Static code analysis is a type of application testing that examines code in a non-runtime environment. Static code analysis can be performed both during the development lifecycle and after the application has been released to app stores. This analysis (depending on the tool) identifies various predetermined common vulnerabilities within a static state by employing various testing methods such as data flow, control flow graph, taint, and lexical analysis. Static code analyzers look for patterns, defined as rules, that can lead to security vulnerabilities or other code quality issues that are required for production quality code. With that said, here are five reasons why static code testing would benefit businesses.
Why is Static Code Analysis Important? One of the primary reasons for the importance of static analysis is that it allows you to thoroughly analyze all of your code without even running it. It is able to identify vulnerabilities in even the most remote and unattended portions of the code as a result of this. Another advantage of performing static code analysis is that it can be tailored to your project’s specific requirements, allowing for easy collaboration across the entire development team. It also allows you to find bugs in the early stages of the development cycle, which significantly reduces the associated cost of fixing the entire thing.
In this article:
- Five reasons why your business needs Static Code Analysis
- Five ways static code analysis can save you
- Top Reasons Why You Should Use Static Code Analysis
Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs Static Code Analysis
- The only constant is change. When the cybersecurity ecosystem is constantly changing, businesses can benefit from implementing an agile security strategy to help them adapt with this change. Most static code analysis tools are regularly updated with new threats and help keep basic configuration testing sane. Many static code analyzing also include industry compliance test cases in their security system to config that the most common and dangerous threats are addressed.
- Assists Security Analysts. A perfect scenario for when a static code analysis is performed is when there is a high degree of certainty that what is discovered is a flaw (also known as false positives). This is not the instance in every situation, and it is especially not the case with many static analyzer tools available. What the tool does, however, is assist a security analyst in narrowing down on threat detection, which would otherwise take several hours to identify. Analysts can then delve deeper into the threats to ensure that they are not false positives and take appropriate action.
- Helps scale at a quick pace. In a world of continuous competition, it is critical to keep your security parameters operational at all times. As attractive as this may look, it is also not feasible unless significant capital and infrastructure are invested in the company. Static code analysis is a low-cost way to ensure that your application’s basic security is intact. Excellent reading- Binary Code Analysis vs. Source Code Analysis Gartner’s claim that 75% of apps fail basic security testing was quite alarming. Getting a basic security test with a security analyst is not only expensive but also time-consuming. Some static code analysis tools can accelerate this process by up to 75%.
- Finds bugs during early stages of development. When it comes to cost vs. income in the race to success, detecting bugs early in the development process can save businesses millions of dollars in unanticipated costs. The road to success is unpredictable, as is the dreadful prospect of being hacked. According to an IBM study, the average cost of a data breach is $4 million. A large sum to pay for something that could have easily been avoided if taken into account during development. The continuous integration technology has been incorporated into many static analyzers tools. Every time a team member commits changes to version control, this process automates the build and testing of code.
- Define rules to assist developers. Developers typically code on individual projects without regard for security. Static code analyzers assist you in defining project-specific rules and ensuring that they are followed by all developers without manual intervention or sidetracking. Additionally, by utilizing a static code analyzer, you save the requirement for a security professional to check that every code is written properly. This manner, developers may be aware of and address security issues on their own. Certain tools are beginning to make their way into Integrated Development Environments (IDE). For flaws that can be recognized during the software development phase, this is a vital stage of the software development life cycle for which this tool can be implemented, since it provides quick feedback to the developer on issues they may introduce into the code during the code development phase. This rapid feedback is quite beneficial in comparison to discovering vulnerabilities much later in the development cycle. Additionally, it assists the firm in avoiding weaknesses that could cost them millions.
Five Ways Static Code Analysis Can Save You
If you aren’t already performing static code analysis (also known as static analysis), now is the time to start. Delivering code faster has questionable value if quality suffers as development cycles shorten.
Meanwhile, developers all over the world are under pressure to create, so the last thing they want to do is slow-down their processes. However, delivering code more quickly does not imply delivering higher-quality code more quickly. Static code analysis tools assist developers in avoiding unpleasant surprises in production, which are far more time-consuming and expensive to correct than errors discovered earlier in the SDLC. In fact, static code analyzers can save you in the following ways:
||Static code analysis provides information about code errors. While the tools will not catch every defect and are not a replacement for other tools like dynamic code analysis, they are a must-have that more developers should be using to improve code quality.
There are various types of static code analysis tools, some of which are focused on security, specific programming languages, or specific types of errors, while others cover multiple languages and code quality issues. In fact, organizations may use a variety of static code analysis tools to capitalize on their respective strengths.
“You have to consider it in the context of what you’re doing,” Herschmann said. “If you use quality metrics like cyclomatic complexity on a consistent basis, you’ll be able to tell whether they’re increasing or decreasing.” I may have added a significant amount of open-source code or made a significant code change that resulted in more or less complex code. It’s more of a gut feeling I have as a serious developer without a static code analysis tool, but that is not the same as having a correct report about how my code change has affected overall code quality.”
||Because most static code analysis tools are rules-based, it’s critical to ensure that the rules align with the organization’s goals. In some highly regulated environments, for example, the rules aid in ensuring safety compliance.
However, the term “static” does not imply that the rules enforced by the tools are static. The rules must be kept up to date in order to reflect the overall code quality that the organization wishes to enforce. Change may be necessitated by new laws, regulations, or even a merger or acquisition.
Static code analysis aids in enforcing best practices among microservices developers.
||It takes time to analyze static code, but it is time well spent. The time required is determined by the number of tools used, the tools themselves, and what developers permit into production. However, the time saved by the tools in the long run is well worth the time spent developing them.
With automated tools, not every path in the code will be executed. Static code analysis allows you to see everything and then pinpoint where the defects are.”
Static code analyzers also assist in reducing the burden of code reviews.
He can also ensure that developers are paying attention to quality and telemetry that might otherwise be overlooked.
Static code analysis, on the other hand, aids in more effective DevOps by emphasizing quality processes early in lifecycle management.
While the constant process of learning and improvement aligns well with Agile and DevOps mindsets, developers may be resistant to changing their processes, especially if the improved process appears to slow code delivery.
In the absence of static code analyzers, developers who work quickly may find themselves making the very same mistakes over and over, resulting in the same defects in production.
||Everyone, from boards of directors to front-line developers, is concerned about security. Because software powers almost everything these days, it’s critical to examine code for potential flaws from a variety of angles. As a result, multiple tools, including static code analyzers, are required.|
||Shifting justify does not make testing any less important than it has previously been; however, it does allow for higher quality to be built in earlier in the SDLC, saving time later. Risk, user expectations, competitiveness, and workflow soundness are all being scrutinized through the lens of software quality, especially as businesses undergo digital transformations.
While static code analysis is not a replacement for performance testing, some of the more sophisticated static code analysis tools can assist developers in understanding where they are introducing code that may impact performance.
The future is faster and more efficient
Because older versions of static code analysis tools were relatively cumbersome, some people avoided them. Developers today don’t have time to waste, and thankfully, the tools have greatly improved. They’ll keep getting faster and more efficient, and there’ll probably be better in-IDE experiences all around. At the moment, developer experiences differ between IDEs.
Meanwhile, many more static code analysis tools have been developed to ensure that new languages and architectures are supported. In fact, there are a number of static code analysis tools available today that even skimming through one of the lists can be overwhelming. At the moment, the tools detect errors. Perhaps in the future, more of them will advise developers on how to debug.
The tools must become faster, and there is some movement in that direction, particularly with people incorporating it into their build and check-in processes.” Given the sheer number of static code analysis tools available, there will almost certainly be consolidation among at least some of them, simplifying developer choices.
Top Reasons Why You Should Use Static Code Analysis
It has always been disturbing to see companies spend enormous sums of money on firewalls and anti-virus software year after year, while software vulnerabilities remain unidentified or unfixed in applications. We live in a software-driven world, and not a single day goes by without news of enterprising intruders exploiting flaws to steal massive amounts of data or cause damage. Current cyber-attacks target flaws in the software that businesses create and use. It is generally difficult to prevent malware-related attacks after software has been developed.
The top reasons why software developers should use static code analysis are as follows:
- Comply with all mandatory requirements – In recent years, there has been a shift in the quality and security of software code. Before putting source code into production, financial services firms, including investment banks, have made it mandatory to pass static code analysis tests, penetration testing, and application security testing. Most organizations and regulations now require software engineers to adhere to secure coding compliance requirements. This is a direct result of major incidents and cyber terrorism occurring around the world.
- Understand your application thoroughly – Static code analysis can provide insight into how your application is progressing as you build it.
- Code sanitization and simplification – Your code could be a collection of several programmers working on different parts, with each programmer reusing different components from different sources, making it difficult to identify any existing flaws.
- Identifying and correcting potential flaws, bugs, and security threats – Static code analysis is one of the tools used to analyze source code without running it, which aids in the discovery of potential vulnerabilities, bugs, and security threats. The tool searches for patterns, which are defined as rules, that can lead to security vulnerabilities or other code quality issues.
- Examining your code to see if it adheres to best practices and coding standards– Coding standards and best practices in programming provide significant benefits. Static code analysis can automatically check things to find problems like repeating the same name for two variables of different scopes.
- Debugging your code before someone else does – Buffer overruns, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, information leakage, TOCTOU race conditions and hard-coded passwords, memory/resource leaks, null dereference, uninitialized variables, division by zero, use after free, and integer overflow errors can all be dangerous.
- Code documentation – Undocumented code can be extremely difficult to work with and waste valuable time. Running static analysis can help you figure out what you forgot to comment on or where you need to add more comments.
- Enhance application performance – Static code analysis can alert you to inefficiencies that are affecting the performance of your application and provide you with the opportunity to address them as soon as possible.
- Improved resource utilization – Finding bugs and security threats early in the development cycle reduces the cost of fixing them.
- It is good practice, and your customers will appreciate it– Static code analysis, in addition to unit testing, code reviews, and continuous integration, is another tool that can help you produce a higher-quality software product.
What is Codebase?
A codebase (also spelled codebase) is the entire body of source code for a given software program or application. Source code refers to the version of a program that a programmer writes and saves as a file. The program exists as object code after the code is compiled prior to running on a computer, which the computer understands but a human cannot without great difficulty. The source code is kept, either as a set of files or in a source control repository, so that adjustments can be made as needed during the software’s supported life. The management of a codebase begins with the creation of the code in the first place. Programming quality, adherence to best practices, and adequate commenting can make the codebase much easier to maintain.
In a version control system, developers can save and retrieve different development versions of source code, allowing development teams to share control of different versions of files in a common source code repository. The system keeps a single copy of the codebase as well as a record of any changes. When a particular version is requested, the version control system reconstructs it based on the information provided.