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Security for Web Developers by John Paul Mueller

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Chapter 14. Considering Update Options

Updating means bringing new information, features, or interface elements into the application. Improving application accuracy also falls into the realm of an update. An update may not even affect application code in a significant manner, but can still affect security in a number of ways. For example, you can update a database to include a field that shows who last edited a record, which can improve security by making it possible to track the source of an error or infection that has occurred on the system. Changing prompts so the information you want from a user becomes clearer is a security fix that doesn’t necessarily require any recoding, especially when the prompts exist in an external file. The idea behind an update is to make the application better in some way so that a coding fix may become unnecessary. It’s important to know when to differentiate between an upgrade and an update, so the first part of this chapter spends time comparing the two processes and how they affect your application.

An update won’t always fix a security issue, just as an upgrade is sometimes overkill. In order to use organization resources effectively, you need to know when to use an update and when you really do need to perform an upgrade. The upgrade process appears in Chapter 13 and provides you with details on how this process works. This chapter compares updates with upgrades and helps you understand how the update process works.

Updates can fall into a ...

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