Programmer with headphones working in office at night showing use of devsecops

Enterprise-Grade Security Starts With Enterprise-Grade Development

Cyber attacks and data breaches are becoming more and more intricate by the day. As a way to mitigate risk, companies have gone to great lengths to achieve compliance certifications and educate employees and users on different types of attacks and risks, all while increasing their investments in cutting-edge technologies to strengthen their systems.

Yet while these are all key measures to take and have had great impacts, some of the biggest, most costly cyber attacks are still happening.

Cyber attacks such as SolarWinds, WannaCry, Spectre, and more, have successfully targeted large and small businesses, government agencies, supply chains, and critical infrastructure. In order to truly be protected from breaches of this magnitude, businesses must not only invest in security, but build security. And building security starts by arming developers with the right tools and features in order to weave best-in-class security into their applications.

Security as an inside-out approach

It’s imperative to infuse security and data protection into each stage of the application development lifecycle while also investing in perimeter defenses around your application and the data it is handling, both in transit and at rest. Moving security closer to the start of the development cycle is achievable when taken in these actionable steps.

  • Integrate security testing at all stages of the development cycle, not just at the end. This not only ensures that vulnerabilities are not going undetected, but also saves time by minimizing the amount of code that needs to be rewritten.
  • Go through a comprehensive architecture assessment and gap analysis exercises to understand where flaws and vulnerabilities could exist and stop them before deployment.
  • Use code scanning tools for static and dynamic analysis and application security testing.

Seed security into the infrastructure

While Security and DevOps populate their own areas within the corporate structure, their roles intertwine when products, services, and data come into play. Bridge the gap between security and development teams and minimize the risk of breaches, fines, and security updates through compliance certification processes, security reviews and assessments, and secure connectivity and reliability. The below steps will create more nimble teams able to answer more complex challenges.

  • Educate developers on how to handle different types of personally identifiable information and data.
  • Provide security teams with insights into product roadmaps and feature releases to ensure that security and compliance is being addressed before any building begins.
  • Create a risk ranking assessment to help prioritize different types of risks and vulnerabilities to ensure you’re handling the most critical risks first.

View security as a commodity

Security posture and a commitment to data privacy are increasingly becoming critical elements of vendor assessments, business partnerships, and more. As a result, businesses who excel in security can and should leverage DevSecOps as a competitive advantage and a core component of business growth, market penetration, and scale. Taking the following view of security as a tangible product feature can separate a product and a business from competitors and attract interest from untapped markets.

  • Compliance, especially industry-specific certifications such as HIPAA, FINRA and others, create new business opportunities and open up new revenue streams.
  • Strong security protocols not only can help mitigate risk and violations for your business, but for your customers as well. That positively affects brand loyalty and reputation, the customer-centric data that companies relish.

Every IT security officer is asked the same simple question at some time before a product goes to market: Is our app safe? By weaving security into the infrastructure of development of new products and services, the answer to this question will more often and more confidently be expressed “Yes.”

By weaving #security into the infrastructure of development of new products and services, we can be more confident that products and services are safe and secure. #DevSecOps #respectdataClick to Tweet

By advancing security skills within development teams and intentionally focusing attention to security at every step of the process, this fundamental component of all IT products and services can become a marketable feature. This improves the desirability of the product and enhances the benefits the company extolls. Once security is embedded into the development culture to this extent, the business’s ability to stay a step ahead of criminal enterprise and deflect potential cyber attacks and breaches is more manageable. Creating and maintaining such a defense posture is more desirable and cost-effective than having to respond to the assault after it’s happened.

 

Chief Information Security Officer at Nylas