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DevCentral Blog:
Why Is Reusable Code So Hard to Secure?
Jan 08, 2010 @ 11:28:42

In this recent post to the DevCentral blog (from f5.com) they ask why reusable code, one of the foundations of good development (especially in PHP) is so hard to secure.

Being an efficient developer often means abstracting functionality such that a single function can be applied to a variety of uses across an application. Even as this decreases risk of errors, time to develop, and the attack surface necessary to secure the application it also makes implementing security more difficult.

The article talks about a project the author was working on and how, when he came across a need for a component and found one that worked, they were surprised to see how difficult it would be to secure it without adding on extra code bloat. He describes some of the issue and talks about how the development of the component must not have included any thought into things like input validation or filtering. One suggestion is to employ a firewall to sit in front of the entire application and handle all of these things without changes to the code.

tagged: reusable code security filter firewall