Securing your application in Node.js — Best Development Practices to Follow

What is Node.js?

Node.js is the JavaScript runtime environment which works as a platform to execute JavaScript code on the server -outside of the browser. When you are developing an application on Node.js, you have added benefits as the technology can be used for both Back-end and Front-end development. So, for one reason (choosing the right technology), you have a huge benefit, but does it stand by on all security measures? The answer could be, ‘NO’. But, that’s not impossible to achieve!

Adopt Linter Security Rules

Adopting security plugins like ESLint and TSLint such can make differences as you get instant security checks for all known vulnerabilities. We often have some mistakes in our code such as unsafe RegEx, and wrongly used eval(), use of non-literal filenames while accessing the file system within the application and much more. In short, there are plenty of security weaknesses which we unknowingly ignore during development, and these plugins help to remove them.

Node.js Authentication

Node.js authentication is the primary security state and each registered and defined user get permission to access the application as a whole. However, authentication is done in two ways: one is session-based while the other is token-based.

Precautions to Take While Error Handling

During development, you get an error message if any error occurs, and that’s common phenomena. But the care you should take is while handling the error as their chances of security breach higher during error handling as it can easily be exposed to hackers.

Validation of Request

Validation of request is yet another thing to consider while developing an application on Node.js. Invalid request can hamper the performance of the Node.js application and impact on the robustness. So, you need to set measures to accept and reject a request by opting out some criteria explained here.

Consider Securing Dependencies

Using third party modules for developing any project is in trend. There is nothing wrong in using third-party modules as you can save plenty of precious time and money. At the same time, it takes short time-to-market. However, do you check everything about the modules when selecting them for your projects? That’s the point to consider while choosing the modules. You need to ensure that the module you have selected for your project does nothing (stealing data, spying or hacking) in background.

Open Source -Open Invitation to Hack

I cannot deny that open source technologies have plenty of things to offer to the world development community. In Node.js applications also, using open source cannot be a wrong idea to go with, though you need to be experienced enough to understand and judge the ill-conspiracy. That means the open source is something that anyone can contribute and that’s a huge problematic, sometimes.

Better Use Node.js Security Tools

Node.js is itself a powerful technology to create a robust application; it has plenty of other tools which help you create outstanding applications. Node.js, with its tools, can help you create secure and safe applications. Here are some of the best known Node.js tools, which really helpful for your projects in terms of improving security.

1. Helmet

Helmet sets HTTP response headers, and it works to filter out URLs and IP addresses to secure your app. It has 14 smaller middleware function which ensures the robustness of the application.

2. Immunio

It’s a real-time security tool for Node.js application. It protects your application from getting hacked by identifying unusual activities from vulnerable traffic. It can easily recognize bots, hacker, spammer or attacker and reject the authentication request. Immunio can protect you against OWASP runtime threat, that’s excellent benefits.

3. Lusca

A security module, Lusca gets you OWASP best practices by securing header and protects you against the unauthentic validation request. It’s just an alternative to Helmet security tool.

4. Jscrambler

Jscrambler provides intact security for Front-end by offering some unique approach. For example, it makes your web application self-defensive and helps it fight with the unauthorized request, fraud, and modification of code while the application is running. Most importantly, it keeps the application logic and data hidden on the client side. It has plenty of new and productive features, which include Real-time detection, notification and protection.

5. Templarbit

Templarbit can protect any malicious activities performed on web applications by the attackers. You can utilize the tool if you find more threats like XSS.

6. Snyk

Snyk is a popular tool which can be integrated into various other version controllers, servers such as GitHub, Jenkins, Circle CI, Travis and to name just a few to protect you from the know threats.

Final Words

Last but not the least, there are plenty of things which you can explore to enhance the safety and security of the application. I have listed out all the tools and practices which personally applied while developing Node.js Applications. There are plenty of other Node.js best practices available online to improve the security of your Node Application.

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Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel

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Full Stack Developer | Angular | React | RoR | CEO @ Aglowid IT Solution | For Projects: sales@aglowiditsolutions.com | Skype: aglowid |