Review: PreEmptive Provides Security For .Net Apps - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Review: PreEmptive Provides Security For .Net Apps

The software provides tools for securing .Net apps using a technique known as "obfuscation."

Most enterprises recognize that cleanly compiled .Net and Java objects pose serious risks, yet few grasp the need to incorporate obfuscation into their application life-cycle practices. PreEmptive Solutions wants to ensure that enterprises don't eschew obfuscation with its Dotfuscator for .Net and DashO Pro for Java tools.

PreEmptive aims to change the perception that obfuscators are only name-mangling tools for source code. The Mayfield Village, Ohio-based company knows too well that simply renaming code structures with obfuscation during the last phases of development won't prevent hackers from decompiling and searching through .Net and Java binary code to find weaknesses.

According to PreEmptive, most attacks happen inside companies via identity theft or by employees having access to clean binaries so they can search on strings and other code elements to find intrusion points into data tiers. Companies that make the right security decisions don't overlook that fact.

To gain the most from obfuscation, IT managers should implement enterprisewide controls and manage them consistently across their organizations rather than putting practices in systems only when illegal activities are detected or, worse, just to slow down hacker infiltration on key Web applications.

However, obfuscation can have some negative implications for source code. For instance, by restructuring flow control on code logic, overall application performance can be affected considerably. What's more, renaming can add complexity to debugging, reflective code and incremental patches. Dotfuscator provides some solutions to these problems by generating various configuration files.

Since PreEmptive's free Dotfuscator Community Version is embedded in Microsoft' Visual Studio, .Net developers will immediately be able to familiarize themselves with Dotfuscator Professional. Once installed, output assemblies from Visual Studio projects are pumped right into Dotfuscator.

Dotfuscator takes internal .Net debugging files, which associate variables and code lines with assemblies, and synchronizes them with obfuscated assemblies so the line numbers match up. That's how Dotfuscator can make debugging work. Essentially, Dofuscator generates map files that match original source-code fields with obfuscated fields.

Dotfuscator map files are in XML format and can be transformed into human-readable HTML. A good side effect of renaming code is that it immediately shrinks assemblies. By reducing the string heap within assemblies by 40 percent to 60 percent, applications load faster, which directly affects performance.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
How COVID is Changing Technology Futures
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/23/2020
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll