I’m not going to lie to you. Security is hard. Securing all these different web technologies is hard. Making sure the right people are using the correct functions is hard. Making sure you’ve got the right people—in the first place—is hard. Validating input, protecting confidential data, stopping the system from breaking in insecure ways are all hard. In fact, everything about this is hard—sorry about that.
Developers, especially Ajax-wielding, neo-energy-drink-guzzling Web 2.0 developers don’t like hard things. So, we have a problem here. What’s worse is that ignoring security makes innovation easier. This web stuff works even when it’s not secure.
Developers often don’t think about how their code is going to break. They don’t think about how the network might break thereby causing the application to break. They don’t think about how to craft input in a manner that will cause the system to break or do something unexpected—hackers do.
This is why I drink coffee. But seriously, if you do anything at all in regards to securing your applications, it is better than doing nothing—defense in depth, you know. Remember, it’s not easy, but we’re all in this together, and I’m pulling for you.
In this chapter, I show how web sites communicate, and then explain the variety of technologies commonly used in web applications and their various security impact. Let’s start by taking a look at how web sites communicate.
The Web is an incredibly ...