In recent years, cybercrime has become more sophisticated, professionalized, and personalized. And it is only headed to become graver. Small and large companies of all backgrounds are prone to threats which include but are not limited to malware, ransomware, and data breaches. Research shows that 37% of IT companies were targeted for ransomware in 2021 alone. Out of which only 8% of data was recovered after ransom payment.
The threat not only pertains to software, companies and employees, but to other concerned parties too. Mitigating these threats should be the goal. While it may not be entirely possible, going forward, implementing the following practices can secure software development frameworks for businesses.
Zero trust policies consider every individual that interacts with the software as a threat. It requires identity verification at every step to protect IT resources. It would be advisable for developers to implement the zero-trust architecture in the initial stages of the SDLC (software development lifecycle) to secure software applications from the source code up.
When targeting supply chains, attackers are heavily dependent on the trust present in the organization. Having to prove their identity at every step can help limit attacks.
Furthermore, attacks in a system do not always occur from outside the firewall. Limited access policies should be introduced where only required permission is shared with individuals for them to complete a job.
By far, the largest security threat that software face is bad-quality code. Shifting Left is a practice that can avoid additional costs when the software has progressed into production. Moving left suggests that code be analyzed and vulnerabilities eliminated early in the process.
As it is considered expensive and time-consuming, the practice is still relatively more economical than when a product has moved into production. Research from Ponemon Institute suggests that it cost $80 to fix a software defect during development whereas it was $7,600 to fix during production.
Therefore, an initial investment of time, money and resources in good quality code can help companies forego higher costs down the line.
Decision-makers for businesses should work closely with the IT department to take security-driven initiatives. By keeping cybersecurity at the forefront, taking preventative measures with the input of IT professionals can create secure products and result in cost-saving in the long run. Safety is at the center of all tasks and development, and future decisions revolve around it.
Improving the developers' skill set can positively impact cybersecurity. By investing in the IT department through training, workshops, and classes, developers and engineers upskill and add further value to a business. Also, providing them with suitable resources can result in significant profit dividends.
Though the SBOM has been around for the past few years, its wide usage is predicted to begin soon. An SBOM (software bill of materials) requires the software development company to list all materials used in building the product.
SBOMs can help maintain security essentially by showcasing a software’s components. Companies can identify vulnerable access points and draw up security measures to avoid threats. Several federal agencies in the US have also shown support for SBOMs, making it a requirement for every software used by government agencies.
It is crucial to keep in mind that a single step-initiative will not solve a company’s cybersecurity, rather an entire step-by-step system needs to be put into place. Every organization has different security needs. It is crucial to identify the issues first and then create the best practices for secure software development.
The budget for cybersecurity is on the rise, not only in Canada but all over the world. Where the initial cost of secure coding practices may be high it can make the bones of a software strong to withstand and counter cyberattacks at later stages.
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