What Even Is GitHub?

GitHub is the world's largest source code site, with over 73 million developers, 4 million companies, and over 200 million repositories.

Why Care?

GitHub security may get increasingly sophisticated and harder to manage as an organization's workforce grows. Furthermore, GitHub's security flaws, public repositories, and hardcoded passwords may entice attackers. Today, we'll discuss ten GitHub security best practices and why we should implement them. Let's get started with this together!


Never Store Credentials

To begin, there are leaks of login passwords, API keys, private tokens, and SSH keys. These are the core of security, and by putting them (accidentally or not) in your business repositories, you are inviting hackers in. Private repositories may appear to be a safe way to hardcode your secrets for your team to access, but third-party services may also have access to such repositories. Why is that dangerous? Because your third parties can be abused in the future, and your secrets will no longer be as private.

Automated Dependency Updates

A dependency alert almost always results in a project contributor raising the problematic package reference to the recommended version and filing a pull request for validation. Wouldn't it be fantastic if this work could be automated? So, excellent news! Dependabots perform just that. It searches for dependency warnings and generates pull requests so that a contributor may check and merge the request.

Access Control

Not everyone in your company requires access to every repository. It is critical to forming teams for your organization's processes, such as developers, security engineers, managers, and so on. You may also assign each repository a specific role, such as read, write, or admin. Consider the concept of least privilege in each scenario.

Disable Forking

Forking is a git technique that allows a developer to generate a duplicate of a repository without affecting the source. While forking is useful for experimentation and sandboxing, it may also result in the inability to trace where your sensitive data and private passwords end up.

A repository may be secret at first, but a fork might rapidly expose everything to the world. The danger grows exponentially with each fork, resulting in a tree-like chain of security breaches involving exposed sensitive data.

To avoid this, disable the ability to fork a repository to help limit the danger of sensitive data making its way into your code. This may be accomplished by browsing your organization's 'Settings' option and clicking on 'Member privileges,' and unchecking the option to fork under 'Repository forking' will block the option to fork private repositories.

Security. md file

The security policy of the repository is included in the security.md file. The goal of this file is to formally record security processes and procedures.

Vulnerability reporting, confidentiality requirements, encryption standards, token accessibility, use of email addresses, HTTPS requirements, use of cloud, CDNs, backups, authentication requirements, and data integrity procedures are among the processes and procedures covered.

The security.md file may serve as a beneficial reference for developers and offer a centralized area where security standards for the business are made plain.


In Closing

Although GitHub is the world's largest code management system, you still need to ensure that your work is saved securely. Start using these steps right away to keep your GitHub account safe!

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