Security Vulnerabilities in React and Standard Practices to Overcome them!

Security Vulnerabilities in React and Standard Practices to Overcome them!
Security Vulnerabilities in React
Released in 2013, React, a robust front-end web library, became quickly popular amongst technical professionals worldwide. Today, this library is extensively being used by giants like Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, BBC, Whatsapp, and many more, owing to the myriad advantages it offers, as listed below:
  • Component Reusability
  • Routing and Templating
  • Speedy Rendering
  • Good Flexibility
  • Easier Learning Curve for Complex Procedures
  • Synchronization of app and interface status
  • SEO-friendliness
Besides these goodies, this technology is also considered to be highly secure due to the availability of several in-built protective mechanisms. Yet, some vulnerabilities can occur in the React apps and lead to unpredictable security leaks; which the React App development agencies must be aware of.
So, this blog will take you all through some common security flaws in React and guide you with the potential solutions as well. Let’s get started.

Crafting an app in React: Security Vulnerabilities and their Remedial Measures

Security Practices for App Development

SQL Injection Attack

This is another type of attack where the attackers can play with the user’s data regardless of their knowledge and approval. The attackers can extract sensitive user data, create new user credentials, replicate fake credentials, and thus, get admin authorities for accessing the server. SQL injections are of several types viz. time-based, logic-based, error-based, etc.
Possible Solution:
  • Using an SSL certificate from authorized sites
  • Validation of API call functions for particular API schemas
  • For time-based SQL injection, conducting timely validation of the schema for getting rid of the suspicious code injections

Cross-site Attacks

Cross-site scripting attack is a common yet serious security flaw that React Apps have to go through. It occurs when the attackers or hackers trick a website by executing an arbitrary JavaScript code. These attacks are of two types- stored attack and reflected attack.
  1. Stored cross-site attack: In these, the attacker accesses the server and extracts the data from the client’s web page when the code is executed.
  2. Reflected cross-site attack: In these attacks, the attackers place a link with sensitive user information that will run in the browser.
Possible Solution:
Cross-site scripting can be performed only when the code execution is done in a browser with some particular instructions. So the mark-up that holds the instructions for code execution needs to be disabled by the React app developers.

Server-side Rendering Vulnerability

In case a developer renders an application from the server-side, the server-side rendering attack is likely to take place. It can lead to the unknown monitoring of the application, data leakages, etc. This issue is quite difficult to detect when the context data is not found properly.
Possible Solution:
  • utilizing the serialize JS with NPM module for escaping the rendered JSON
  • cross-checking and monitoring regularly if any issues persisting in server-side data validation are reported and worked upon

Execution of Arbitrary Code or Commands

When the attackers run the arbitrary codes or commands on a particular process, the application can get highly vulnerable. It usually takes place in the software or the hardware that processes the arbitrary code. ‘Arbitrary code execution exploit’- a special program is used for this security issue and if it gets exposed to public products and services, it can expose the data of all the concerned individuals who buy and use those products and services.
Possible Solution:
  • making sure that the application only reads the tokens that are previously stored while developing the app
  • ensuring that the system can only create relevant headers by authentication of the request by making a request to the server

Inadequate End-to-End Encryption

Lacking end-to-end encryption is the major cause of security lapses and data breaches occurring in the apps made using React. The inclusion of third-party APIs also leads to these issues affecting the safety and privacy of data.
Possible Solution:
  • utilization of private and public-key encryption
  • utilization of the encryptjs and cryptojs libraries
  • using asymmetric algorithms like RSA for encrypting the primary key of a react app

‘Insecure Randomness’ Issue

This issue takes place when the attackers add a malicious code that begins with JavaScript or a link in the apps. This script runs in the browsers as soon as the users click the planted link. Thus, attackers get the admin authority and they can pull sensitive data or alter the data and hence makes the application very insecure. Also, they get control over the uniform resource identifier and several elements in the apps are vulnerable to threats.
Possible Solution:
  • conducting integrity investigations for inspecting and avoiding the injection of suspicious links and codes
  • creating links with the usage of whitelisted protocol and using HTML entities
  • employing strict restrictions to create code objects that can avoid insecure randomness
  • isolating the code from other codes

Significant Security Measures for React Application Development

Diverse security vulnerabilities can occur in the React apps and identifying their reasons can be impossible at times. Hence, the firms using the React Library can proactively follow some preventive actions as below:
  • Install and configure Linters to automatically detect the security lapses in code and provide remedial advice.
  • In the past, some versions of this library possessed high-risk vulnerabilities, however, they have been removed in the latest versions. Hence, it is a good practice to use the updated version always.
  • Some dependencies and third-party components may be more prone to security issues and so using their latest versions is recommended.
  • Zip Slip issue crops up due to the overwritten arbitrary files along with the directory transversal issue. For this, the developers can either use fixed versions of the archive processing libraries or can utilize a dependency vulnerability checking tool like Snyk.
  • Library codes are used for threatening operations like inserting HTML into the DOM. Developers should avoid libraries that use unsafe patterns like ‘innerHTML’ and ‘dangerouslySetInnerHTML’ or other unvalidated URLs.
  • It is necessary to avoid suspicious or dangerous URLs. For avoiding URL-based script injection, use validation, and ensure that the used links are ‘https:’ or ‘http:’

Key Takeaways:

In today’s digital era, the security of software apps holds monumental importance. Security lapses can result in data leaks and high-risk cyber-crimes. So, it is essential to consider the security pitfalls right from the initial stages of developing a React application. The developers and the quality analysts as well should keep an eye on such vulnerabilities and eliminate them from time-to-time.
All this requires not only the knowledge and experience of the development teams but also needs attention to detail and thoughtful decision-making when these vulnerabilities crop up.
Also, have a glance at our blog here for gaining insights on general security tips in mobile applications.
Here ends our blog!
I hope it was insightful and will benefit several developers employing this library in their projects.
Please comment in the below section and let us know about any other security vulnerabilities you faced in building apps with React.

React Native App Development: Key Factors that Minimize the Development Costs!

React Native App Development: Key Factors that Minimize the Development Costs!
React Native app development cost.
It is interesting to know that the well-known JavaScript framework- React Native, was discovered by Facebook’s team as a side-project, while they were working on developing React.js. The team wanted to find a comprehensive framework to create cross-platform apps with native-like functionalities and came up with React Native. Who knew that a side-project would gain such huge popularity one day?
Today, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business ventures all across the globe highly prefer this framework. Besides, a plethora of React Native development services have surfaced in the last few years and are still emerging to cater to the ever-growing demand for React Native apps. Owing to the crucial benefits of React Native, like cost-efficiency and high-performance, this demand has surged exponentially.
This article is especially meant for all those willing to utilize this high-end framework for their upcoming mobile app development project. Here, we will talk about how your project can become budget-friendly. So, we have outlined the top factors that reduce the cost of developing React Native apps. We will also take a quick look at what factors spike the cost of the project. So let’s begin.

Key Factors that Lessen the React Native App Development Cost

React Native app development

A Single Team for App Development

This factor is one of the biggest cost-saviors in the app development process. Rather than hiring two separate teams for both platforms- iOS and Android, a single team of React Native app developers can work on the project.

Shared Codes

React Native mobile app developers can reuse the codebases across all the platforms and this saves the additional efforts as compared to Native development that requires separate coding for every platform.

Ready-to-use Libraries and Solutions

React Native comes with numerous ready-made libraries and solutions available for free. These solutions simplify the development process and help the developers write bug-free code. Several libraries like Xamarin, Teaset, Lottie, etc. help to deploy the apps in comparatively lesser time.

Availability of Third-party Plugins and Components

Like every other framework, React Native framework, too, has some downsides. It lacks some plugins and components that are essential to make the apps impactful and top-class. But there are a plethora of third-party plugins available in React Native to add the desirable functionalities in both the platforms- Android and iOS. React Native app developers can easily utilize them or integrate them with the react-native module for quick, seamless, and feature-rich mobile apps.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

In React Native apps, maintenance includes factors like bug-fixing, design changes, app updating, and many more services. Since one code is utilized for apps on different platforms, just a single app needs to be maintained. This eases out the maintenance efforts to a great extent and also reduces the maintenance costs.

Usage of Existing Frameworks

Using the app development frameworks of React Native, the developers can make use of the existing skeleton framework for creating the apps and speed up the development process to a great extent.

Notable Factors that Increase the React Native App Development Cost

Performance Optimization:
It is a tough job to ensure that React Native apps meet the standards like those of Native apps. So, optimizing performance to the level of Native apps requires the investment of additional costs.
UI Enhancements:
Using the React Native framework, it is possible to utilize the same codebase for both- Android and iOS platforms. This lowers the cost of development but can negatively affect the app’s performance. Also, the apps look similar on different platforms. So, to enhance its appearance and performance, additional UI enhancements need to be done; that adds to the budget.
Security Concerns:
The security offered by Native apps is much robust. Comparatively, React Native apps are less secure and can be prone to hacking or similar security breaches. As a result, they need extra costs to get top-grade security.
Team and Learning Curve:
React Native comes with a steep learning curve. So, in case you have a team of Native developers, you will need extra time to train them in React Native; which in turn will lead to more costs.

Concluding Words:

The cost of developing a React Native app depends on a host of factors as seen in this article. If you do not take into consideration these factors that reduce the developmental costs, mobile app development can cost you a fortune. But you also need to remember that in the desire to cut down the cost, you should not compromise on the quality of the React Native application. If the quality gets hampered, then your project may fail.
If you want further assistance on how you can bring down the cost of your project, get in touch with Biz4Solutions, an acclaimed React Native application development company in the USA.
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