Mitigating Chrome Extension Security Risks: Best Practices to Follow


Chrome Extension Security Best Practices

Browser extensions can be useful tools for IT professionals, but they can also pose unique cybersecurity risks. To mitigate those risks, IT teams should follow these chrome extension security best practices:

It is important to research the reputation of the developer and the extension’s permissions. Moreover, checking the frequency of updates is crucial as well. Frequently updated extensions are more likely to receive security patches and are less vulnerable to cyber threats.

Check the developer’s legitimacy

While extension code exploration can be a useful learning tool, it should be done responsibly and with respect for developers’ rights. It is also important to check an extension’s source code and ensure that any changes align with its original purpose and do not introduce security risks.

In order to do this, you can use a javascript beautifier such as “js-beautify” to decode and read minified extensions. You can also look at the extension’s permissions to make sure that it does not have access to sensitive user data.

Lastly, you should also consider whether the extension’s developer is legitimate by checking its website and store page. This can help you avoid extensions that steal your data or track your behavior. Chrome even has a verified publisher badge that you can see on extensions in the Chrome Web Store that Google has vetted in some way. This is similar to Apple’s vetting process for apps in the App Store.

Check the extension’s source code

Extensions have access to your browser’s sensitive data, which is why they must be secure. Chrome extensions are a great way to customize your web browsing experience, but many of them pose serious risks to users.

For example, some allow attackers to steal your passwords by reading the raw form of your entered information (as opposed to its hashed value). Others have been known to install malware without user knowledge. The Chrome web store is rife with malicious extensions, and Google doesn’t do any vetting of them before they are published.

To protect against such threats, it’s important to take the time to examine an extension’s source code and permissions. This will help you identify potential security issues and make informed decisions about whether to use it in your organization. You can check the extension’s permissions by viewing its CRX file or visiting chrome://extensions. Google also offers several options for enterprises who are concerned about extension security, including allowing or blocking extensions by their permissions.

Check the extension’s permissions

Browser extensions are great for enhancing the functionality of a web browser, but they can also be a security risk. These small software programs have access to the browser’s DOM, cookies and web requests, which can provide a rich attack surface for hackers. They can steal passwords and other sensitive data or tamper with web pages in ways that can compromise a user’s privacy.

Browser extension testing is a key part of the development process and should include functional and non-functional tests. This will help developers identify any potential vulnerabilities that may be present in the extension.

Although Google does vet extensions before they are available in the Chrome Web Store, malicious extensions have made their way onto the site in the past. It is also important to keep in mind that the more extensions a person has installed, the larger their attack surface will be and the easier it will be for hackers to target them.

Check the extension’s popularity and age

Browser extensions are powerful tools, but they also come with unique security risks. It is important to understand these risks and how they can affect your organization’s cybersecurity.

Chrome extensions are often a target for cyberattacks, as they can be uploaded and updated through developers’ Google accounts. This allows attackers to push malicious code directly to users. To prevent this, keep developers’ accounts secure and require two-factor authentication for access.

In addition, it is important to test Chrome extensions thoroughly. This includes both functional and non-functional testing. It is important to use automated and manual tests, as well as QA processes.

As with any tool, there is a possibility that an extension could become obsolete or unhelpful over time. To reduce the risk of this, check the extension’s popularity and age in the Chrome Web Store. If it has a low rating, it might be worth looking for an alternative. It is also recommended to keep the number of extensions to a minimum.

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Ashley M. Arwood 

Ashley M. Arwood is a remarkable figure in the tech industry, a passionate advocate for innovation and equality. With a diverse background that blends technology, social justice, and entrepreneurship, Ashley has made a significant impact on the way we perceive and interact with the ever-evolving digital world. Her journey is not just one of professional success but a testament to the power of tenacity, creativity, and the unwavering commitment to making the tech world a more equitable place.