While input validation may seem like a foundational topic for developers, it serves as the first line of defense against attacks on your system and should be prioritized within your secure coding training program.
In this article, we’ll discuss why input validation is important and how input validation is part of a well-rounded secure coding training program.
What is Input Validation?
Input validation is checking user input to ensure it's valid and meets the expected criteria. Think about when you order something from a website, you fill out forms with your payment information, and you have to use valid characters to submit the form – this is input validation.
Syntactic vs. Semantic Input Validation
There are two types of input validation that are used to ensure that user input is valid: Syntactic Validation and Semantic Validation.
Syntactic Validation checks the format of the input, such as whether it is the correct length, contains valid characters, or matches a specific pattern. For example, syntactic validation might check that a password is at least eight characters long and contains a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Semantic Validation checks the meaning of the input, such as whether it is a valid email address, a number within a specific range, or a value that is required. For example, semantic validation might check that a credit card number is in the correct format and has not been previously used.
Both syntactic and semantic input validation are important security measures that can help to protect systems from attack. If you are trying to validate that user input is a valid email address, you would first perform syntactic validation to check that the input is in the correct format. Then, if the input is in the correct format, you would need to perform semantic validation to check that the email address is valid.
Why is Input Validation Training Important?
Input validation is an important security measure to prevent malicious users from injecting harmful code into a system.
Read More: OWASP Input Validation Cheat Sheet
There are a number of ways that input validation can be vulnerable to hackers:
- SQL Injection: SQL injection is a type of attack where malicious code is injected into a system through user input.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): XSS is a type of attack where malicious code is injected into a web page.
- File Upload Attacks: File upload attacks are a type of attack where malicious files are uploaded to a system.
- Buffer Overflow Attacks: Buffer overflow attacks are a type of attack where too much data is entered into a system, which can cause the system to crash or execute malicious code.
Input Validation and Secure Coding Training
Input validation is not always easy to implement correctly. There are a number of different ways to implement input validation, and it is important to choose the right approach for the specific application. Developers who are not familiar with input validation may make mistakes that can leave their systems vulnerable to attack.
Secure coding training that covers input validation will help developers to understand the importance of this security measure and how to implement it correctly.
Here are some specific topics that may be covered in input validation training:
- Types of input validation
- How to implement input validation in code
- Common mistakes made when implementing input validation
- How to test input validation
Training Input Validation is important for all programming languages, which means no matter what language your developers work in, it’s important to have Input Validation training as part of their secure coding training.
At Security Journey, we offer a wide variety of programming languages and technologies that include input validation training.
- C# Input Validation
- C++ Input Validation
- Java Input Validation
- Input Validation with Ruby
- Input Validation in Go
- Input Validation in CodeIgniter
- Input Validation in Laravel
- Input Validation for Typescript
- PHP Input Validation
- Input Validation in Symphony
If your application or website accepts payments online, asks users to fill out forms, or collects information, secure coding training should be a top priority. You can see our training today with open lessons or contact our team to get your secure coding training program built.