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How to Secure .NET Application Development?

Nowadays all of the businesses and web applications are highly powered by the internet. With this increased use of internet, various security threats often arise on the horizon which need to be dealt with firmly if you want your business or application to run without any interruption. We have seen the number of attacks on various web applications have increased rapidly since the last decade or so. Therefore the web application developer should remain updated with the latest and best processes and practices to secure their web applications. As .NET is one of the most popular platform for web application development hence we will explain about some of the security measures which help in securing a .NET application.You can try these ways to maintain the security standard throughout the development process and during its usage online.

Thoroughly Checking and Sanitizing the URL

A .NET developer who is doing .NET Application Development can apply many techniques to enable the security prevention inside a web application. The most important thing is to prevent any bad, unwanted or malicious data to enter into your website. Most of the security attacks and security breaches happen when the query string values pass through the URL. The best security practice is to define a commonplace to whitelist the URL. Therefore cleaning the URL with a set of whitelisted characters and removing the bad ones is a better way to secure the application as it discourages other characters apart from the whitelisted ones.

Encoding or Encrypting the Data

Whenever we are processing and sending the data we should always encode or encrypt the data in the response which are fetched outside the trust area. The type of encoding depends on the handling of the non-trusted data. When we encode or encrypt the data then the XSS scripts remain inactive and don’t get executed. Microsoft now also provides the AntiXSS library which provides many powerful methods for encoding and encryption for the .NET developers.

Securing the Service Calls in the Application

You have to understand that if you open the WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services through basic HTTPBinding then the transmitted message will appear as a plain text and the intruders and hackers can easily trap and manipulate them easily. Therefore you should use wsHTTPBinding to transport the messages in an encrypted format as this will prevent unauthorized access to the transmitted data. Although our web development experts always suggest to always host services under an SSL layer for better security.

.NET team forbids EnableViewStateMac=false

MAC or Message Authentication Codes is a cryptographic code generated by the server and assigned to the ViewState hidden form field. The MAC value makes it sure that the client has not manipulated these fields. Default value of EnableViewStateMac is true and if you set this value false then you are making your application vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks. Although since the release of ASP.NET 4.5.2, it forbids the application from setting this insecure switch to tackle this security issue and hence prevents the potential remote code execution attacks.

Conclusion

Nowadays it has become extremely important to monitor your .NET applications by building strong security walls. As the security attacks are continuously increasing in number and strength hence we need to take steps urgently. The outcome of every attack depends on the scenario but surely it is not good way to manage your .NET website. As we work towards protecting the intellectual property right of our clients hence protecting their online assets enable us to work as per our company ideology and philosophy to provide high quality services to our clients. The practices discussed in this article for securing the .NET applications will help you in protecting and minimizing the security vulnerabilities in the applications in future for sure.

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About Author
Aman Malhotra
Aman Malhotra

Aman is a business consultant and strategic leader bridging the gap between technology and client satisfaction. With 15+ years of knowledge, innovation and hands-on experience in providing consultations to startups, agencies, SME's and large enterprises who need dedicated development and technology partners. He has also lead to the delivery of countless web development and mobile app development projects with 100% client satisfaction.

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