BrilworksarrowBlogarrowTechnology PracticesarrowNode.js Security Best Practices for 2024 and Beyond

Node.js Security Best Practices for 2024 and Beyond

Lavesh
Lavesh Katariya
October 16, 2023
Clock icon7 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated October 16, 2023
Banner-NodeJs-security

Quick summary: This article presents guidelines for Node.js developers to follow to secure their applications against potential vulnerabilities arising from the use of third-party tools. It complies with essential guidelines, which we will refer to as Node.js security best practices, to ensure the security of Node.js applications.

What is Nodejs?

Node.js is a runtime environment that enables developers to use JavaScript beyond web browsers (or the front end) using various frameworks. It runs on Chrome's V8 engine, allowing JavaScript developers to apply their skills to back-end development using the same language.

What is Nodejs Security?

While Nodejs is secure itself, it relies on open-source packages as in the fast-paced world, companies and developers do not want to invest their in reinventing the wheel. The packages make development easy and fast. However, this convenience can also introduce vulnerabilities in the application.

NPM, an open-source platform containing over two million packages, serves as a valuable resource by providing millions of packages to JavaScript developers. On the one hand, it makes it easy to use packages. On the other hand, it may pose potential risks.

Node.js developers heavily depend on open-source third-party packages.

In 2021, 77 percent of respondents from the United States report using open source to modernize their IT infrastructure, a report from Statista shows.

Despite the fact that over 78% of organizations make use of open-source projects, only about 40% of organizations use formal security rating tools to assess the security of these packages, while only about 27% of open-source projects are audited on a regular basis, a report reveals.

Like others, Nodejs applications are vulnerable to security breaches. Therefore, it becomes imperative to take the necessary steps to enforce strong security measures.

This article is a compilation of tips and advice from experts on how to secure Node.js applications. However, if you need technical assistance to enforce strong security measures on your existing Nodejs app, you can check out our Nodejs development services. Our team of professional IT experts will thoroughly assess your application for security vulnerabilities.

 

Supercharge Your Web App with Node.js!
Hire Nodejs Developers now.

Best Practices for Nodejs Security 

1. Enable Strong Authentication Method

Strong authentication is all about implementing the latest security measures to safeguard sensitive pieces of information. As you know, data breaches are no longer a rarity. They are a daily occurrence, and even the biggest tech companies are not immune. In recent years, Google, Twitter, and other big-name companies have all experienced data breaches that led to them redefining their authentication mechanism. Here are a few methods to be considered:

  • Limit login attempts in a fixed period of time. 
  • Enables mandatory two-factor authentication to access sensitive data and services. 
  • Enable more than a basic authentication -  choose standard authentication methods like OAuth, OpenID, etc.
  • Implement strong password policies for user management and operations.

2. Make Use of Security-related plugins

These tools help you identify security weaknesses such as unsafe RegEx, unsafe use of eval(), use of non-literal filenames, etc., in your node applications when you write code. Overall, they can help detect these security flaws easily.

Eslint and Tslint are well-known code analytics tools for JavaScript and TypeScript projects for security checks in Node applications.

An example:

3. Limit concurrent requests 

Limiting concurrent requests helps prevent Nodejs applications from being unresponsive due to overwhelming requests at the same time. By using a middleware or balancer, you can limit the number of requests. Ngnix is a widely used service for load balancing; however, you can also make use of middleware express-rate-limiter or rate-limiter-flexible package. 

4. Avoid blocking the Event Loop 

Nodejs includes EventLoop to run JavaScript code and Worker Pool for intensive tasks, which makes it a scalable platform that can handle too many requests. All incoming requests and outgoing responses flow through the Event Loop.

Node.js leverages V8 (JavaScript engine) for code executions, which is fairly fast for many common operations. However, if callbacks have large complexities or regexp and JSON operations occur in your program, it can lead to Event Loop blocking. 

The common issues that may trigger Event Loop blocking are vulnerable regular expressions. Follow the below tips to avoid Event Loop blocking.

  • Use asynchronous operation whenever possible. Node can fairly handle asynchronous I/O operations. 
  • Offload the CPU-intensive tasks to prevent blocking. 
  • Complex regular expressions can lead to catastrophic backtracking; therefore, keep your regular expressions simple. 
  • Use promises and async/await 
  • As described above, middleware can help your performance of various operations efficiency; they can also lead to blocking. Don’t use unnecessary middleware. 
  • Reduce the complexity of the callbacks.

5. Logging and monitoring

Nodejs platform doesn’t have any logging tools, but you will find a wealth of third-party tools for logging and monitoring your code to significantly cut manual labor. Some popular Nodejs logging frameworks are Winston, Pino, and Bunyan.

If you seek simpler and lighter logging modules, bole and loglevel are great to utilize.

1. Winston: Winston supports various log transports and formats. It's a great framework for customizing log handling, from console logging to file storage, making it suitable for complex logging requirements.

2. Pino: Pino is known for its faster performance and is considered excellent for high-throughput applications. Pino's JSON log format also makes it easy to work with structured data.

3. Bunyan: Bunyan focuses on structured logging, making it valuable for applications that require detailed, machine-readable logs. You can consider it over others when working with microservices architectures. 

4. Bole: Bole is an easy to use, lightweight, and handy for small to medium-sized projects for basic logging without the complexity of larger libraries. 

5. Loglevel: It is a browser-based logging library, which developers to control log levels in the browser console.

Logging is essential for catching errors and staying informed about recent developments in your application so you can gain insights into their real-world behavior and identify performance optimization opportunities. It helps you in many ways, including identifying potential security threats.

While logging, keep note of the following points:

  • Use structured data for logs.
  • Balance readability for both humans and machines.
  • Log to standard output.
  • Include timestamps.
  • Prioritize descriptive log messages.
  • Add context to log messages.
  • Avoid logging sensitive information.

6. Encrypt client-server connection

In the time when SSL/TLS certificates are free and easy to configure, you should not delve much more into the advantages and disadvantages of using a secure server because the security outweighs the minimal overhead of using HTTPS compared to HTTP.

Conclusion

Node.js is a popular JavaScript runtime environment used to build a wide range of applications, from simple websites to complex web services. However, Node.js applications can be vulnerable to a variety of attacks if they are not security checks are not properly performed.

This article outlines some essential Node.js security best practices that you should follow to craft secure code that protects your application. By following these best practices, you can help to protect your Node.js applications from common attacks.

If you find that your Node.js application needs a security check, you can connect with us, and we will offer you customized Node.js development services to enhance your application security and performance.

Lavesh

Lavesh Katariya

With over 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I specialize in building robust and scalable web applications. Proficient in MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js, my passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving ensures high-quality solutions.

Get In Touch


Contact us for your software development requirements

get in touchget in touch

READY TO DEVELOP YOUR SUCCESS STORY WITH US?

You might also like