How To Detect and Fix the Five Most Common Python Security Vulnerabilities

Python security vulnerabilities

The market is saturated with different programming languages, and Python stands out on that long list. Python was used to build many famous websites we use today, including Instagram, Spotify, Uber, and Pinterest. A 2020 programming language rating shows that Python is the second most popular. As great as this sounds, Python security vulnerabilities still exist.

These loopholes serve as weak links from which malicious actors can penetrate. Consequently, websites, applications, and end users are exposed. This blog post will begin by addressing the various functions of this programming language. We will then discuss the common Python security vulnerabilities, the solutions, and how to maintain security.

What Is Python Used For?

Python is used across different fields: web development, AI (Artificial Intelligence)/machine learning, data analytics, etc. It’s popular because it is easy to read and understand. Also, it is open-source and easy for beginners to understand. Listed below are its popular uses:

  1. Web Development

Python is most commonly used for backend development. The backend is typically accessible by users via the frontend. The programming language is used to build APIs, build CMS (Content Management Systems, and much more. 

  1. Data Analytics

Data analysts use Python to analyze data gathered during research. It breaks down complex data into understandable information. Python can build charts, graphs, and lines to visualize these data.  

  1. Mobile App Development

This programming language is also used to develop mobile apps. To build mobile apps, Python often uses other frameworks like Kivy and PyQt. Examples of mobile apps developed by Python are Instagram, Netflix, and YouTube.

  1. Game Development

Many developers use Python to build games. They include different types of video and non-video—adventure, puzzle, sports, and action games. World of Tanks, Sims 4, and Frets on Fire are some of them.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI specialists use this language to design software that can independently perform human tasks. They prefer Python because it requires less code and can run on different platforms. Python can run on Linux, macOS, and Windows. AI use cases include chatbots, self-driving cars, and recommendation algorithms. 

Five Common Python Security Vulnerabilities and the Way Out

Some Python security vulnerabilities and solutions are discussed below.

  1. Vulnerable Libraries

Some Python security vulnerabilities come from Python’s open-source libraries. These vulnerabilities come in six types. The first is the disclosed vulnerability which is made available on a public platform. Examples of public platforms include mailing lists, security resources, and change logs. A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability that doesn’t have a patch available.

To tackle the vulnerable library issue, users must continuously check the packages they use. GuardRails supports scanning for Python packages with known security vulnerabilities. 

  1. SQL Injections

SQL injection (SQLi) is another example of Python security vulnerabilities. If attackers can influence a SQL query, they can abuse it to access sensitive data, as well as modify or even delete it. 

GuardRails helps to detect SQLi in Python and informs the developers on how to fix it properly.

  1. Command Injection

Command injections allow attackers to execute arbitrary operating system commands, which is the highest impact possible as it gives them full control. Vulnerabilities that can expose an application to this attack are arbitrary command injection, arbitrary file uploads, XML external entity injection, and server-side template injection.

GuardRails helps to detect command injection vulnerabilities in Python and informs the developers on how to fix them properly.

  1. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

XSS allows an attacker to alter a user’s interaction with a website.  GuardRails helps to detect XSS vulnerabilities in Python and informs the developers on how to fix them properly.

  1. Insecure Deserialization

Deserialization is a safe process in development. However, when a bad actor abuses it, application and software projects become prone to various malicious attacks. When this happens, your team’s effort falls through. 

To avoid this scenario, use an allowlist. The allowlist will carry the identities of individuals who are permitted to deserialize. Similarly, you need to scan your systems regularly to detect insecure deserialization early. 

Best Practices for Python Security

Here are some Python security practices that can help you prevent vulnerabilities:

  1. Do not use external data as is. Always sanitize them. 
  2. Security scanning should be continuous. Developers and security engineers must use effective tools to identify and fix Python security vulnerabilities quickly.
  3. Keep your Python version and dependencies up-to-date.

Python is one of the most-used programming languages because of its versatility. When handling projects, you must know Python security vulnerabilities and how to avoid them. 

Skeptical about how to go about this? GuardRails can help you scan your web applications for security issues real-time, and bring your team up to speed with various Python security vulnerabilities and the best ways to prevent or respond to them via Just-In-Time (JIT) training. Try us for free and see how we can make your life easier.

The post How To Detect and Fix the Five Most Common Python Security Vulnerabilities appeared first on GuardRails.

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