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React Security Practices for Mobile Application Development

Nov 30,2021

React js is the most popular front-end library that has significantly impacted the entire mobile app development process. React js is known for its simplicity, ease of maintenance, ease to test, and above all, it is secure. However, Mobile security report 2021 mentions that about 97% of organizations come across mobile threads, and 46% of the companies report an experience of downloading malicious apps. Considering these stats, it is never a good practice to rely on React to protect its code from all sorts of security breaches. There can be some vulnerabilities with React as well. To avoid the security pitfalls, always prioritize getting a Bootstrap JavaScript Development Company on board for your app. Otherwise, we have compiled a list of tricks and react security practices for the developers.


The need for Security practices for React applications

React js makes an important component of tech stacks for application development. When built for a business, mobile applications connect the business with useful information and help it win the competitive advantage. Website mobile apps are now leading the market with better branding strategies, user interaction, and customization. However, application usage continues to grow and consequently makes online threats. As the mobile and website applications serve as the endpoints of any business, they make the weakest links for the attackers to gain access to sensitive information of businesses or users.

Mobile/website applications use encryption keys for encrypting and decrypting the traffic flow. In a security breach, the attacker reverses engineer the app’s code and use these keys to decipher the encrypted sensitive information. In this way, the attacker may exfiltrate the data and the communication pathways devised for the office systems.

Hence, the developer’s incompetence may risk your private data such as emails, banking credentials, social media, etc. Common mobile app security threats include insecure cryptography, reverse engineering, code tampering, data storage, improper platform usage, authentication, extraneous functionality, etc. The number of malware attempts through native apps has reached an alarming number in 2021 that is 15 million. Some of the most important and common security breaches in application development are enlisted as below.


SQL Injection

Such vulnerabilities grant access to the hackers to the data by executing the arbitrary SQL code in the database. Hence, they can receive, delete, and even modify the data without the user’s notice. Moreover, such an attack may result in fake credentials, and the attackers can set the new credentials and get to the sensitive information. Several SQL injection types include logical error-based SQL injection, error-based SQL injection, etc. all of these errors emphasize the need for reacting security practices.

Server-side rendering Attacker-Controlled Initial state
if your developer is server-side rendering the app, attacker-controlled initial state error is a must. As the name indicates, it can happen while creating the initial state of the page. This error is dangerous for every page component as the attacker can create any document via JSON string.

Zip-Slip

This error points to overwrite arbitrary files which are used in the directory traversal attack. It can be implemented easily while extracting the files from archives. Hence, it is very likely to exploit it by archives containing the files essential for implementation. Unpacking such a file with vulnerable libraries, the attacker will easily unzip the malicious file, overwrite important configuration files, etc. Consequently, it will result in the execution of that arbitrary code.

IP Spoofing

Cybercriminals use someone else’s IP address and disguise it as a trusted source. Hence, they gain access to the target device. With this access, one can easily perform malicious actions such as intercepting the data, login credentials, identity theft, social media network. However, if the Native App developers are vigilant enough to implement react security practices, these errors can be avoided easily.

Broken Cryptography

Data encryption protocols are a must for mobile app development, especially for authenticated connections, or else it is a threat to data transmission. However, data encryption issues may also be caused due to the preference of engineers to speed up the development of android apps.

Insecure randomness and links

If any link contains the contents written by the user, an attacker can easily edit the code with JavaScript malicious code. Clicking on this link, the attacker’s script will launch in the server. Such links are the most common way of attacking the bootstrap react js applications if an attacker can control its Uniform Resource Identifier, any application element.

The best practical react security practices

With the ever-growing security breach attempts, it is vital for the developers and the product owners, and end-users to ensure the security of Hybrid Apps. So that no sensitive data is vulnerable to third parties, to address such issues, knowing the pitfalls is necessary to devise better-targeted solutions. For promised security of the React Js application, the JavaScript development company must review the entire process of web application process for the vulnerable, weak links. Following are some tips for the web application developers to practice for better improved and promised security.

  • First and foremost is to choose a top-notch and, more importantly, reliable android apps development agency.
    Disable or remove the markups which may contain the running code instructions to ensure security from XXS vulnerabilities. For example, the element may be such as <script>, <object>, <embed>, and <link>.
  • Imply Idle timeout with React.
  • Utilize the encryption protocols and certificates because the attacker might be interested in the data sent across the app and compromise the app completely. If you lose your encryption keys to the attackers, they may copy, redistribute, and use them for other malicious attempts. Furthermore, it is the least likely that you may detect the misuse of the keys. Hence, a reliable solution to encryption key protection is a must for your business. You may use symmetric and asymmetric key encryption to protect the data from attackers.
  • Make good use of script injection flaws while developing the React apps.
  • You must ensure that your developers test the application security with the mobile security testing guide (MSGT) issued by OWASP.
    Utilize snippet libraries to add on the security and keep your code bugs free. For example, Redux, JS Snippets, and ES7 React, etc.
    Never forget restricting the third-party usage libraries. The best way to block malicious traffic from invading the internal codes of the program is to install visitor identification.
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery attacks exploit the cookies and place unauthorized cookies in your application. Consequently, these cookies emphasize the user to perform unwanted actions on the website application, which is authenticated. To counter these CSRF attacks, one may use JWT tokens for the management of the session. Ensure your app reads the stored CSRF tokens only. You can also make an authentic request to the server for generating the relevant token headers.
  • Jscrambler is a trusted solution to protect the react.js codes.
    To keep from the insecure links, you must abide by the react security practices such as opening the custom link in new tabs.
  • The serialize-javascript NPM module avoids the rendered JSON.
    The developer must halt the multi-type DDoS attacks during the development process and even after the completion by scrubbing the React application.
  • End-to-end encryption is a must because it ensures that the shared data stays in your React application only. No third party will have any way to confer the confidential data.
  • Using third-party libraries, APIs, and modules is always a risk. Undoubtedly, it attracts developers as it significantly reduces the development process times. However, one must consider the possibility that these third-party components may contain security flaws. Certainly, you won’t notice these flaws. Hence, try to update your application libraries manually. Manually, patch component’s older versions with the new ones. It would be best if you bothered to review the updated libraries for any possible vulnerabilities before adding.
  • The last of the important React security practices emphasize ensuring to test every component of the app and the complete functionality of the app. React app is the best option to test.

Organizing the coding helps you avoid discrepancies. Hence, here are some tips for organizing your React coding

  • A common and first-hand rule is to keep it precise and simple and consolidate the duplicate code. You must DRY your code; Don’t Repeat Yourself.
  • Attach comments to the code only where it is essential to avoid confusion between the code and comment.
  • Always prefer creating button components to handle the icons, yet try to keep the number of new components to a minimum.
  • You can successfully reduce or even avoid components complexity by separating the stateful aspects from rendering.
  • Naming the components after the execution of their functionality always proves to be beneficial. It helps to keep them recognizable.
  • Testing and maintenance are quite easy for function-specific and small components.
  • Organizing all the files related to one component in one folder is always a good practice. You can easily fetch, extract, and modify the code related to a specific anytime you want without any hassle.
  • Naming the convention such as SumbitForm or submit_form is very important. Coding with React js, the developer uses the JavaScript Extension files. Therefore, you should name the components upper camel case or Pascal case. Hence, you name files without spaces and capital letters.

As for the final word, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, practicing these most important react js security practices will keep you from most of the security vulnerabilities.

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