported across 65 countries in 2018 alone. Among these data breach incidences, the healthcare industry faced 536 breaches. 

Software development is one of the most affected industry sectors. In fact, data from the recent IBM report showed that software development was the target of 44% of all ransomware attacks in 2021. Findings from research conducted by Positive Technologies show that mobile banking applications are the most affected by cybercrime. The study also showed that common cyberattacks and cyber vulnerabilities are caused by names of classes and methods explicitly written in the source code, without being masked or encrypted through methods such as code obfuscation.

The need for masking is increasing as stakes in cybercrime rise. Data from CBinsights shows that data masking will grow to be an $800M industry by 2023. As you can see, data obfuscation is important for many reasons. Not only does it protect your intellectual property, but it also helps to keep user data safe and secure.

What Is Data Obfuscation and Why Should I Care?

So, what is data obfuscation? In their guide, Brunton and Nissenbaum define data obfuscation as “the deliberate use of ambiguous, confusing, or misleading information to interfere with surveillance and data collection projects.” In simple terms, it is a method of hiding data by making it difficult to interpret. App hardening is an excellent example of the use of data obfuscation and protection. It’s a technique used to protect information by making it unreadable and unusable to anyone who doesn’t have the proper key to unlock it.

This is accomplished by using some of the best practices of data protection such as encryption, code transformation, and watermarking. In the software development world, data obfuscation is important. It assists software developers to protect intellectual property, ensure the safety of user data, and prevent reverse engineering. For instance, software developers can prevent intellectual property theft through encryption. By encrypting code, it becomes much more difficult for non-authorized people to copy it or reverse engineer it.

The use of data obfuscation is becoming increasingly relevant, especially as businesses and start-ups move to the online space. A survey conducted by 451 Research LLC revealed that data obfuscation techniques are on the rise, partly due to accelerating DevOps and as developers’ access to production data rises. Findings from the survey revealed that 53% of organizations interviewed used data obfuscation methods to protect the organization’s developer infrastructure. However, mobile developers seem to be lagging behind in adopting data obfuscation strategies to prevent data breaches in their development activities. According to research by the Association for Computing Machinery, only 24.92% of the 1.7 million free Android apps from Google Play are obfuscated by the developers.

This is a concern because, as the number of mobile devices and apps increases, so does the risk of data breaches. A recent study by Kaspersky shows that nearly one-in-five (17% of internet users) have had private information leaked to the public without their consent. With the increasing number of data breaches, it is becoming more important than ever for developers to take measures to protect their code and user data. One way to do this is through data obfuscation.

Five Types of Software Vulnerabilities That Affect All Developers

As a developer, it is important to be aware of the different types of software vulnerabilities that can affect your code. By understanding these vulnerabilities, you can take steps to avoid them and keep your code safe. Here are five common software vulnerabilities:

1. SQL Injection

SQL injection is a type of attack that allows attackers to execute malicious SQL code on a database. This can be done by submitting malicious input into an application that then gets executed by the database. SQL injection can be used to access sensitive data, such as user passwords and credit card numbers. SQL injection can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as string encryption, and parameterized queries.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting is a type of attack that allows attackers to inject malicious code into a web page. This can be done by submitting malicious input into an application that is then displayed on the web page. XSS can be used to steal sensitive information, such as cookies and session IDs. It can also be used to inject malicious code into the web page, such as JavaScript code that redirects users to a malicious site.

XSS can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding. Input validation involves checking user input to ensure that it is valid before it is displayed on the web page. PreEmptive’s Dotfuscator uses input validation to verify the application’s integrity during runtime.

3. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Cross-site request forgery is a type of attack that allows attackers to inject malicious code into a web page. This can be done by submitting a malicious link or form to a user. CSRF can be used to trick users into submitting sensitive information, such as their username and password. It can also be used to inject malicious code into the web page, such as JavaScript code that redirects users to a malicious site.

CSRF can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques such as input validation and output encoding. Input validation involves checking user input to ensure that it is valid before it is processed by the application.

4. Session Hijacking

Session hijacking is a type of attack that allows attackers to take over a user’s session. This can be done by stealing the user’s session ID. Session hijacking can be used to access sensitive data, such as user passwords and credit card numbers. It can also be used to modify data, such as changing a user’s password or adding new users to a database. PreEmptive’s Dotfuscator is the best app shield against session hijacking.

5. Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of service is a type of attack that prevents users from accessing a website or service. This can be done by overwhelming the website with traffic or by crashing the server. DoS can be used to make a website unavailable, such as by preventing users from being able to access the website or by slowing down the website so that it is unusable. Denial of service can be prevented by using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding.

Data obfuscation is an important tool that any developer should use in developing security application. By using data obfuscation techniques, such as input validation and output encoding, developers can make it much more difficult for attackers to inject malicious code into their web pages. This can help to prevent a wide range of attacks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, CSRF, session hijacking, and denial of service.


Don’t Let Your Data Fall Into the Wrong Hands

Data obfuscation is a critical step in software development, yet too often it is neglected. By understanding what data obfuscation is and how to apply it, you can protect your applications from hacking and tampering. PreEmptive’s comprehensive suite of obfuscation tools can help you secure your DevSecOps pipelines and investments. With our help, you can protect your systems and keep your data safe. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services!


Categories
Risk Management

Security Breaches of 2021

Reading Time: 7 minutes

It’s no secret that security breaches are becoming more and more common. There were 1,864 data breaches in 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. That’s an increase of 68% from the previous year. And as we become more reliant on technology, it’s only going to get worse. This trend is likely to continue in 2022, with hackers becoming more sophisticated and organizations struggling to keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of the security risks that come with using certain applications. After all, it only takes one security breach to jeopardize your personal information. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common security breaches of 2021. We’ll also provide some tips on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

What Is a Security Breach?

A security breach is any incident that results in the unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of confidential information. This can include anything from losing your laptop to having your email account hacked. Security breaches can have serious consequences. They can lead to identity theft, financial losses, and damage to your reputation.

Top 5 Most Iconic Data Breaches in the U.S.

The United States has had its share of high-profile data breaches. Here are five of the most iconic security breaches in U.S. history:

1. Equifax (2017).

In 2017, the credit reporting agency Equifax announced a data breach that affected 147 million people. Hackers were able to exploit a vulnerabilities in Equifax’s website and gain access to sensitive information like Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

2. Yahoo (2013-2014)

The Yahoo data breach is one of the largest security breaches to date. In 2013 and 2014, 500 million user accounts were compromised by what is believed to be a state-sponsored actor. The information stolen includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and in some cases, security questions and answers. While the cause of the breach is still under investigation, it highlights the importance of security applications and app hardening.

3. Target (2013)

The personal information of more than 70 million Target customers was exposed in this data breach. Hackers accessed Target’s point-of-sale (POS) systems and were able to steal customer names, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes. This breach cost Target approximately $292 million.

4. JPMorgan Chase (2014)

Hackers accessed the contact information of 76 million JPMorgan Chase customers in this security breach. The security breach was the result of a spear-phishing campaign that allowed hackers to obtain employee credentials, which they used to gain access to the company’s servers.

JPMorgan Chase is one of the world’s largest banks, with more than $2 trillion in assets. The security breach affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

The hackers accessed customer names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth. They also obtained customer account information, such as account numbers and balances.

5. Anthem (2015)

The personal information of 78.8 million Anthem customers was exposed in this security breach. The security breach occurred when hackers gained access to Anthem’s servers through a phishing attack.

The hackers accessed customer names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and employment information, as well as Anthem member ID numbers.

Five Major U.S. Data Breaches in 2021 – How They Happened

The year 2021 was marked by a number of high-profile data breaches. Here’s a look at five of the biggest security breaches that occurred in the U.S. last year.

1. Microsoft Exchange Server Data Breach (January 2021)

In January 2021, it was discovered that a number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software had been exploited by a Chinese state-sponsored hacker group. The vulnerabilities allowed the hackers to gain access to the email accounts of Exchange Server users. However, it is now thought that China sucked up a lot of data to enhance their artificial intelligence (AI) program.

The attack was made possible by a number of vulnerabilities in Exchange Server that were first discovered in early 2021. These vulnerabilities, which are known as “zero-days,” were not made public until after the attacks had been carried out.

The security breach affected more than 30,000 organizations in 150 countries. The hackers are thought to have used a number of techniques to gain access to Exchange Server systems, including password spraying and brute-force attacks.

Once they had gained access to a system, the hackers planted malicious code on the victim’s servers. This allowed them to remotely run commands on the server and steal data.

The data that was stolen includes email addresses, subject lines, and the contents of emails. The hackers may also have gained access to contact lists, calendar entries, and tasks.

The breach was discovered by a security researcher who goes by the name “Orange Tsai.” Tsai reported the breach to Microsoft, and the company released a patch for the vulnerabilities in March 2021.

2. Facebook (April 2021)

Facebook has since attributed the breach to its tool to sync contacts. The company cited that hackers took advantage of a vulnerability to compromise and scrape user data.

Even though Facebook recorded one of its largest leaks in 2021, the problems began way back in 2013 when the social network started facing data breaches. This exposed it to vulnerabilities of which hackers took advantage in 2021. One of Facebook’s spokespersons confirmed to Business Insider that this incident was due to vulnerabilities that ensued in 2019.

In 2019, one of Facebook’s security issues was that company employees had access to 600 million user accounts. Additionally, the company had stored Facebook and Instagram account IDs and passwords in plaintext files, which is risky.

During the same period, UpGuard revealed that two third-party-developed Facebook apps with 540 million user records did not protect their data records, thus exposing user information to the public. The same year, investigations revealed that hackers tampered with Facebook’s application programming interface (API) along with user IDs, phone numbers, and names.

Following these eventualities, Facebook’s over 530 million users were affected in 2021, and 300 million others were affected in 2019. The company encountered an outage in some countries, which cost the company $40 billion. The company also faced some reputational nightmares. The data scraping went on for two weeks before being detected, as per Facebook’s report.

3. Colonial Pipeline (May 2021)

In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel to the US East Coast, was hit by a ransomware attack. The attack resulted in the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which caused fuel shortages and panic buying across the U.S. East Coast.

The attack was carried out by a group of hackers known as DarkSide. The group is thought to be based in Russia and operates as a ransomware-as-a-service operation.

It is believed that the hackers gained access to Colonial Pipeline’s network through a phishing attack. Once they were inside the network, they deployed ransomware and encrypted Colonial Pipeline’s data.

The hackers then demanded a ransom of $4.4 million in Bitcoin. Colonial Pipeline eventually paid the ransom, but not before the attack had caused widespread disruption that resulted in fuel shortages, panic buying, and soaring fuel prices.

4. JBS (May 2021)

JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, was hit by a ransomware attack in May 2021. The attack caused JBS to shut down its operations in the U.S., Australia, and Canada.

The attack was carried out by a group of hackers known as REvil. The group is thought to be based in Russia and operates as a ransomware-as-a-service operation.

It is believed that the hackers gained access to the JBS network through a phishing attack. Once they were inside the network, they deployed ransomware and encrypted JBS data.

The hackers then demanded a ransom of $11 million. JBS did pay the ransom, but the attack still caused significant disruption to the company’s operations. The attack also had a knock-on effect on the global meat supply chain.

5. Peloton Data Breach (January 2021)

In December 2020, Peloton, the exercise bike company, suffered a data breach. The breach resulted in the compromised personal information of up to 2.4 million customers.

The breach occurred when Peloton’s website was hacked. The hackers were able to gain access to Peloton’s customer database, which contained information such as names, email addresses, and birthdates.

Peloton was made aware of the breach in December 2020 and took steps to secure its website. However, the damage had already been done, and the personal information of Peloton’s customers was now in the hands of the hackers.

These are just some of the biggest security breaches that have occurred in recent years. As we can see, no company is safe from attack, and all companies need to be vigilant about security. The best way to protect your company from a security breach is to invest in security applications and app hardening. These measures will help to make your company’s data more secure and less attractive to hackers.


Your Safety and Security Come First.

The above incidents of data breaches and the aftermath can have a devastating effect on businesses, no matter their size. That’s why it’s critical for organizations to take steps now to protect their data and applications. 

At PreEmptive Solutions, we provide a range of products that help make applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering. Our layered approach provides multiple layers of protection, making it much harder for attackers to succeed. 

If you want to learn more about our products or how we can help your organization protect its data, please contact us.


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
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.


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Risk Management

3 Common Security Mistakes Developers Make in Their SDLC

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The systems development lifecycle (SDLC) is a process used by developers to create and deploy software applications. The SDLC provides a framework for security, quality assurance, and project management throughout the software development process. Security is of paramount importance in the SDLC, as developers must ensure that their applications are secure from attacks.

Quality assurance is also critical, as developers must ensure that their applications meet customers’ expectations. Project management is essential to the success of the SDLC, as it helps developers track their progress and ensure that they meet their deadlines. By following the SDLC, developers can create high-quality, secure software applications that meet customers’ expectations.

When it comes to developing software, the security of the final product should be a top priority. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Security is often an afterthought, which can lead to vulnerabilities and exploits. 

3 Most Common Security Mistakes That Developers Make When It Comes to Cybersecurity

When it comes to developing software, the security of the final product should be a top priority. Security should be integrated into every stage of the SDLC, from initial planning to post-deployment. Here are three common mistakes developers make when it comes to security in their SDLC.

1. Not Using Software Security Tools to Prevent Cyberattacks

The first common mistake many developers make is failing to use the proper software security tools to prevent cyberattacks. They often try to develop their own tools or use free ones that are ineffective. This can lead to vulnerabilities in the code, which hackers can exploit.

Using software security tools can help developers find and fix vulnerabilities in their code, making it more difficult for hackers to capitalize on them. These tools can also help automate the process of checking and fixing vulnerabilities in the code, saving time and resources.

Different software security tools have varying roles in the SDLC. Some help identify potential security risks, some write secure code, and others test code for vulnerabilities. In-app protection tools assist in securing the app post-development. It is crucial to prioritize security at every stage of the SDLC to ensure that risks are appropriately mitigated and that the final product is secure.

There are many different software security tools available that can help prevent attacks. These tools can help find and fix vulnerabilities in the code. They can also help monitor the system for suspicious activity and block attacks.

PreEmptive offers a variety of  in-app protection tools that can be used throughout the software development lifecycle to secure code, aid in app hardening. and mitigate vulnerabilities. PreEmptive tools are designed to work with a variety of programming languages and platforms, making them versatile for developers. Whether a developer is looking to protect mobile apps, web apps, or desktop apps,  PreEmptive tools can help them secure the code and prevent vulnerabilities from arising.

2. Failing to Use Source-Code Analysis Tools

The second mistake developers often make is failing to use source-code analysis tools. These tools can help identify vulnerabilities in the code and provide recommendations for fixing them. Many developers are not  aware of these tools or do not use them properly. This can lead to serious security issues that could otherwise be avoided.

Source-code analysis tools can be used to find a variety of issues, including buffer overflows, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting. They can also help find vulnerabilities in third-party libraries. By using these tools, developers can find and fix vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them.

Source-code analysis aims to improve the security of an application by identifying potential vulnerabilities during the development process. Security issues can often be found in the code itself, so it makes sense to look for them early on.

Source-code analysis can be used at different stages of the SDLC. For example, it can be used to identify potential security risks during the requirements-gathering phase. During the design phase, it can also be used to ensure that security is built into the system, and it can be used during the testing phase to find any vulnerabilities that may have been introduced during development.

Once the source code is analyzed, the findings can be used to improve the security of the application. For example, if a potential vulnerability is found, the code can be fixed to prevent it from being exploited. Alternatively, if a security issue is found in a third-party library, the application can be redesigned to avoid using that library. The application can then be submitted to the  in-app software protection tools offered by PreEmptive for app hardening.

3. Not Doing Security Testing in All Phases of the SDLC

The third mistake that many developers make is not doing security testing in all phases of the SDLC. Security testing should be done throughout the entire process, from initial planning to post-deployment.  Security testing can help find and fix vulnerabilities in the code. It can also help ensure that the application is configured correctly and meets all security requirements.

Security testing can be done manually or with automated tools. Automated tools can help speed up the process and find more issues than manual testing. Security testing should be done regularly, even after the application has been deployed.

In most cases, security testing is treated as an afterthought, to be done right before the app goes live. Security testing in the earlier stages of development can help find and fix issues before they become a problem. Security testing should be done throughout the entire SDLC to ensure that the application is secure.


Conclusion

Cybersecurity threats are increasing in number and sophistication every day. Developers who want to stay ahead of the curve need to use the latest software security tools to prevent cyberattacks. While developers can make many potential mistakes in their SDLC, we’ve highlighted the three most common ones. Implementing security within the SDLC is critical to protecting applications from cyberattacks and data breaches.

PreEmptive offers high-quality, highly flexible, smart application protection, including app hardening, to a wide variety of industries, protecting and securing applications for a broad range of platforms, including .NET, Java/Android, JavaScript, and iOS.  Take a look at PreEmptive’s solutions today and see how they can help improve the application security posture.


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101

Budgeting for DevSecOps: Key Points To Keep in Mind In Cybersecurity

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cybersecurity is one of the areas of business that should never be ignored. Experts expect that cyberattacks will cost the world an estimated $10.5 trillion dollars in losses by 2025, making it an urgent priority for companies across every sector to get right. Not only can cyberattacks have a devastating impact on a company’s bottom line by leading to data breaches and other problems, they can also damage an organization’s reputation beyond repair. If a business fails to take the necessary time to address cybersecurity needs in its budget, it takes a significant risk that could cost them significantly if something goes wrong. 

Knowing how to budget for cybersecurity isn’t always easy. There’s more that goes into it than just buying software and hardware. Training staff and developing a culture of security within an organization must also be included.

Read on to find out how companies can make sure their cybersecurity budget meets their needs.

Know the Threat Landscape

Knowing the threat landscape is about knowing one’s enemy. Understanding what types of attacks are being used and by whom can help businesses better plan their security strategy. As malware authors continually evolve their approach, it’s crucial to stay informed about new threats and how they are being used.

In practical terms, that means:

  • Proactively monitoring the latest cyber attacks, including those identified by researchers at leading cybersecurity firms
  • Learning about new hacking and attack methods and vulnerabilities as soon as possible after their discovery
  • Maintaining up-to-date cyber protection on all systems with an internet connection

Companies should develop an acute awareness of the different attack vectors and vulnerabilities likely to affect their organization. Good managers will place themselves in the mind of an attacker and war game ways to overcome their own defenses. Would they implant Trojan viruses, or could they instead target one of the system administrators with phishing emails?

The conclusions that emerge will determine where and how the budget should be prioritized.

Don’t Just Think of One Single Network Perimeter

The best defense is a good offense, and this is especially true when it comes to cybersecurity. Businesses need to be proactive. The hackers are always working on newer, more advanced methods of attack, so defenders should plan for the future as a whole, not just threat parameters across one single network. They need a multilayered approach that will keep their network protected from threats internal and external alike.

Many breaches happen because companies are far too complacent with their cybersecurity measures. They rely too much on one single aspect of DevSecOps. But cyber attackers are getting smarter by the day: Defenders need to be flexible and adaptive.

Avoid Going Overboard

The point here is that cybersecurity budgets, like any other budget, should be managed with care. In determining the right amount to spend on cybersecurity in your organization, think about:

  • Risk Assessment. How high is the risk? What assets are most critical to protecting? What could happen if they were lost or compromised?
  • Cost. How much would it cost to recover from a breach? The more severe the potential financial damage, the more money businesses should consider directing toward cybersecurity.
  • Existing Controls. What defenses are already in place? If a company already has an extensive network of firewalls and intrusion detection systems, it may not need as much investment in additional security measures as another company.

Don’t budget more than is actually needed. The goal is to ensure that the right security measures are place to protect the organization. They don’t have to be the most expensive or sophisticated engineering solutions available.  They just need to work.

Think About the Cost of Underinvesting

The average data breach costs around $4 million, and this is just for the costs incurred directly by the victim. The real cost takes into consideration lost revenue and reputational damage.

Depending on the severity of the breach, businesses may be left dealing with an immediate loss of customer trust and reputation or even litigation from customers. It can also cause them to lose out on future business if customers don’t trust them with their money or personal information anymore.

Needless to say, no company can afford to take DevSecOps lightly.

Cybersecurity Is a Process, Not a Product

Cybersecurity should be a team effort that involves many people and departments throughout an organization. From the executive level to IT professionals to customer support personnel, everyone needs to be involved in cybersecurity efforts for the entire organization  to succeed.

It’s not enough for a network security team to just deploy their solution. Everyone needs to know how those solutions work and how they should be implemented. This includes ensuring that all new hires are trained on how these security solutions operate, so that everyone at the company understands and emphasizes cybersecurity in every aspect of their jobs.

They don’t need to know minute technical details, but they do need to understand the culture of cybersecurity and why it matters for their specific role in the company.

Budgeting Thoughtfully for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a complex and ever-evolving field. To protect a business from cyber threats, cybersecurity defenders need to stay up to date on the latest security trends and technologies. But implementing good data hygiene practices takes time. There’s no quick fix for making sure all files have been properly encrypted or deleted.

  • Treat cybersecurity as a long-term investment. Cybersecurity isn’t something that can be put off until later — it’s an investment that can save businesses money long-term, but it’s also important to be thoughtful about how much it will cost and how best to spend that money.
  • Think beyond traditional IT solutions. Cybersecurity requires different skills than traditional IT, so don’t expect an existing IT staff to handle everything on their own. Businesses will also want someone who understands how human behavior affects security to help design processes that reduce the risk of someone inadvertently doing something that puts the company at risk.

Finding the Right Solution

One way for businesses to make sure their budgeting is on track is to work with someone who understands what kinds of threats exist and can give them realistic timelines for deploying effective solutions — and at what price point.


PreEmptive is committed to helping companies like yours protect their applications and networks from hackers, as well as ensuring that you are able to take control of your data. We offer free demos so you can see what we have to offer, and if you decide that our products are right for your business needs, we’ll be happy to work with you on a plan that fits within your budget.


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Risk Management

5 Ways PreEmptive Boosts Productivity in Your SDLC With DevSecOps

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Devsecops is quickly becoming instrumental for businesses that want to boost productivity. According to the 2021 GitLabs DevSecOps report, teams that use a devsecops approach to generating their code got their work out the door 60% faster than those that didn’t. That’s a massive improvement in efficiency and productivity.

You can reap the same rewards by taking a devsecops approach early in your systems development lifecycle (SDLC). Keep reading to learn the five most important ways that early devsecops implementation can streamline your SDLC and what it means to take a devsecops approach.

What Is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps

The term devsecops is short for “development, security, operations.” It’s the next evolution of the “devops” culture and approach to development. In DevOps, the development and operations teams work together closely to ensure that the program is designed from the ground up to meet functionality goals and deadlines. 

Devsecops goes one step further by rolling the security team into the development process. Instead of having a DevOps group and a Security group, everyone on the project is responsible for ensuring it’s secure. This helps prevent fundamental security flaws from being baked into the final product and reduces the risk of costly security fixes after development is complete. 

Building a devsecops culture within your business helps you accomplish this by providing five main benefits. When your team is dedicated to pursuing devsecops goals throughout the SDLC, you can:

1. Improve Communication

The traditional approach to application development involves siloed teams. Each part of the development process is handled by separate groups. These groups don’t typically work together and only communicate about the project when it’s moved from one team to the next. As a result, communication delays are common, and miscommunications can cause problems that take weeks to resolve. 

Taking a devsecops approach can resolve this issue entirely. Instead of having siloed teams working separately, everyone is working on it at the same time. The group can easily communicate and bring up potential problems in advance, saving time and effort in the long run. 

You can further improve communication about security concerns by implementing security solutions in your application from the very beginning. PreEmptive makes it easy for everyone on your team to ensure the app is secure, including non-specialists. Everyone can communicate in the same language and avoid delays since they’re all working with the same tools.

2. Implement Early Testing

Devsecops allows you to start performing critical tests early before it becomes cost-prohibitive to make essential changes. There’s no need to wait until the project is nearing completion to send it to the security team. Since everyone is responsible for security, and protective features and architecture should be included from the very start, it’s possible to start security testing significantly earlier in your SDLC. 

Working with a tool like PreEmptive makes early testing easier to accomplish. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or worry about whether your tests will miss something. You can simply verify that the PreEmptive hardening features are working as intended. 

This early testing can significantly improve your team’s productivity. You can catch potential flaws and risks right away when they can be fixed in hours or days. The result is less time wasted on preventable fixes and more time spent on features that matter.

3. Incorporate Security Into Metric Monitoring

Many teams monitor productivity metrics to determine how well they’re performing. When you’ve built a devsecops security culture, you can include your security teams in your monitoring process to understand how your project is going. 

This holistic overview helps you spot places where you’re inefficient. You can quickly address delays or redundant processes and refine your SDLC to reach peak performance. 

4. Integrate Shared Knowledge

Another benefit of devsecops culture is the way it encourages sharing knowledge. A well-structured devsecops approach means that everyone does a little of everything. Having team members share their knowledge ensures that the loss of one person won’t derail an entire project. Someone else will have a basic understanding of what needs to be done to keep things moving. 

Furthermore, this team culture can benefit your project as a whole. Collaboration between groups with different skill sets leads to more robust, secure projects, particularly when they have high-quality tools to work with. Providing shared security tools like PreEmptive reinforces this knowledge transfer and collaboration, making your final product even better. 

5. Institute Automation

A quality devsecops team will prioritize the use of automation. When your development and security teams are one and the same, it’s easy to build high-quality security automation from the beginning of your SDLC. This can make all the difference down the road. 

Security automation includes attributes like:

  • Obfuscation: Protecting sensitive information and code through renaming, encryption, and minification.
  • Tamper detection: Identifying and shutting down outside attempts to adjust your application without permission.
  • Control-flow: Ensuring that outside forces can’t affect the commands issued within your application.

The sooner these features are built into an application, the less likely it is to contain major security flaws. Devsecops ensures that you can bake in automated security protection while your app is still in early development.

PreEmptive makes it easy to automate your app’s security from the moment your team begins work. It’s as easy as adding your chosen solution to your app, with no need to send your sensitive or protected code to a third party at any point. You get the benefits of automated security and regular updates while keeping your code in-house.


Make DevSecOps Easier With PreEmptive

It’s never too early to start thinking about application protection and security. Devsecops is the best way to make sure your app is secure from the moment you begin development. 

If you want to make devsecops a fundamental part of your SDLC, PreEmptive makes it simple. By adding a PreEmptive security solution like DashO, JSDefender, or Dotfuscator to your app, you ensure that security is baked into your design. Learn more about how PreEmptive can help you accomplish your security goals, or start your free trial today.