Computer Programming Fundamentals and Principles – Input Validation


I had discussion on PHP dev mailing list. It appeared that not few developers misunderstand “What is Input Validations“. Therefore, I summarize computer programming fundamentals and basics to help understanding validations.

Without fundamentals and basics understanding, discussion is meaningless. “Input Validation” is one of the most important countermeasure for cyber attacks. The idea is strongly supported by notable computer scientists (e.g. CMU’s CERT) and security specialists, yet it is misunderstood by majority of developers. Therefore, almost all web applications are missed to have proper “Input Validation” currently.

I came across this discussion too often, so I summarize why, “Input Validation”, “Input Data Validation” or “Application Input Data Validation” especially, is fundamental and mandatory requirement for applications.

TL;DR;

“Application Input Data Validation” and “Business Logic Validation” are 2 different validations by fundamentals and principles. Except few exceptions, ALL web application input data can be validated by “Application Input Data Validation” without user interactions. This achieves more secure state and cleaner/manageable code structure. Thus, applications should implement “Application Input Data Validation” always.

Note: “Application Input Data Validation” is NOT a replacement of “Business Logic Validation”.

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