For a cybersecurity professional, understanding a programming language can be an invaluable resource in recognizing vulnerabilities in a particular application and how an attacker could exploit those vulnerabilities.
The Best Programming Languages for Cybersecurity
Applying C to reverse engineering makes antivirus program development easier because cybersecurity teams can disassemble malware to examine its design, propagation, and consequences.
The C programming language is also essential for developers who provide quality assurance of code integrity.
Cyber adversaries can also use this language to identify exploitable network weaknesses before launching an attack.
Being a low-level programming language with simple syntax, it only takes a few months of training to master it. Programmers take extra steps to ensure that their code is bug-free when writing the program. However, hackers can use it to find vulnerabilities.
Lint is a code analysis tool intended for programs written in C. Different versions have emerged since its creation. Both cybersecurity experts and hackers can use Lint to identify programming errors and find bugs that threaten the security of computer networks.
C++ was adapted from the C coding language, but has several distinct features.
Unlike C, C++ supports objects and classes.
C++ is faster and more efficient than the C language.
Cybersecurity experts benefit from learning C++ because they can easily detect vulnerabilities and security breaches. A scanning tool like Flawfinder that scans C++ makes it easy for cyber experts to recognize security vulnerabilities in the code. These tools describe existing vulnerabilities, their severity, and their effects on an application using an integrated database that includes possible language feature risks.
For several years, Python has been a dominant language in cybersecurity. It is a server-side scripting language, so the resulting script does not have to be compiled by coders. It’s a versatile language that is used in many, if not most, cybersecurity situations.
With Python, it is possible to automate tasks and perform malware analysis. Plus, an extensive library of third-party scripts is easily accessible, meaning help is just a tap away. Code readability, clear and easy syntax, and a large number of libraries are some of the aspects that make it popular.
It is one of the best programming languages for cybersecurity to master.
This also implies that due to the widespread use of this language, applications and systems that use it are prime targets.
Assembly language is a low-level language used to analyze and understand how malware works.
Understanding assembly is relatively simple, especially if you already know a high-level programming language.
Assembly is an essential programming language because cybersecurity experts can use it to interpret malware and understand its attack modes.
PHP is a server-side programming language used to create websites. It examines the flow of data, from input parameters to careful strategies in a web application. A PHP developer working on security topics can use RIPS. A security-oriented PHP developer will write server-side web application logic.
RIPS is a standard tool for PHP applications that performs automated security scans.
In an application, RIPS examines the flow of data from input parameters to critical operations.
SQL for Cybersecurity
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific programming language. It is very popular and is used to analyze data in large databases. As businesses become more and more data-driven, SQL is the most in-demand database management programming language.
Most websites use SQL for their data management activities, such as Relational Database Management System (RDBS).
It can handle many database systems.
Therefore, it is also recognized as the simplest language for manipulating a database.
Database administrators, programmers, and end users create SQL queries for extracting, inserting, modifying, and deleting data stored in database tables. Attackers often use this language to steal confidential data, compromise data stores, and execute various attacks across the web.
Ruby is a high-level, general-purpose language created and developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in Japan. Since then, it has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Ruby is one of the best programming languages for cybersecurity because it handles much of a machine’s complex information, making programs easier to develop and with less code.
Ruby’s syntax is essentially the same as Perl and Python.
It was written in C.
PowerShell is a more versatile command line interface that combines old Command Prompt (CMD) functionality with an advanced scripting environment that can be used to access the core of a machine, including Windows APIs.
PowerShell is a valuable tool for automating repetitive tasks for administrators, but unfortunately its capabilities have also been exploited by malicious actors.
No longer needing to rely on typical malware, hackers can manipulate PowerShell to find sensitive domain information and load harmful executables.
As PowerShell is installed by default on all machines, from Windows 7 to Windows Server 2019, it is a favored tool for many attackers.
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