Internet/Network Security/Protecting software


QUESTION: Dear Bryan,
I am starting out on network security. I plan to do stock market trading through computer automation and this will involve connection to the broker for information exchange. If I have software program for making trading decisions, how can I protect this program from being hacked into and the source code involuntarily revealed to the 3rd party?

ANSWER: There is no absolute way to protect data either on a computer or in transit between systems. The very best  you can do is to employ a "defense in depth" approach whereby numerous controls are involved at different layers. This would include using encryption for data in transit as well as encrypting data on your local hard drive you want to protect. Use strong passwords that change regularly, set up a firewall both at your network connection and on the local machine you want to protect, and run a good antivirus/malware solution that keeps itself up to date.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Bryan,
So where can I start? I am new in network security but I am willing to learn everything that is necessary to be safe and secure. I uses Python language and it has this modules that we can import. I suspect a user can easily just "save page" (as we usually do with webpages) and the modules would be downloaded to the user as well. What can I do to prevent the user from downloading the modules? Again, where can I start and which skill set do I need to learn to get secured? Anything like PHP or SQL (I don't know any of these but thought they may relate to network security) to learn?

When you are developing a web application, server side code (Python, PHP, ASP.NET, etc) cannot be viewed by a users browser. They can save the presentation piece of the page, the HTML, CSS, and javascript, but they cannot, and will not ever see the code that remains on the server. You will want to do research on hardening your particular web server platform, as well as running a web application vulnerability scanner against your application. Coding mistakes is what leads to exploitation, and you want to make sure that your site/app is not vulnerable to attacks such as SQL Injection and XSS attacks. This is a good resource for vulnerability scanners, what they are, and which ones you can use against your application.



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Bryan Maynard


I can answer questions pertaining to computer systems (design, architecture, engineering, troubleshooting, etc), as well as networking, and all things related to IT security. I can also answer novice to intermediate programming questions in PHP, PowerShell, VBScript, C#/ASP.NET.


I am a professional with over 12 years of experience in the IT industry. I have worked extensively with data center systems, including numerous types of servers, storage arrays, connectivity technologies and virtualization platforms.

I am a member of my local CISSP chapter and maintain membership with both ISC2 and ISACA.

I have a bachelor's degree in network security and am working towards a master's degree in information assurance. I also hold numerous professional certifications including the CISSP, CISM, ITILv3, VCP, MCITP (Server 2012), CEH, and Linux+.

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