Today, Java is driving more than $100 billion of business annually. If we take a look at the enterprise side, more than $2.2 billion are being spent by the enterprises in Java application server. There is no denying that Java is used extensively for developing Java enterprise applications reason being Security. Java brings some of the most fascinating features or benefits that are impossible to find in any other programming languages or platforms.
Security is an important aspect and Java’s security model is one of the key architectural features that make it most trustful choice when it comes to developing enterprise-level applications. Security becomes critical when software is downloaded across network and executed locally, and Java easily mitigates the security vulnerabilities associated with the projects or applications. Don’t believe this? Have a look at a few arguments (security measures/features) that showcase how secure Java platform is.
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Java’s security model
Java’s security model is intended to help and protect users from hostile programs downloaded from some untrusted resource within a network through “sandbox”. It allows all the Java programs to run inside the sandbox only and prevents many activities from untrusted resources including reading or writing to the local disk, creating any new process or even loading any new dynamic library while calling a native method.
No use of pointers
C/C++ language uses pointers, which may cause unauthorized access to memory blocks when other programs get the pointer values. Unlike conventional C/C++ language, Java never uses any kind of pointers. Java has its internal mechanism for memory management. It only gives access to the data to the program if has appropriate verified authorization.
Exception handling concept
The concept of exception handling enables Java to capture a series of errors that helps developers to get rid of risk of crashing the system.
Defined order execution
All the primitives are defined with a predefined size and all the operations are defined in a specific order of execution. Therefore, the code executed in different Java Virtual Machines won’t have a different order of execution.
Byte code is another thing that makes Java more secure
Every time when a user compiles the Java program, the Java compiler creates a class file with Bytecode, which are tested by the JVM at the time of program execution for viruses and other malicious files.
Tested code re-usability
The Java object encapsulation provides support for the concept of “programming by contract”. This allows the developers to re-use the code that has already been tested while developing Java enterprise applications.
Access Control functionality
Java’s access-control functionality on variables and methods within the objects provide secure program by preventing access to the critical objects from the untrusted code.
Protection from security attacks
It allows developers to declare classes or methods as FINAL. We all know that any class or method declared as final can’t be overridden, which helps developers to protect code from security attacks like creating a subclass and replacing it with the original class and override methods.
Garbage collection mechanism
Garbage collection mechanism aids more to the security measures of Java. It provides a transparent storage allocation and recovering unutilized memory rather than deallocating memory through manual action. It will help developers to ensure the integrity of the program during its execution and avoids any JVM crash due to incorrect freeing of memory.
Type-safe reference casting in JVM
Whenever you use an object reference, the JVM monitors you. If you try to cast a reference to a different type, it will make the cast invalid.
Apart from all these, structured error handling contributes a lot to the security model of Java by helping to enhance the robustness of the programs. The above arguments definitely prove that the projects developed in Java are more secure as compared to the other programming language. However, it is the responsibility of the developers to follow some best practices while developing enterprise-level Java applications.