What’s not on Wikipedia: Maximizing the Value of a Smart Contract Audit

What’s not on Wikipedia: Maximizing the Value of a Smart Contract Audit

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One fine day you got an out of the box idea to build a DeFi project. You have successfully developed the project and to save it from any external threat, you got it audited. But still there’s a doubt quotient haunting you day-in & day-out about whether the audit done was up to the mark or not!

Hence, whether you are an enterprise owning the DeFi project (or) a smart contract auditor, there remains a certain scope of value addition in the smart contract’s audit. 

In the forthcoming sections, we present before you various aspects of smart contract auditing that can not only add value to your smart contract but also make them more secure. 

how do smart contract work

image Source: Dzone

There lies a very thin difference between regular code auditing and smart contract auditing, the latter one is similar to the former ones code audit prior to deployment on the public cloud.

Below are some of the steps that when incorporate can exponentially increase the value of your audit:

Tips to exponentially increase value of your smart contract audit:

  1. Provide proper Documentation

Remember “Don’t leave anything for auditors to assume!”. Provide a deep understanding of your project before starting the audit. 

Some specific areas of concern include specific design decisions, considerations, and tradeoffs. 

The best format to convey this information is plain english that explains the functionality at both high & low levels. Ethereum’s EIPs and Synthetix’s SIPs are good examples of this kind of documentation. 

  1. Maintain Consistency

Try to maintain a consistency in the variable & function names that interprets the intent of code. Wherever it is required, use the proper comments to document complex parts of the code. It is also important to restrict yourself from the unwanted comments as this may unnecessarily increase the length of the doc.

  1. Communication Channel

Channelize a proper route for information exchange between auditors & your team. Provide a short briefing about the code to the auditors before the beginning of the audit, also maintain an open channel & be responsive in the course of auditing. 

  1. Test thy code

Ensure that the code is fully tested & compiled prior to auditing. It will help auditors to focus more on various other security verticals of the code. 

Though we at QuillAudits ensure to provide an initial report with the bugs/errors in the code, again your main focus should be to mitigate these sorts of tiny errors so that we can focus more on adversarial behaviour of the code. 

  1. Keep in Mind Limitations & Strengths

The auditors aren’t very well acquainted with your code nor is it a testing service to get rid of all the bugs. 

Auditors have no idea about the mathematical calculations working at the backend if not communicated clearly from your end. Human inspection at several times may miss errors (e.g., unit mismatches) that may be caught by a simple test case. 

Auditing is an unbeatable way to identify system level issues such as malicious manipulations or interaction among different protocols.

Supplementing your Audit with Auditing Tools

A comprehensive auditing includes tests alongside documentation & use-cases that are based on user behaviour. But as in the last point we have seen that there are chances of human errors, hence to mitigate them once should follow Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) practices. 

Here we at QuillAudits follow the best practices of utilizing some in-house & open source testing tools such as: 

  1. Slither
  2. Mythril and Mythx
  3. Surya
  4. Truffle & Ganache
  5. Echidna & Scribble (sometimes to find edge cases in property testing)

Necessary Checks to ensure with Smart Contract Audits

Here are some of the must follow steps to be incorporated in your smart contract audit process:

  1. Correct Visibility of Functions
  2. Prevent Overflow & Underflow
  3. Data Storage
  4. Check for reentrancy and ensure state committed before the external call.
  5. Save gas on smart contracts.
  6. Compiler warnings

Final Word

If you have been with us till here, congrats! Now you are ready to scale up the security of your smart contract to the next level. 

The processes and steps mentioned above are a great help to enhance the quality of smart contracts in terms of both security & functionality. At QuillAudits, our team of skilled smart contract developers, consider all the steps mentioned above to provide an edge to our clients & partners. Get in touch with us to build trust in your DeFi platform through conducting smart contract security to its optimum. 

Reach out to QuillAudits

QuillAudits is accomplished in delivering efficient smart contract audits. If you need any assistance in the smart contracts audit, feel free to reach out to our experts here!

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