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Software Development November 10, 2021

Importance of Learning Java For Cybersecurity

Written by Mahipalsinh Rana

2.3K

As a new generation of threats pop up, Java has become one of the most-used programming languages for applications, including cybersecurity. If you’re into application development, you’ll know that Java is ubiquitous for daily use. Knowing the language can be useful for a career in cybersecurity.

With that said, it’s vital to learn not only how to read and program Java but also its value in the field of cybersecurity. This will allow you to get one step ahead of hackers and other malicious parties. Here’s why learning Java is a crucial step for cybersecurity.

Java Has Its Own Pros and Cons for Cybersecurity

When protecting user data, it’s important to remember that simply knowing Java or any programming language for that matter, is not enough. Knowing the quirks of the programming language is important, which you can derive from a solid understanding of the language itself.

Different programming languages offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages, especially for database connections and server-side applications. Java follows the same quirks that you can expect from any language. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the language can give you a distinct advantage.

A good example of such issues in Java, for example, is its tendency to consume a lot of memory and execute much slower than its counterparts like C or C++. Due to the extra level of compilation and abstraction by Java, it is simple for a high-level expert to exploit these quirks.

Unlike more modern programming languages like Python, Java is quite verbose in its execution. It uses lengthy programming lines, as well a highly complex code that needs experienced programmers to fully comprehend.

These issues can prevent even experienced Java developers from countering hack attempts, especially if the code is poorly-designed in the first place.

The advantage of Java

Java Provides A Secure Learning Environment

When using Java for website development, one distinct advantage that you have is that the language has designs for running untrusted code safely, without much trouble. One class that you need to keep watch is the SecurityManager class, which monitors actions that one may deem potentially sensitive.Among the many sensitive actions that the SecurityManager class will check includes execution of other applications, as well as access to local files. It will also keep tabs on the systems loading extra Java code, together with opening network sockets to name a few.

Learning Java for cybersecurity means knowing what this class can do, as well as how you can protect your system from exploits. Learning cybersecurity ideas like Java’s security policy enforcement will help you protect vulnerabilities within your system.

Java as a programming language is not something impenetrable. The language was exploited in the past and patches have come from Oracle itself to handle these issues. With that said, a good understanding of Java helps you know what are the best measures to patch any exploit.

As many websites and online applications rely on Java, knowing the right classes to improve on, as well as understanding its code environment, can give you an edge in security.

Java Helps You Protect More Systems

Java is a general-purpose programming language, originally designed as a write once, run anywhere (WORA) code. Its design revolves around its reduced number of implementation dependencies and it can run on all platforms that support Java. This makes securing Java environments much easier.

How?

With Java so widespread, you will likely find not only Java exploits everywhere, but you will also find patches and bug fixes from the community. This does not simply apply to enterprise solutions but also to personal and mobile applications of Java.

Many Android apps, for example, are written in Java. If you wish to improve your cybersecurity skills, knowing how mobile implementations of Java work can give you more vast experience in securing mobile systems.

There’s also the fact that more than 90% of enterprises run some kind of Java application on their systems. This gives you more environments to test your implementations and improve them as the needs of your users change.

Java Can Help Fix Other Coding Issues

Java has several vulnerabilities as a programming language, so much that some organizations moved towards other languages such as Python. Even then, this does not mean that Java is not in use anymore. On the contrary, Java’s consistent updates encouraged more businesses to use it.

For cybersecurity, Java is an essential step towards understanding other programming languages as well. Due to its popularity and relative ubiquity, it has the same vulnerabilities as other languages. While the coding environment may differ, the issues will still be the same.

Some good examples of these are the deserialization issues with Java and problems with the language’s remote method invocation.

Without going deep into the nitty-gritty, these issues are essential in Java more than any other programming language. This makes understanding the codes a much more crucial process compared to other languages. This notion does not mean that other languages are superior but rather that they significantly impact Java.

By understanding how these vulnerabilities work in a programming language, you will understand how to fix them in any environment. So whether you’re working with a full Java environment or handling languages like Ruby or Python, you’ll have a better experience of resolving these problems.

Penetration Testing With Java

Penetration testing is must-have knowledge in cybersecurity. Pentesting checks for security vulnerabilities within your networks, as well as threats and risks from hackers. Most white-hat hackers use this process to identify what the system needs to function and repel malicious actions.

Pentests start with the planning phase, creating scopes and strategies for the organizations. There’s also the discovery stage, where programmers collect data and scan for vulnerabilities. Testers will then attack these exploits and report them, together with potential bug fixes that need to be done.

With Java, penetration testers can use the language to organize high-scaling servers for payload delivery. In addition, ethical hackers can use it to create fixes for well-known bugs, as well as develop more sophisticated solutions.

Final Thoughts

Java in cybersecurity is one of the most essential programming languages you’ll find. Apart from its breadth and scale of adoption, Java has a variety of uses in learning and improving your cybersecurity skills. Java is also a powerful language that can help you create suitable security for your organization.

If you’re looking to learn Java, our information above can help you determine if this is the right decision for you.

Also Read: 6 Unexpected Benefits you Get When you Outsource Java Development

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