What coding techniques are used in cybersecurity

What coding techniques are used in cybersecurity
What coding techniques are used in cybersecurity

Those looking at getting a job in cybersecurity need to be able to code. There are several reasons why this is extremely important for cybersecurity experts and their role, mostly because the hackers and criminals they are trying to defeat will focus on using coding to break into what they want to protect.

Plus, being someone involved in cyber security means you almost have to be focused on coding in some way, shape, or form. Coding is the backbone of cybersecurity, and it is the tool that allows cybersecurity experts to protect whatever business or individual they are protecting. It is interesting for both novice coders and advanced coders to take a deep dive into the type of work they are doing and to understand the coding techniques they will have to use. Here is what they need to know!

The coding language

Some security professionals need to know a lot about coding because it is quite literally their job to know. Others can get by without knowing much coding language at all. But many coding platforms are all built off the same programming language that allows for communication. Whether that language is Java, Python, PHP, or Ruby, a cybersecurity officer needs to know the language.

Whether they are interacting with it as an ethical hacker to test out defenses, or are focusing on ensuring that security is analyzed, security experts need to make sure they understand the coding language before starting.

As you are getting started in the world of coding, there are plenty of resources that teach you the various programming languages. Not only that but there are also various games and applications that show you how to speak in that language in order to get the computer to do what you want it to do. So don’t be afraid of or intimidated by a programming language you don’t understand.

Instead, they should take the time to learn the language. It will take effort, but eventually all that hard work will pay off. Then they will be even more equipped to handle the job of a cybersecurity specialist.

How to get into the field of cybersecurity

Those asking how to become a Cyber Security Analyst, are on the correct track to becoming one. The world needs plenty of cyber security analysts, now more than ever with the rise of new technology. As the internet becomes more and more vulnerable, it is the cyber security specialists who will give us the protection we need. Individuals need to have some education to become a cybersecurity specialist. Gaining a good education at a good school is paramount, and the Master of Science at St. Bonaventure University is an excellent option. This program teaches individuals everything they need to know about cybersecurity. Once graduated, students’ skills will always be in demand because cybercrime is predicted to grow as a problem. The world needs cybersecurity analysts, and St. Bonaventure ensures that students are qualified in various topics, including digital forensics, and cloud security.

As the internet becomes more and more vulnerable, it is the cybersecurity specialists who will provide protection, especially with the world of AI and other forms of technology seriously increasing. While these new technological advancements are changing the world, they are also using outdated methods of protection as updated safety systems are yet to be designed. This creates a high demand for innovative cybersecurity experts.

So, those who have any interest at all in the world of cybersecurity need to reach out and focus on grabbing that career with both hands. The more they focus on it, and the faster they learn it, the faster they can take advantage of the various opportunities available.

What does cybersecurity mean?

People might think that they know what cybersecurity means, but they either have an inflated idea or they focus on certain aspects of the job and ignore others. Cybersecurity encompasses the field of people who are defending computers, servers, mobile devices, and data from attacks by hackers and those who want to steal information or damage the network.

There are several different types of cybersecurity. Network security is whenever a computer network is secured from an attacker. Application security keeps software and devices free from threats. Information security keeps data protected. Finally, disaster recovery is the crisis team that responds to threats and helps organizations recover from cyberattacks.

Perhaps the most useful of the various types is end user education, which helps the business employees and stakeholders avoid falling prey to cyberattacks. By making sure that they can identify and avoid a suspicious scenario, they can prevent the network from being at risk.

Now that we know about coding and cyber security, let’s see how they both marry together to protect businesses from cyber threats.

Secure coding

Secure coding allows for software to be written that is resistant to being tampered with by people or programs. The defenses are baked into the code itself, making the code that much harder for attackers to change and interfere with. The code and the data that it holds is protected from both known and unknown security vulnerabilities, and it is an amazing safeguard against many cyberthreats.

Secure coding techniques negate the need to constantly review code. Additionally, cybersecurity experts can protect the code with code obfuscation and minification, and document the standards that the company is willing to stand by.

For many cybersecurity specialists, they will primarily write and interact with their code in C++. This code is much stronger than the C programming language because it is less easy to code. Plus, the C language is easier to access and change from the outside, while the C++ code is higher level and requires more study. Once a cybersecurity expert gets into the basics, they will find that the secure code practically writes itself! Still, learning how to either read or write in the C++ programming language is essential for cybersecurity management specialists.

Input validation and access control

One of the best ways to make sure threats don’t cause problems for a system is to make sure that they never get into the system in the first place. Two of the secure cybersecurity techniques that can identify this include input validation and access control. Both allow for the owners of the website to see who is online, where they are, and what they are doing.

Input validation tests any input that a user submits. If there is a problem, the user is not allowed to enter the website. One such input validation is a CAPTCHA code, which makes sure that the user in question is a human. It is the first line of defense and is often used to help support other cybersecurity techniques.

Access control is also used to make sure that sensitive data is only given to those who need access to it. If all authorized users are vetted and informed of their privilege, this can make it very easy to spot unauthorized users attempting to access data. Cybersecurity experts simply need to perform account audits regularly to delete any unused accounts.

Preventing SQL injection

SQL injections are one of the most common attacks that a group will make against a company to steal its data. If an injection is successful, then the entire database can be controlled by hackers. They will avoid all identification and security measures to get into the database. Then they can add, change, and remove whatever they want, and the database owner won’t be able to stop them.

These attacks can be massive game changers for business, because they give attackers complete and total access to sensitive data. All an attacker needs to do to make an injection is to find a vulnerability in a web page or web application and infect it with an SQL query.

For many cybersecurity coders, the most effective way to stop an SQL injection from getting into a business is by promoting awareness. They then ensure that user input is standardized across all users. Utilizing the best technology and ensuring only employing verified protection is the best way to stop an injection from happening.

Finally, many cybersecurity coders focus on providing built in scanners that constantly scan web applications for any threats or signs of suspicious activity. If the scanners detect something, the cybersecurity expert is alerted.

Automated security

Many cybersecurity experts are focusing on security automation to protect businesses from harm. Automation is the process of doing all the steps related to cybersecurity automatically: detecting threats or suspicious activity, investigating suspicious activity, and handling cyberthreats. Security automation is also designed to perform triage on security systems and set a priority level for them, allowing a human to solve the problem if needed.

Automated security systems are designed to help streamline the various issues that security teams and business owners face regularly. They can also take on many smaller security issues that don’t take a long time to fix. Human experts are left to handle the various issues that are more complicated.

For many cybersecurity professionals, the implementation of these security systems can be extremely difficult because they need to be able to react to a lot of different scenarios. Additionally, many alerts that security teams get aren’t always related to various issues, which makes responding to every single one impossible for a human. This also makes it hard for the automated system to program which alerts it needs to treat as serious.

Despite the challenges, when automated security is done correctly, it can be a massive boon to cybersecurity forces because it frees up the time otherwise spent on simple tasks. If a massive problem develops, they can turn all their attention to that. This is one type of code that can benefit nearly every single security system, and one that every cybersecurity professional should use.

Penetration testing

With every single security system, the best way to make sure that it can handle a threat is to give the entire system a trial by fire. For cybersecurity officers, this means that the whole system needs to be attacked so the defenses and techniques can be tested. A penetration test is a simulated cyberattack on a computer system, designed to check the computer and system for weaknesses and vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

These are often done with the aid of ethical hackers: people who make a living out of safely hacking websites and systems to test the response of the system. Often the hacker will work with the security team to beef up security, or the two groups will be in regular communication during the exercise. This allows the security team to look in-depth at a hacker’s mind, which is information that could prove very useful.

The penetration test goes through five stages during the simulated attack. The first stage of planning and reconnaissance outlines the goals of the attack. Next, scanning tries to understand how the system will respond to an attack. Then the attack begins as various aspects of the system are made vulnerable and testers try to steal data and escalate privileges.

The fourth stage tries to maintain the exposed vulnerabilities as the system defends itself. This simulates the various advanced persistent threats that can hide in a system for months and steal data. Finally, once the simulated attack is over, the situation is analyzed, and the security system is improved using that information.

Different techniques for penetration

There are several different types of penetration attack that can be used to gain access to a system. The first, external testing, will target all the assets of the company that are online. Then they will try to break into those servers and steal data. There is also an internal test, where the attack comes from the inside (simulating theft by an employee, for example).

Security personnel also go through blind testing and double-blind testing, ensuring they don’t know when the simulated attack will happen. This simulates the suddenness and chaos of a real-life security threat and doesn’t allow the security team time to upgrade their defenses.

All these penetration types are focused on gathering information by simulating a real-world malicious hack as accurately as possible. These exercises are often invaluable because they allow the security team and the website to go through a trial by fire and prepare for the real event.

Cross site scripting

Cross site scripting is what happens whenever malicious code is injected into a vulnerable web application, and the users of that application are put at risk. With this attack, accounts can be compromised, Trojan horses can be added to steal data, and session cookies can allow attackers to disguise themselves as valid users. They can then run havoc with these private accounts.

To prevent these issues on vulnerable web pages across the internet, a firewall is used to protect them. Having a team of cybersecurity personnel on the clock and managing the service can help prevent new attack vectors from slipping through the firewall too.

The benefits of big security

Once cybersecurity experts have implemented all these security items into a business or organization, they will have successfully helped protect it from attack. The job of cybersecurity might never be finished, as everyone is in an arms race and will be trying to outdo one another. The best way to prepare is to continue education, continuously learning new techniques and staying updated with developments in the cybersecurity field. Cybersecurity experts shouldn’t be afraid to learn about and use these coding techniques, as the more they know, the better they can respond whenever a crisis comes.

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