React Best Practices for React App Security [2023 Guide]
- Website Development

React Best Practices for React App Security [2023 Guide]

Most of you know that React is a frontend framework that is not a framework but a JavaScript library. It is an open-source platform that helps developers to create different user interfaces. Along with basic React coding standards, developers must implement this list of imperative React best practices while developing React apps for their clients. Generally, ReactJS is used for developing single-page applications and also enterprise apps.

This library has JSX syntax that includes HTML quotes & one HTML tag syntax app for displaying and visualizing specific subcomponents. This syntax is useful for making machine-readable code that combines components into one verified file.

However, if you need to make your React app secure, there are some basic Reactjs security best practices that you have to follow. So, let’s discuss the best react practices for security!

React Best Practices for app security

No doubt React JS is a famous library that is easy to learn and use, but if you handle the code lightly, the chances of inaccuracies and errors increase. Ultimately the security breaches are seen in the app. Here are security best practices to follow every time while working on React app development:

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • XML External Entity Attack (XXE)
  • Broken Authentication
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
  • Add Security to HTTP Authentication
  • SQL Injection
  • Secure against DDoS attacks

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting XSS is a serious vulnerability from the client side. An attacker will be allowed to add malicious code in your program that will be shown as a valid code and will be executed easily. Ultimately, compromises occur with the functionality of your app, and user data may be leaked.

There are two types of XSS attacks:

Stored XSS- Using this attack, the malicious code is fixed on the server and executes when any user requests stored data. It leads to unwanted content on the webpage or your website.

Reflected XSS- The attacker uses any malicious link with interactive JS code that the browser will process to manipulate and access the content of the page, user data, and cookies.

XML External Entity Attack (XXE)

The XXE attack is another type of react frontend security attack that occurs on react apps easily. Web apps with XML, a text-based language for organizing and storing data in any web app, are more frequently vulnerable to XXE attacks.

One XML parser is enough for converting XML into usable code. However, the attackers frequently target such parsers, and XXE attack is used to launch DDOS or CSRF attacks on the system. The main problem is that XML parsers are, by default, vulnerable to attacks. Hence, it’s up to developers and the team whether to use them or protect their apps from attacks.

Broken Authentication

An insufficient or inadequate authorization or authentication can create major problems in the React.js apps. For example, session IDs are sometimes exposed in the URLs. It makes it easy for attackers to discover the user’s login details. Also, the unencrypted transmission of user credentials, valid sessions are on even after logout, and many other session-related problems are easy examples of broken authentication.

These situations can easily make your app hazardous because there will be no privacy or security of your user’s details. Hence, checking and solving these problems before deploying the React app to your client is necessary to avoid attacks on the app and breach of user details. Moreover, avoiding these errors can cause brute-force attacks on the app.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

An attacker generally crafts an email or web page that convinces the victim to perform a state-change request on the web app. General examples of CSRF are transferring funds, granting permissions, etc. Usually, the attackers exploit invisible images or links to carry on the GET request or conduct form for POST/PUT request. JavaScript provides one more way to make those requests, but modern browsers prevent this way unless it’s allowed explicitly on any web app server.

Add Security to HTTP Authentication

With various apps where authentication is performed while the user logs in or creates an account, this process requires it to be secure. It’s because there are many client-side authorization and authentication issues if the app has security defects. These issues will ultimately destroy the value of your app.

Here’s a list of some popular techniques used to add authenticity to your app:

    • OAuth
    • JWT (JSON Web Token)
    • AuthO
    • PassportJs
    • React Router

JWT Security parameters

Here are some points to keep in mind while using JWT security for your app:

    • Try to avoid keeping JWT tokens based on Local Storage. It would be easy for anyone to get that token using different browser’s Dev tools, write and console.
    • console.log(localStorage.getItem(‘token’))
    • Store tokens into an HTTP cookie instead of local storage.
    • You can also keep your token in your React JS application’s state.
    • Always place tokens in the backend. Then, it gets easy to verify and sign them at the backend.
    • Always try to create long, strong passwords that are hard to find and resolve.
    • Try to ensure that you are using HTTPS and not HTTP. It will ensure that your web app or website is working securely and has a valid certificate that can be sent over an SSL network.

SQL Injection

SQLi, or SQL Injections, is a standard attack performed on web applications. The cybercriminal batch aims to utilize a logical database for manipulating the system and accessing sensitive data that isn’t allowed to be displayed to everyone. Attackers also attempt to access sensitive information like payment information, numbers, etc.

They can use the response security strategy to regulate their server access, get data, and modify the database values. Hackers also have the potential to delete data and alter it at any time.

Here’s one example: Consider the owner is the current User ID

string query1 = “SELECT * FROM logindata WHERE owner = “‘”

+ employeeID + “‘ AND employeeName = ‘”

+ EmployeeName.Text + “‘”;

JavaScript

The below query is generated by adding both the employee ID and employee name:

SELECT * FROM logindata

WHERE owner =

AND employeeName = ;

JavaScript

One issue generated here is that the main code uses concatenation, which aids the combination of that information. As employee_name, attackers can use strings like ‘EmpName’ or ‘xy’ = ‘xy.’ This results in the statement returning true for all values. Hence, the following question arises:

SELECT * FROM logindata

WHERE owner = ‘Zelos.’

AND EmpName = ‘name’ OR ‘xy’ = ‘xy’;

Secure against DDoS attacks

Generally, DDoS security vulnerability happens when the application is not secured properly and has loopholes regarding the masking of IPs of services. Because of this, the app cannot interact with the server, and some services stop working. Here’s how you can avoid a DDoS attack:

Limit the requests:

One can limit the number of requests given to IP from any specific source. For example, if you use Axios, there’s one entire library called Axios-rate-limit for this process.

    • Making calls on the server and NOT on client-side
    • Adding app-level restrictions on the API
    • Adding different tests for securing the application layer

Final Words

These are 8 React best practices that developers shouldn’t avoid. To know more about such practices, stay tuned with us.

Smarsh Infotech is one of the top-notch software development service outsourcing companies. Let’s discuss your app requirements and begin the development process soon.

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