As more IT security professionals use programming as an essential tool, Python has emerged as the language of choice as is found in the emergence of open enrollment training classes such as the one at Advanced Security. Python offers advantages in ease, rapid development, and support that provide the flexibility and speed critical to security activities.
Python’s Rise Above the Language Jungle
Python is a high-level, object-oriented programming language that is scalable and extensible. Security professionals can easily learn it and write custom applications, tools, and automation scripts. Hackers are increasingly using Python because it offers extensive libraries and can be coded quickly. The language’s modular design and clean syntax also make it easy to modify existing code or add on to canned tools. In the security community, more applications continue to be written in Python. An organization can save development time by using Python to create reusable code that stands on its own.
Python is cross-platform and portable to most operating systems including Linux, Windows and Mac. Versions also exist for .NET and the Java virtual machine. As a compiled language, it can run as a script or executable. Python’s clear structure and built-in support make it easy for security experts from any programming background to learn and use.
Rapid Application Development With Python
Security professionals need to write and modify applications quickly in order to test, add new features, and stop threats. Intended for rapid application development, Python has an edge over several other languages in its simplicity and readability. It uses a straightforward object-oriented implementation with clean syntax to promote code standardization. It also has automatic memory management and exception handling, features which speed up development time for security experts who need to focus on results rather than low-level operations. Python’s structure supports easy maintenance so that scripts live as extensible business tools independent of their original authors. Security experts tackling programming or Python for the first time can become productive within days. There is even a search engine for Python source code, called Nullege, that lets developers find code examples to work with.
Test tools often lag behind real-life requirements, and security professionals have to move beyond canned solutions in order to achieve full coverage. Hackers and Web application testers often create custom scripts on the fly and need the functionality that Python’s modules and rapid prototyping provide. Using Python, they can quickly deploy crucial offensive measures such as password cracking, SQL injection, packet captures, and back doors. Security systems administrators can easily create scripts to parse log files, scan ports, analyze memory usage, and handle other common tasks.
Strong Python Developer Support
Python comes with a huge library of extensible modules that provide most functions a security professional needs. As Web applications and technologies are a central security concern, Web support is essential for coding. The Python standard library includes specific modules for building clients and working with Web functions. It also has data parsing modules that handle XML and HTML among other syntaxes. Further, substantial third-party solutions exist in the form of Web frameworks and support for binary protocols as well as other tools. Developers can also leverage Python’s active user community and variety of reference resources.
Python is a lean workhorse that gives hackers and other security professionals the tools to quickly develop applications. While it may not be the most elegant of languages, Python’s clean and flexible structure puts power where it is needed most.