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How to Write Secure Ruby on Rails Code

Ruby on Rails is known for its simplicity, versatility, and efficient development capabilities. Yet, writing secure code remains paramount no matter how efficient the language.

With cybersecurity threats on a vast rise, the focus on writing secure Ruby code has never been more substantial.

This tutorial will walk you through key aspects of ensuring your Ruby on Rails code is secure and resilient.

Understanding the Fundamentals of Code Security

The Concept of Secure Code

Secure code refers to software that’s designed to withstand and deter attacks, vulnerabilities, or any unauthorized breaches. It is developed with a focus on maintaining confidentiality, authenticity, and data integrity.

Importance of Secure Code

Creating secure software prevents malicious actors from gaining unauthorized access to data, altering your data, and disrupting your business operations. Writing secure code can save your organization from financial losses and reputational damage associated with security breaches.

Common Security Risks

Understanding the risks can provide an excellent groundwork.

Some common risks include injection attacks, cross-site scripting, session hijacking, and insecure direct object references.

For an in-depth understanding, you can check out the OWASP Top Ten risks.

Code Security in Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails provides several built-in security features to help develop secure software. These features, however, can only be fully utilized if developers are aware and educated about potential security threats.

Practices for Writing Secure Ruby on Rails Code

Input Validation

Always validate user inputs before using them. Validations help ensure that only valid data is saved into your database.

Ruby on Rails provides several helpers for validations, such as presence, uniqueness, and format.


Always ensure that your gems are up-to-date, as outdated gems can often be exploited. You can use tools such as Bundler-audit to check for any known vulnerabilities in your gems.

Secure Cookies

Rails provides options to secure cookies, such as setting secure: true and httponly: true.

This can prevent your cookies from being easily stolen.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Sensitive data like passwords and API keys should always be encrypted. Rails has built-in encryption tools that make this pretty straightforward.

Tools for Improving Ruby on Rails Code Security


Brakeman is a static analysis security vulnerability scanner specifically designed for Ruby on Rails applications. This tool can aid you in identifying security vulnerabilities.


RubyCritic is a gem that wraps around static analysis gems such as Reek, Flay, and SimpleCov to provide a quality report of your Ruby code.

Rails Best Practices

Rails Best Practices is a code metric tool to check the quality of Rails code. It implements many of the guidelines provided by the Rails community for writing good Rails code.


RubyMine is a powerful IDE that includes robust refactoring operations and code inspections. This can assist with more secure and efficient code development.


Writing secure Ruby on Rails code is a combination of understanding security fundamentals, following best practices, and utilizing the right tools.

By adhering to the principles and practices outlined in this tutorial, you can make your Ruby on Rails applications safer, more reliable, and more resilient.


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