Most cyber criminals nowadays attack websites and web applications using new and innovative techniques. That is why; businesses frequently explore ways to protect their applications and data from evolving security threats. The security of enterprise application becomes more significant with companies allowing employees to access the apps on their own devices. The developers often ask the question: How secure is Java. The enterprise applications written in Java are not immune to evolving malware attacks and cyber crimes. Developing secure Enterprise Applications in Java is advisable for developers as developers can use various in-built security features, mechanisms, and tools.
Developing Secure Enterprise Applications in Java
Built-in Security Features
The programmers can avail the built-in security features of Java to create secure enterprise applications. In addition to being type-safe, the programming language also supports garbage collection, automatic memory management, and range-checking on arrays. Java further allows developers to restrict access to various classes, methods and fields by defining custom access modifiers. These features make it easier for developers to write error-free code. The high quality code contributes towards increasing the security of enterprise applications.
APIs for Key Security Areas
While developing secure enterprise applications in Java, the programmers have option to use APIs designed for major areas of security. They can use Java APIs for authentication, access control, cryptography, secure communication, and public key infrastructure. Java further comes with several pre-configured security providers that help programmers to implement basic security services. At the same time, the programmers also have option to create custom security providers based on the java.security.Provider class.
Basic and From-based Authentication
Java allow programmers to check if the users have privilege to access a protected section of the enterprise application using both basic and form-based authentication. The basic authentication relies on the web server to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the protected area. The web server will allow each user to access the unprotected areas of the website. But it will prompt the user to provide a valid password to access a secure or restricted web page. The form-based authentication will also allow users to access the unprotected areas of the website. But the user has to enter valid username and password to access the secure web pages.
Code and Caller Authorization
Java further enables programmers prevent the unauthorized code submitted by the hackers from connecting to Enterprise Java Beans and similar backend systems using two distinct types of authorization. The developers can use code authorization to control the code base fully. Thus, the malicious or unauthorized code submitted by hackers will not be included in the code base without authorization. At the same time, the programmers can further secure the backend system of the enterprise application by requiring each user to enter valid username and password. Each time a user tries to access the backend system; the application will prompt him to authenticate his identity.
A Variety of Security Tools
The programmers can easily enhance the security of enterprise applications by using a variety of security tools for Java. Some of these tools are designed with graphical user interface, while others are command-line tools. The developers can always consider using commonly used tools like jar, jarsigner, kinit, klist, keytool, ktab and Policy Tool. They can use the jar tool to create Java Archive (JAR) files by bundling multiple files together. The jarsigner tool helps developers to secure by adding signatures. Likewise, the keytool can be used for generating public and private key pairs, issue security certificates, and copy entries between keystores. However, the developers have to choose the security tools based on their choice of operating system. They should also conduct proper security testing for their applications.
Tools for Source Code Review
Many studies have highlighted the effectiveness of source code review to make the enterprise applications more secure. The programmers have to review the source code or compiled version of the source code thoroughly to identify the pieces of code that make the application vulnerable to security threats. The developers have option to use a number of tools to analyze and review the source code of enterprise applications written in Java efficiently. These tools can easily scan the Java code, and identify the flaws or defects affecting the application’s security. Also, the programmers can review the source code by using tools included in various Java IDEs and frameworks.
The latest version of Java comes with several built-in security features. It allows developers to protect the enterprise applications and business data using a number of security functions. The developers can further avail the resources provided by various Java development frameworks and tools to enhance the security of an application without affecting its performance.