- Creation date:
- May. 15, 2021
- Last updated:
- May. 15, 2021
Outlined in this document are the practices and policies that Qoder Limited applies to help ensure that we release stable/secure software, and react appropriately to security threats when they arise.
Reporting Security Problems
If you need to report a security vulnerability. Please email email@example.com. If your issue is specific to your account, such as lost credentials or problems with two-factor authentication, contacting our support team is more appropriate.
We constantly monitor our firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox and will triage all reports .
Security Point of Contact
Any reports sent to email@example.com will be escalated to the security point of contact, who will delegate incident response activities as appropriate.
All new technical hires are introduced to our security policy as part of the onboarding process.
Separation of Duties and Authorization
Developers are only given access to key services when it's required for their job. IAM is used to limit the permissions on accounts, minimizing the damage that would be incurred if an account is compromised.
Critical Updates And Security Notices
We learn about critical software updates and security threats from a variety of sources:
- Ubuntu's security notices page: https://usn.ubuntu.com/
- Security tickets sent to us.
- Static code analysis tools and vulnerability scanning notification
- other media sources.
- Ubuntu Automatic Security Updates
Along with keeping an eye out for critical security updates, automatic security updates are enabled on all of our production servers allowing patches to be applied immediately without human intervention.
Responding to Security Threats and Critical Updates
When a security threat is identified, we have the following process in place:
We have internal communication channels, which are used to prioritize and coordinate responses to security threats. Our Security Point of Contact oversees this discussion: managing the triage, responding to emails, and updating our customers. Based on the triage, work is allocated to developers to address the threat:
- P0: Drop everything and fix!
- P1: High severity, schedule work within 7 days.
- P2: Medium severity, schedule work within 30 days.
- P3: Low severity, fix within 180 days.
- Vulnerability Scanning
- Along with reacting to security notifications as they happen, we proactively pen-test and audit software.
- Internal Audits
- We have engaged a external security company who perform regularly perform penetration testing, code auditing, and other forms of security oversight, all engineers coordinate security audits with the Security Point of Contact. Documentation of our internal audits is available, and can be provided to customers when requested.
- Automated Scanning
- We use a number of software applications that provide automated vulnerability scanning.
- Enable 2FA on all Qoder related accounts.
- Passwords should be rolled every 90 days.
- Passwords should contain alpha-numeric characters and symbols.
- Passwords should be a minimum of 8 characters.
- Any systems we build that accept a username and password should reject a user after repeated failed login attempts.
- Don't Use Passwords
- We should opt for alternative authentication methods when possible, such as:
- Asymmetric keys for connecting to servers.
- Delegated authentication (SAML, OAuth2, etc).
- Opaque access tokens.
- SSH Keys
- SSH keys should be rolled out selectively, providing developers access to only the servers that they require access to.
Application Design Best Practices
In the next section of the document, we discuss the design methodologies that we use to build stable and secure software.
- Logging Practices
- Logs are important for both debugging applications and detecting security breaches in our software.
- What We Log
We should track failed login attempts to servers:
- Ubuntu provides this information in /var/log/auth.log
We should log the operations performed by users:
- Ubuntu provides this information in history.
- Applications should provide detailed operational logs in a standardized format.
- We should track failed login attempts to servers:
- Log format
- All applications should contain logging for date, time, operation, and a unique request identifier.
- Backing Up Logs
- At least 90 days of logs should be kept for each service. On high traffic hosts this may require backing-up logs in cloud storage on a regular basis.
- Reviewing Logs
- On the servers that we manage for other companies, we should audit logs on a regular basis.
- Secrets/Personally identifiable information (PII) in Logs
- Logs should not contain any sensitive user information, e.g., passwords.
- Limiting Access to Operating System Files
- Micro-services should only have access to databases and files that they need access to. In our production environment, this is achieved by partitioning services across multiple hosts.
- Security Groups
- When deploying a service, ask: "what other services does this actually need to connect to?". Security groups are used to limit the network connectivity between hosts.
- Storage of Data
- Any sensitive user information should be encrypted at rest.
- Inter-Service Communication
- Communication between services on the same host can be performed via HTTP. All inter-service communication between two hosts is performed using TLS.
Qoder Limited has a well-defined, security-focused, development process:
- Code Reviews
- No code goes into production unless it is reviewed by at least one other developer. The onus is on the reviewer to ask hard questions: "what are the ramifications of opening up port-X?", "why is this connection being made over HTTP instead of HTTPS?"
- Deploying Updates
- Any new code pushed to production is first thoroughly tested in a staging environment and mechanisms are in place for rolling back any changes that are pushed to production. If a schema-change is involved, an inverse migration is first tested in staging (we want to be confident that we should role things back).
We love testing:
- During the code-review process, if you see logic that's complicated and lacks a test, politely ask the developer for a test. It's particularly important that tests are added to logic that interacts with sensitive parts of the system: ACL logic, password validation, database access.
- Tests should not contain user-data, make sure to anonymize email addresses, usernames, etc.
- Test coverage is a great way to make sure all of the nooks and crannies of your codebase are tested.
- Any new functionality should always come with a test to verify that it does what we think it does.
- Any bug fix should always come with a test so that we don't have to encounter the same bug multiple times.
- Design Cycle
- We strive to have continuous deployments, releasing many small features as they become production ready. Security is taken into account during all phases of the software development life-cycle: unit tests think about potential threats; when testing on staging, we attempt to test potential exploits, etc.
On our managed Ubuntu hosts, we run the ClamAV AntiVirus software.
- When A Virus Is Identified
- The infected server should be retired, and a new server should be provisioned from scratch.
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