Source Code Review: Approach, Challenges And Best Methods

Code review is an important step to take when you are striving for a perfectly secured application to be launched. Here are some important things that you may need to know with respect to source code reviews.

source code review

You may be working really hard in order to ensure that the tools and security processes remain integrated all throughout the development processes. Moreover, a source code review is always an important step that you cannot afford to miss out. What are the probable elements you need to consider? Just take a glance.

What is Source Code Review?

source code review
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Source Code Review is meant to fetch out the hidden design flaws, vulnerabilities and verifies the implementation of key security controls. Many times vulnerabilities and bugs bring up a possibility of potential attacks from attackers who are generally haunting for such flaws. The attackers can also access the internal information (leading to data leakage) and other assets.

In many cases, in order to ensure swift completion of a project, the development phases of the applications are known to be hurried upon. There are chances that the security test processes for the product might be skipped or may have not done properly.

Clients for these products are therefore expected to fall prey to attackers in most of the cases. And in order to find and prevent any vulnerability that may prevail, a rigorous review process is a must for the product.

Approach to Source Code Review

Source Code Review
via: firmussec

A source code review process would include the following steps:

  • It starts with reviewing the software, which includes browsing through the entire coding process. The development team should then have several discussions pertaining to the software. In order to identify the security design issues and ensure probable levels of security, there is an array of extensive questions that need to be answered.
  • The second step considers the preparation of a code review plan.
  • Next step is to look for comprosing data that may be placed in the code. Also, it is important to identify bad coding that may make it even easier for attackers to gain access to the considered software.
  • This is when the analysis is almost completed; this step includes the verification of any other existing flaws. If any the vulnerabilities are then listed and the possible remedial steps are mentioned.

The vulnerable line of code could be found through the exhaustive process of identifying bugs during the source code review. The root of the problem is identifiable this way and the application developers are therefore able to attain the general idea of susceptibility swiftly comprehending the temperament of the hitch.


Challenges During Source Code Review

source code review tools
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The presence of bugs in the applications makes them vulnerable to the traps of attackers. This can let them gain access to your assets and information they may also plan to impact many of them.

These vulnerabilities are more often found within web applications being developed and deployed in short durations. They may, therefore, miss many security tests because of less time available.

Methods used for web application codes are often known to be rigorous consisting of both automated and manual source code review process in order to pave way for the best results.

With a variety of tools available, vulnerabilities across large code bases can be identified. Security-specific modules also remain to be focal elements including encryption and authorization in order to have a check on business logic issues.

Tips for Better Source Code Review

Source Code Review
via: cybercure

This is an absolutely important step that you need to take. Well, in order to ensure that things to go perfectly here are some tips that you may consider:

1. Prepare a code review checklist to ensure consistency between reviews by different developers.

It should be made sure that all reviewers work on the basis of the same checklist while conducting manual reviewing. A well-designed checklist will help to catch up with the processes and steps that might have been skipped or missed out.

Moreover, considering the present era, it is much better to find some good source code review tools. Fatigue can ruin it all and hence this needs to be done with entire concentration and a fresh mindset.

2. Avoid singling out developers and opt for a positive security approach

It is good to consider some more tools for comparison of results at different levels. There is going to be a huge amount of work to deal with and hence there are more chances of getting mistaken.

These tools would help in finding mistakes easily and also availing of the best remedies for them. Also, you should make sure to cover up the gap between development and security with the most appropriate measures.

3. Review the code with every change you make.

It is better to have a proper glance at the code with every considerable change you make. A source code review is not always something that needs to be conducted just before the release.

Manual code reviews for major applications can be considered good when some important changes are made. This will prevent any bigger mistake from happening. This way you will be able to do things in smaller parts rather than reviewing chunks of data altogether.


4. Combine the performance of tools and human skills

Tools remain to be tools; they surely not have a human mind and all of its incredible skills. Therefore, when you are striving in to get the correct insights of existing risks and the most appropriate remedies against them, you will need to combine manual reviewing and the abilities of various tools available.

This is important in order to be sure that there is no error in any piece of code that is lefty unfixed.However, efficient you source code review tools may be, there are always chances that it can make mistakes.

Thus a combination of manual review and a static analysis would be the best utilized in this case in order to trace blind spots in the codes. It is in a way perfect to make use of your expertise in case of special requirements and utilize various tools for the rest of the tasks.

5. Track patterns of insecure codes

By modifying your secure source code review checklist you may make your tasks easier for future by storing various repetitive issues that may have occurred. This makes working faster on various reports and applications.

You may be up with various other insights as you monitor codes that can be noted and utilized later to work easier on problems that are known. This can also help you get your review guide ready.

Source code review often remains to be an effective method to ensure that the source that there are no insecure codes and applications remain safe.

Rather than saving funds, it is always good to move up for the most appropriate safety measures and security checks when dealing with corporate applications. And in that case, it is important to get through the best processes for source code review.