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5 Best Tips for Angular Application Security

Worldwide digital transformation is a boon as well as a curse for software development enterprises. 

Digital transformation is like what George Westerman once said: “When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.”

Digitalization has made businesses excel in various domains but somehow it also has caused threats to destroy the secure wall of the business data of an enterprise. 

This reminds me of Ginni Rommety who says, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”

Applications and websites are in the open field, providing free passes to attackers, who come up with new tactics to exploit the software, if there is any vulnerability or weak spot, especially in frameworks like Angular.

Although to avoid the security hazard, many developers have developed new methodologies, explored the latest security practises, or various ways to ensure that software and frameworks are safe from invaders. 

In this post, we will walk you through the most conventional methodologies to shield Angular applications. These simple Angular best security practices will make the journey of building and maintaining applications the smoothest ride. 

Why Angular?

The exploration of Angular hazard mitigation is necessary because it is one of the most popular frameworks among JavaScript. As per a Statista report, 67.7% of developers prefer the JavaScript programming language. The technology is widely used by professionals for developing mobile and web applications. 

The Angular framework is one of the best options to design and develop dynamic and advanced single-page applications. This type of application contains only one page. 

However, these Angular applications might not have a strong shield to protect the data from attackers, so as a creator, it’s best to find ways to protect it and build a secure application. 

So, let’s dive in to explore the best security approaches to safeguard Angular applications. 

The 5 Best Practices to Secure Angular Framework from the Digital Attackers

These following approaches will be a handful to run the current and the forthcoming versions of Angular, including preventing attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) or cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

Most of the attacks at the first appearance might be inconspicuous threats but in the long run, most of them turn out to be an advanced persistent threat, hence these methods will be the ultimate methods to block various hazards.

1. Prevent Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

The injection of scripts into DOM elements is a very common occurrence to damage or steal the website data, such as:

  • Authentication details
  • Credentials
  • Payment data
  • Social Security numbers
  • Web tokens

One of the easiest ways for attackers to inject their scripts is to add a <script> tag. Some of them even insert pop-ups or text entries to acquire user information through your enterprise website. 

Apart from these, intruders tend to cause critical malfunction by inserting <a> tags, which is an ultimate redirected link to another unsafe website to damage your site.

The best way to prevent this type of malicious actions is sanitization. And to do that, you just need to sanitize every inserted data into a webpage. 

As one of Angular’s traits is to consider all the data as untrusted, by default. Therefore, we need to filter them before adding them.

Sanitization

Sanitization is considered the inventory of suspicious information that turns them into a safe value that you can insert into the DOM. Though, in a few scenarios, it is noted that the value is not modified by sanitization, as it depends on the context.

2. Avoid Hazardous Angular API Endpoints

ElementRef is the most common Angular API security risk referred to in the documentation. The ElementRef API provides immediate entrance to attackers into the DOM in your pages making the applications vulnerable to XSS. 

This API should be used when there is no other choice and direct DOM access is necessary to pages. 

So, how do you avoid it? Well, use the most suggested way, which is using the templating or data binding inclinations through Angular. Or use Renderer2 API; a better option compared to ElementRef.

3. HTTP-related Vulnerabilities

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and cross-site script inclusion are the most common HTTP vulnerabilities that can affect any Angular application, though Angular has created in-build assistants that prevent them from the client side. 

Let’s see how to prevent these threats from damaging the application.  

(i) Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

In CSRF, the attacks are done by users, who send unapproved and malicious requests to an application. To eliminate this risk, let the application server send causal authentication tokens, along with a cookie. 

In this case, the client will read the cookies, and while going through the requests, they will add a custom request header using a similar token. This way the task of rejecting requests from the attacker becomes easy, as they will not have the authentication token.

(ii) Cross-Site Script Inclusion (XSSI)

For this attack, intruders use vulnerable scripts. So, avoid using a third-party script that comes through untrusted domains, and if there is no security then the hacker will add executable codes into those scripts, and during the execution, there is a big fat chance that it will mess up and jeopardise the essential information from the application. 

Also, there is a chance that attackers could add API URL via a script tag. However, to mitigate this issue, Angular uses the HttpClient library, which helps programmers to acquire this kind of code and remove the string “)]}’,n” from codes to execute it as non-executable.

4. Don’t Add Customizations

In the world of software, users always expect you to provide customization, and it is one of the amazing aspects; however, customization in Angular libraries is the worst idea. 

By doing customization, you can stick into one particular Angular version; after customizing the library, there is no way for you to apply patches or update the old to the latest version without jeopardizing the functionality of your application. 

And yet you are looking for customization then create a new library using procedures from the installed version of Angular. However, with this option, the risk is if you made a single mistake during any process you will be the one destroying the application.

So, it is better to avoid adding customization!

5. Keep Your Angular Projects Upgraded

The latest advancement and innovations are the most integral part of the software world. In the same manner, you will find the latest and improved version of Angular in the market time-to-time, with stability and functions that will make the development much easier for the professionals. 

That’s why it is beneficial to use the updated latest version of Angular in your project, it has leading-edge innovations along with optimizations and bug fixes.

Wrap Up

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, security is one of the most vital parts of the business and that same goes for software development. Simple approaches for security can prevent the swindle of your economy by bugs and glitches.

It is clear as a bell that the bugs, errors, patches, or any mishappenings won’t be banished from the software or framework. But with proper security methods and some precautions, you will be able to tackle the problems and provide a better digital solution to the users.  

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