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Secure Enterprise Application Development: A Few of the Best Practices

POSTED ON: July 30, 2020 TAG: Application Development

The information security market across the globe is estimated to grow at a five-year CAGR of 8.5%, reaching $170.4 billion1 in 2022.

The average cost of a data breach is approximately $3.9 million2.

68%3 of business leaders opine that cybersecurity risks for their business are rising.

All the stats above and more are mind-boggling and enough to emphasize the relevance of cybersecurity today. Especially now, when the world is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, malware attacks and data breaches have become a common scenario. As a result, more than 80% of enterprise workloads are planning or have already moved to the cloud. This shows the burgeoning need for application migration services.

What is Security for Application Development Companies?

Security in software products is an evolving property and refers to a set of activities throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC) that begin during the ideation of the system and extend over the design, coding, and its strengthening. The safety of an enterprise software product is dynamic and changes over time, and this is crucial considering the role of enterprise web applications and mobile applications today.

Knowing the fact that attackers are willing to go to any limits and attempt every potential entry path to gain control of the system, enterprise mobile application development teams are compelled to mull over control mechanisms to resist these attacks.

The software design matters the most…

Systems grow vulnerable due to flaws in the software design. Design flaws are born early in the application development process of an app development project and profoundly affect the system, leading to its re-engineering. You need to deploy requisite resources to detect and fix these design flaws early, thus cutting down on the cost associated with these vulnerabilities.

The Big Question: How Do Developed Enterprises Ensure Secure Development?

1. Never Assume a Component is Reliable

It is quite a common error in enterprise app development to include sensitive functionality in an execution environment that is not under our control. Don’t assume that the system components are reliable till the time it can be shown. In a client-server environment, you need to be cautious against possible adulterated clients and thus deploy verification mechanisms.

Remember a key step in the design, development, and deployment of complex and highly reliable systems is a dedicated program of testing and analysis. The testing program aims at demonstrating that the system performs at a level of reliability acceptable to the mission for which it was designed.

2. Define Difficult-to-Circumvent Authentication Mechanisms

As the process of authentication allows you to prove user identity and assign a unique identifier, it is critical to developing centralized authentication methods. These authentication methods encompass every possible entry path and support secure application development. Using multiple authentication factors, you can reinforce the system by checking not only what the user knows, but what they can access.

For instance, if there are web pages, think about which websites will need to manage authenticated users and ensure that undue third parties don’t have any right to interfere in the system from unprotected URLs. Besides, the authorization processes on authenticated users should be built-in from the design phase and prevent against sessions falling into the wrong hands.

3. Validate All Data Clearly

Follow the philosophy of whitelisting by blacklisting when assessing the entries to the system. Determine what should and should not be allowed. An attacker interprets the data as programming languages intend to manipulate the state of the system. You thus need to inspect this input data and generate automatic processes to take these attackers to well-known canonical forms.

The validation of entries should occur close to the moment where the data is used. Common components may be designed to centralize structural as well as semantic validations, benefitting from the data types present in the programming language.

4. Recognize and Manage Sensitive Data

Data classification is the first step towards protecting sensitive data. Understand that all data is not equal, and it is best to focus your protection efforts on sensitive data only. Based on data sensitivity, there are different levels of protection needed. Effective information security begins with evaluating what information you have and identifying its access.

Once you understand how sensitive data moves into, through, and out of your organization, you can easily examine potential vulnerabilities and cybersecurity risks. Take inventory of where your organization uses sensitive data and where you hand off sensitive data to third-party and fourth-party vendors.

An understanding of the cryptographic notions that apply to the application development system is important to learn what elements and what features should be protected, against what forms of attack, and the best way to achieve it. Instead of creating cryptographic solutions of your own, find libraries and tools that enable you to increase application security.

5. Determine Changes in Actors and Objects in Future

Software security needs to be designed for change, instead of being brittle, static, and fragile. As design and development processes take place, a set of security and functional requirements should be met. Though security is considered during design, designers should determine the security implications of future changes to actors and objects.

Designers must understand how change influences security considerations under several circumstances. There will be changes at runtime, changes in the configuration, dynamic loading of objects, and enabling and disabling of features.

Ascertain that the properties of the system and its users change continuously. A few of the factors worth considering are the growth of the user population, how application migration affects the system, or how they affect future vulnerabilities on components. The updating procedures should be designed with a future horizon of months, years, or even decades.

Do You Have a Secure Application Development Process in Place?

Setting up a secure development cycle by executing a security-oriented design model that synergizes the area of security and development brings us closer to the deployment of highly robust and more profitable web and mobile apps.

Remember detecting and rectifying problems early has a cost inversely proportional to the time the error prevails in the system.

1. Forecast Analysis: Information Security, Worldwide, 2Q18 Update
2. 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, Security Intelligence
3. The Cost of Cybercrime, Accenture Security

POSTED ON: July 30, 2020 TAG: Application Development

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