6 Security Vulnerabilities Microsoft Won’t Fix in ASP.NET

Resolute Software
4 min readOct 16, 2023

Yes, the title of this blog is some mighty fine click-bait, but it’s well-placed clickbait. Because Microsoft isn’t putting buckets of time and effort into ASP.NET anymore. That investment is going to make .NET version 8.0 (referred to henceforth as .NET) a faster, more secure product.

So, Click-Bait? Really?

According to Stack Overflow’s 2023 Developer Survey, almost as many professional developers still use ASP.NET as .NET for their Web Frameworks. Even though they know that ASP.NET has been deprecated. Even though they know that Microsoft is making .NET more secure than ASP.NET. Or, just maybe, they don’t know. That’s where the click-bait comes in.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

If you’re not reading all the marketing mail from Microsoft, you may not be up to speed on the security improvements that found their way into but not ASP.NET. (don’t feel guilty for skipping those emails; they’re not exactly page-turners…). But you may be able to avoid some headaches by getting up to speed on those. So, here’s the rundown on those vulnerabilities addressed by .NET (as promised in the title.)

6 Security Improvements in .NET That Aren’t in ASP.NET

1. Improved Authentication and Authorization

In the era of data breaches and cyber-attacks, robust authentication and authorization mechanisms are non-negotiable. .NET’s Identity framework offers a more flexible and secure way to manage user authentication and authorization. .NET users can now define intricate access control policies, ensuring only authorized individuals can access critical resources.

2. Enhanced Security Protocols

.NET leverages modern security protocols, such as OAuth and OpenID Connect, out of the box. This shift enables .NET users to embrace the latest industry standards effortlessly. Additionally, the support for JWT (JSON Web Tokens) simplifies the implementation of secure authentication mechanisms, reducing the risk of token-related vulnerabilities.

3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Mitigation

Cross-site Scripting attacks are a persistent threat in the web application landscape. With .NET, we can harness content security policies (CSPs) to mitigate the risk of XSS attacks. By defining strict policies on what can be executed in a web page, our clients can fortify their applications against this common exploit.

4. Protection Against SQL Injection

SQL injection attacks remain a prevalent attack vector, targeting poorly sanitized inputs in web applications. .NET’s Entity Framework Core enforces parameterized queries by default, reducing the likelihood of SQL injection vulnerabilities. This protective measure ensures that malicious actors cannot manipulate database queries through user inputs.

5. Enhanced Logging and Monitoring

Security is not just about preventing breaches; it’s also about identifying and responding to threats swiftly. .NET provides more robust logging and monitoring capabilities, which allows .NET clients to track suspicious activities, analyze security incidents, and take proactive measures to safeguard their applications.

6. Containerization and Microservices

Okay, so you can still use Microservices and Containers with ASP.NET, but .NET makes this easier. Containerization offers inherent security benefits by isolating applications, making it challenging for attackers to breach the underlying infrastructure. Moreover, adopting microservices architecture enhances security by limiting the blast radius in case of a breach.

End of the World?

Is it the end of the world if you don’t modernize and adopt .NET? No, probably not. Even the 6 items described above can be addressed in ASP.NET, and we’ve done that for our clients. It’s just not as easy, or default, or necessarily straightforward. But they are addressable. So, no, the world won’t end if you don’t upgrade.

But security isn’t the only good reason to consider a move to .NET. There are compelling reasons when it comes to managing your IT staff, developers, library compatibility, and performance as well as security. I’ll address those later.

Disclosure:

We don’t get any commission if you buy stuff from Microsoft. We still get paid when we move clients to React, Angular, PHP, Flutter, or whatever. Our interest in this discussion is helping you choose the platform with the capability, security, and performance you need to meet your business goals.

Planning to modernize your ASP.NET Web Forms app? Get our must-read guide.

Originally published at https://www.resolutesoftware.com on October 16, 2023.

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Resolute Software

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