Node.js best security practices

Having numerous benefits at its disposal Node.js has become one of the most popular and frequently used technologies in modern web and app development. You can find it literary everywhere and in all projects that use it, Node.js plays the central role. The ground for it is the chance to install and use different modules that expand the possibilities of developers. On the other hand, the usage of such modules gives a clear path for hackers. Because of it, that's crucial to think about security issues and prevent possible threats. That's why this time, we wanted to draw your attention to the Node.js best security practices.

Limit SQL injections and XSS attacks by validating user input

This is one of the most widespread problems when we talk about security. First of all, let’s look at SQL injections. Such an injection gives a hacker the chance to execute SQL queries and statements in the database. This happens when a developer doesn’t clean up the input from the front end. In that way, Node.js takes the data provided by a user and operates it as a part of an SQL statement. Fortunately, it is rather easy to avoid this mistake. Just don’t transfer the front-end parameters from the front-end to the database query so blindly. Validate or maybe escape the user values. The means you need to use for this purpose depend on the database you use. So, you have to figure out what to apply better.

Regarding XSS or Cross-Site Scripting attacks, they work like SQL injections. The only difference is the ability of a hacker to execute a JS code instead of transmitting malicious SQL. As far as the problem is the validation of input then in order to fix that you need to validate it, sure thing. 

Create strong authentification

It is another vulnerability that can harm your app or website so badly. Don’t think that if you have some authentification then you are already secured. It is not so, because most of the authentification can trespass easily. When you have a broken, incomplete, or even weak authentification you give a freeway and literary invite hackers to damage your system. 

Limit the number of login attempts and create decent management policies for visit sessions. Also, apply 2FA. Believe, such a measure will protect your digital product immensely.

Too much info in the errors

 When we talk about errors there are a few factors to take into account. First, don’t reveal the information to the user, namely, don’t show the error object to the client. It can have data that you don’t want to disclose, such as pathways, libraries, and so on.  Second, encapsulate routes in a catch clause to prevent Node.js from crashing when an error is caused by a query. By doing this, hackers are prevented from discovering malicious activity that would crash your program and repeatedly submitting them, causing your program to crash.

Auto vulnerability scanning

The usage of numerous modules and libs will help you to boost your job drastically. Moreover, it will expand your capabilities and you will be able to develop better and cooler functionality. This is all good but such an approach leads to security issues. You can’t be 100% sure that the external modules and libs won’t cause any security troubles so it would be much better if you implement the automatic vulnerability scanning that will show you the weak spots and help to secure them to avoid bigger problems.

Data leaks

Always retrieve and send only the required data from your database. It takes some more time but the data will be secured. The main reason to do so is when you receive something from the front-end and send the data for some specific object and then apply a filter it looks like a good solution because there is no need to do some extra work. Yes, this approach is indeed a good solution but not for you. If you do so, then the hacker will be able to get the hidden data easily and steal it for their needs. Pay some more time, and provide only the necessary data that will protect your database from breakage.

Don't run Node.js as a root

Now we have such great things as microservices and Docker and it leads that we frequently overlook how the execution of Node.js works. It is simple to launch a Docker container and think it is secure since it is separated from the web server. The usage of Docker isn’t a remedy if you use Node.js as a root. Why so? Because when Node.js runs as a root you give a freeway for hackers to implement XSS attacks and so on.

Logging and monitoring settings

Some of you will say that it is not so essential for security but the practice shows it differently. monitoring and logging are perfect solutions for ongoing processes. It is clear from the very beginning whether any intruders are interested in making your application unusable. However, many hackers would rather go longer without being discovered. Monitoring logs and data will help you identify problems in these situations. You won’t receive enough information from standard logging to determine if strange-looking queries originate from your own application, a third-party API, or a hacker.

Avoid layers and nesting

Asynchronous callbacks are regarded as one of Node.js’ best features when compared to the earlier, more fundamental callback methods. With more layers of nesting, this feature, however, can become one of the worst terrors. For that reason, use flat promise chains to avoid the so-called “callback hell” because they give the chance to control programming semantics and increase the detection of errors and possible exceptions.

Don't block the event loop

This problem arises when CPU-intensive JavaScript operations are launched and that causes the neat performance.

The EventLoop provides a reply to the user whenever a new client connection is made with the app. Every incoming and outgoing request goes via the Event Loop, and that is related not only to new connections. The Event Loop will always be blocked, which prevents both new and existing users from connecting to the program. This kind of blocking causes vulnerabilities and weakens security.

Handle errors

Fixing the errors is an essential thing if you want your app to work steadily and nicely. This will enhance the overall security and help to protect the data from interaction and leakage. As far as the number of vulnerabilities will decrease you’ll leave no chance for hackers to intrude, damage, or steal something.

Request size limit

To prevent hackers from sending out big query bodies, Node.js must guarantee that request size is constrained. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the query processing by a single thread becomes more challenging the larger the payload is. As a consequence, hackers send a lot of queries, which can cause the server to run out of ram, the app to fail, or even to run out of disk space and cause a Denial of Service.

Strict mode usage

There are various risky and harmful legacy characteristics in JavaScript that might lead to security lapses. By turning on the strict mode, developers may minimize mistakes or defects that pose a security risk. The efficiency of the program is also improved by this setting. You must add “use strict” at the start of your source code in order to enable strict mode in the Node.js application.


Security and handling vulnerabilities is a crucial things for any website or app. Every back-end developer should take care of it in order to avoid some extra jobs and endure the life cycle of a product. When hackers attack your app or website they can break it, slow down, leak data, and so on, but the main threat is how they use your vulnerabilities and data against your company. Better not to know and protect your product at once. 

In RIVO AGENCY developers pay strong attention to security matters. We appreciate our clients but what we appreciate more is our own name, so we provide the best solutions from the very beginning.

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