Cyberattacks have been becoming very rampant as of late. Hackers are becoming craftier and more creative, warranting tighter and heavier cybersecurity among businesses. In today’s age where nearly everything is done digitally, security should be prioritized alongside service quality.
However, this is easier said than done. For one, cybersecurity awareness is often neglected by users despite the ongoing efforts of major digital platforms who advocate for it. Since most consumers focus on convenience in place of security, cybersecurity awareness falls on deaf ears.
Nevertheless, companies are still encouraged to reinforce security across all their products and services to combat cyberattacks. This is all the more important among companies whose workflow and products (or a portion of it) rely on the internet. To help you out, here are four best practices for secure software development you can use.
1. The ‘I’ in IT Means ‘Impression’
The underlying concept of security, is the working relationship between its hardware and software elements. If only one of the two components work, the entire information technology (IT) system will break down, eventually.
Keeping your IT infrastructure in its best shape is already half of the job done when it comes to security. Make sure all the components such as terminals, wirings, networks, and even regular check-ups are accommodated properly. Also, see that all software used in the company are licensed and updated at regular intervals.
In paper, maintaining an IT system can be a chore, but it’s all worth the hassle. Having an effective and dependable IT support in the company, is as good as having a relatively working business model. If you’re from Winnipeg, check out Winnipeg IT company Resolute Technology Solutions to know more.
2. SDL is Your Best Friend
Software Development Lifecycle, or SDL, is a list of guidelines and safety practices to ensure and standardize security. SDL works as a template that developers can use to draft a tailored approach in their development projects. It consists of linear ‘steps’ which address specific problems that may or may not arise in all phases of software development.
SDL should be used at the onset of the project, and not when it has already begun. The planning stages are one of the most crucial phases of software development, since it’s when the developers can anticipate threats, which, if done properly, could greatly increase productivity during the development stages.
Moreover, keeping SDL in mind enables the developers to have a more systematic approach to developing the software, resulting to more efficient responses even after the software has been launched.
3. Developers are Swordcrafters
Japanese swords or katanas are magnificent works of art. Japanese swordcraft subjects the metal into phases of breaking and hammering, ensuring that it’s extremely reinforced and strengthened. This is one of the reasons why it would take months for a katana to be forged.
Similarly, a software must be subjected into this kind of arduous treatment. In place of continuous hammering, developers are encouraged to intentionally break it. Reproducing threats is a way to anticipate potential risks that the software may face in the future. Doing this method will help the developers place a safeguarding mechanism or even fix the issue altogether.
A good example of this is fuzzing, or when you inject invalid codes and commands, and see whether or not it will break the software. By doing this, a developer will know the types of threats that the software is most vulnerable of, as well as its limits. This results to crafting a good architectural and design structure for the software in relation to threat landscapes and functionality, also with the help of SDL.
4. Knowledge is Power
IT care is everyone’s responsibility. SDLs and other security practices will be all in vain if everyone in the company fails to understand and acknowledge their roles in cybersecurity.
Ensuring everyone is trained and educated regularly about standard security practices guarantees a better and active participation in the company’s security policies. This will then extend to all company proceedings, both business- and customer-facing. In addition, it will help limit internal threats to any of the development projects, which leaves the developers to focus more on external ones.
In line with this, a common mistake among business owners, most especially those in the IT industry, is trusting their employees too much. Thinking that your employees will be responsible having to work in an IT industry, is understandable yet highly fallible.
While trust is indeed fundamental to work relations, unconditionally it may bring harm to the company in the long run. Placing security countermeasures such as the least privilege (limiting privilege access as needed) or gatekeeping resources, among many others can help curb internal threats.
Bearing ‘quality plus security’ in mind is the first step to locking customer trust and increasing sales. In spite of the challenges and threats the digital world is presenting, business owners must not waver. The digital space will just grow from this point on, and it’s on you to keep up.