Secure Web3 Development: Best Practices
2 June 2022
Web3 has recently been surging in popularity, for better or for worse, amongst developers and tech giants. But to those uninitiated, it might be a confusing concept to understand. Thankfully we’re here to help break down what Web3 is and how best to remain secure.
What is Web3?
Web3 is a new type of internet that is decentralized and open. It allows people complete control over the content they create and the platforms they design and build. Web3 is a financial transaction platform that runs on blockchain technology where users can log in to applications using cryptocurrency-based digital wallets.
With Web3, developers are working to decentralize the internet once more, allowing the content and platforms that people generate to no longer be under the control of Big Tech/tech giants and major corporations. Web3 also intends to address the security and privacy concerns that plague the internet.
As well as decentralizing the internet and giving the ‘power to the people’, it also comes with a number of benefits. Not only do developers, content creators, and other users retain control over the way Web3 platforms and DApps are built and maintained, but they can also enter any Web3 app without authorization from a company or government agency. Users acquire ownership shares based on their contributions to the development and maintenance of Web3 platforms, which gives them equal power and influence over online goods and services.
Mitigating Web3 risks
With the rapid success and interest of Web3, developers, tech builders and businesses should take a proactive approach to security when evaluating its potential. While Web3 is still in its early stages, the blockchain, on the other hand, has been in use for some time, and its functionality and benefits have made it popular.
Because the blockchain has a strong tamperproof quality, most Web3 apps are more secure than traditional applications. However, we’ve shown previously that if there is a weakness in the blockchain, hackers will exploit it. It’s been proven before that attacks in the blockchain space are frequently more devastating than attacks on regular applications. These occurrences are typically irreversible and reliant on smart contracts, which, if taken advantage of, cascade over the network rather than a single node.
Fortunately, security leaders can help minimize these risks by following some of these Web3 security best practices:
Evaluating the risks of information quality or data manipulation should be linked to judgments about what goes on-chain vs off-chain, as well as what information is needed to validate transactions.
Address prevalent vulnerabilities, such as phishing, across the technology's architecture and UX workflows. For example, security teams could advise users to install malicious link detection software in their browsers, enforce multifactor authentication, and send regular warnings to avoid open Wi-Fi networks or perform system upgrades.
Regardless of how quickly Web3 is evolving, developers should review and test their projects before and after releasing new code and contributions. Failure to do so can result in breaches and enormous losses when insiders ignore common vulnerabilities, insider attack routes, user privacy safeguards, and other errors.
Organizations should also perform frequent audits, especially since startup engineers may lack the security governance of a larger corporation. Fortunately, a new breed of Web3-native security resources is developing, such as our own, which has created a system enabling audit-level inspections at each stage of development.
A common security principle, but while it's not really easy to do this in regular software development, this is true for smart contracts and Web3 development. Only write core functionalities on what you are trying to achieve. The less code and complexity there is the fewer chances of security issues.
Although security-by-design principles should be prioritized, enterprises should also evaluate the sort of blockchain they want to utilize.
Blockchain networks that are open to the public, such as Ethereum and Solana, let anybody join. Depending on the program, users can also enjoy varying degrees of privacy. In contrast, a private, or permission, blockchain network needs users to authenticate not just their identity, but also their membership and access credentials. Different blockchains, whether public or private, have different complications, therefore understanding one does not imply understanding all of them.
Designers must make Web3 apps more consistent and intuitive in order for Web3 to gain in popularity and go beyond financial platforms and digital wallets. They must also provide more easy user education to help newcomers become acquainted with the innovative features and interactions available on Web3 platforms.