Application flaws are a part of life in any web project. No developer, no matter how good they may be, is immune to error, especially in applications whose source code may include millions of lines. In addition, unfortunately, many developers have not trained in IT security best practices, and for these two reasons, new vulnerabilities are regularly identified in widely-used code and technologies.
These IT flaws are a haven for hackers who identify vulnerable sites using robots that scan your source code. This is purely opportunistic behaviour, which is highly profitable for hackers and can affect all companies, regardless of their size, sector or the type of data processed. If a scanned site is vulnerable, it will be attacked: this is a major risk for websites. For this reason, it is important to conduct an IT security audit.
Cyber-attacks: a code audit to improve your application’s resistance
Code analysis allows you to reduce the risk by presenting the web, and therefore hacker robots, with the most secure source code possible.
This IT audit consists of studying the source code of your application in detail to identify any security flaws. It is based on two axes. The first is the technical audit which consists in checking compliance with development best practices concerning the language used for your application and which identifies the most obvious vulnerabilities. The second is the functional audit which also checks that your application’s functionalities comply with best practices. This can identify possible logic errors that could expose sensitive areas in your system.
Our security experts then provide you with a comprehensive IT audit including a review of these vulnerabilities and recommended corrective actions. Then, your developers can take these actions, and your source code is guaranteed to be secure..
Why perform a source code audit?
When you set up an IT project (new website, business application or any other project), it seems obvious to test and carry out several general checks before the programme’s production launch: operation, bugs, display, etc.
However, nowadays, given the growing hacking market, it is also essential to comply with a number of best practices to assess your tools’ level of security.
It is important to understand that an IT vulnerability or a simple code failure in an application may have far-reaching consequences on the entire environment of your Information System (IS).
Therefore, it is extremely useful and sustainable over the long term to regularly perform security tests on your applications to keep your website or web application at the highest possible level of security. To find out more about our IT tests, check out our article on external penetration testing.
IT audit: methodology
During a source code audit, our IT security experts carry out a thorough analysis of your web application’s source code. This code analysis can be performed with or without running code. In most cases, the best results emerge from a combination of these two methods.
Static source code analyses are used to evaluate an application’s behaviour without running it: your lines of code are studied directly.
This audit may (or may not) begin with an initial test performed via an automated tool. The aim of this test is to identify known flaws and/or missing elements in the source code. However, this phase of the IT audit will always be supervised by one of our experts.
Subsequently, our security team’s goal will be to check the initial results the tool detected and identify and rule out any false positives.
Our consultants will then go into greater depth concerning possibly real vulnerabilities to confirm their presence and determine possible bypasses and corrections.
Dynamic source code analyses consist of running your application to study how it functions and to check that the result is as expected according to the input given.
Here, our experts’ goal will be to check that the programme reacts as it should, whatever its state. This security audit can be compared to putting our experts in front of a machine so that they can press all the buttons and all the possible combinations in an exhaustive way to make sure that no operation leads to flaws on the device.
Audit report and deliverables
The expert(s) who have reviewed your source code write a full report at the end of the audit. This report includes a comprehensive review of the vulnerabilities identified in your code as well as a list of recommended corrective actions.
Our mission is then complete. It remains your responsibility to put in place the corrective measures our experts recommend. However, they can also assist you or your development agency in carrying out these actions.
Contact our sales teams to find out more!
When should a code review be put in place?
Source code reviews can be carried out at any point in your IT project’s lifecycle. However, one phase is the most favourable and the most critical, namely the acceptance testing phase.
If your application is not yet in production, the acceptance testing phase is the ideal time to perform a code audit. The purpose of this phase is generally to ensure that the application’s performance is consistent with the features and goals defined during the design phase of your IT project. Analysing your source code at this stage of your project secures your programme before it is published online and will not impact your production.
Where are our teams during the audit?
During this type of service provision, the mission does not require our experts to be at your teams’ side. For reasons related to comfort and price (no invoicing of travel costs), our teams are used to carrying out these IT security audits from our premises.