An effective way to protect client-side Java centric applications


JavaScript is a programming language that has numerous features. It is something that evolves around flexibility where you are in a position to do what you want to do with it. The dynamic nature of the language ensures it is the de- facto language for a browser and it is rated to be one of the popular programming languages of the world.

An essential feature of JavaScript protection is immediate parsing. What it means is that the browser would execute the code instantly since it downloads content, and it provides benefits naturally. But with this level of freedom arises a degree of responsibility. Let us try to understand what are the risks associated with JavaScript security and how you can go on to protect the code is important.

How the browser is going to execute JavaScript code?

Take into consideration all the steps that are required for a browser. Starting off it has to download the page and then start parsing. The browser is not going to wait for everything to download. It has the capability to download and parse the page at the same time. So, what is going to be the case when it confronts JavaScript.

It is referred to as tender blocking that has a major benefit when it executes, this indicates that the browser will prevent parsing then execute the JavaScript first, and then continue. It is going to provide a degree of flexibility in wielding the programming language and opens the code to a numerous degree of possibilities.

But the question that tends to arise is what would be the implications of such features when you are planning to implement secure JavaScript codes.

JavaScript and their associated risks

Debugging and tampering

Application security showcases, as those from OWASP highlight where there are threats that is posed by reverse engineering or be it tampering the source code of an application. More so in applications that performs critical operations or handles sensitive data.

This is going to be the case with Java Script powered applications. The risks can be levered in the form of potential attacks like automated abuse, intellectual property theft or exposure of data. Standards along with regulations such as ISO 27001 or NIST would mention the risks of an unprotected source code. There is a recommendation that an organization goes on to incorporate a strict control procedure to ensure that there are no chances of any attacks.

They would declare a threat in HTML and wire up an event. The moment you click the button call back misfires. When it is the client-side JavaScript a breakpoint can be set, where you go on to set up a value. One the event fires the breakpoint event is got right. In addition, the value that is obtained by the par value is expected to change. The debugger would halt execution and allow a person to tamper with a page. Such a capability would be of help during debugging as the browser is not going to raise any red flags when such an event occurs.

As the debugger is known to halt the execution, it has the ability to halt the page rendering too. Debugging is a vital part of the tool as part of the browser so that the person is not going to gain access to it.

So how you are going to be aware that it is great for debugging JavaScript, but how it is going to impact the secure JavaScript code. Just like anyone goes on to use the debugging tool for legitimate purposes, an attacker may use this feature, to alter JavaScript at any point of time. The attacker may go on to hit the gun point, alter the DOM and in the console enter the arbitrary JavaScript code. This is kind of attack that is used to exploit loopholes at the end of the client. It is possible for an attacker, to change the attack, the session can be hijacked and on the JavaScript side changes can be made. Hence it may go on to alter the script of the original code.

The protection of JavaScript at the end of the client

Code protection of JavaScript

Due to the flexible along with dynamic nature of the web, it is necessary to protect JavaScript code from potential attackers. One of the better options is to opt for runtime protection. This form of security layer is going to protect the JavaScript code during the execution phase to avoid any form of tampering. It is one of the best forms of protection at the client end. The moment JavaScript hits the browser there is nothing to shield their execution completely. It is going to include attacks that will modify the application when it is offline.

Protection at the client end

As part of the JavaScript development source, it tends to rely upon the use of open-source components that is going to speed up the development process. Most of the websites end up running third party scripts at runtime. A real feature of using all these external pieces of attack is that the attack surface for the client decreases at a considerable level. Since the traditional form of security systems do not access the client side, to address these growing trends, companies would require complete control and visibility over the website that is at the end of the client.

So as to protect JavaScript code, you need to take into account what happens at runtime. An attacker would target the expose the source code, as they may go on to inject malicious code through the third-party scripts. Platforms like appsealing can be of help.

You have to take all these dimensions into account that is going to put way ahead of the attackers. It is on the right path to compliance. These are the important pointers to consider JavaScript that needs to evaluate on the client side. The internet is the best place to find more information about the same.

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About the Author: John Watson

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