Creating a Cybersecure Software Development Company

As far as security in the office goes, nothing beats the peace of mind obtained by making every inch of the office as cyber secure as possible. This of course related to security practices and plans concerning all of the digital equipment in a work environment. This includes equipment such as storage disks, smartphones, tablets, computers, servers, internet routers, and everything else that is electronic. This is particularly important if the device in question is connected to the internet. This scenario is no longer just a recommendation or a tip you get from the friendly IT tech guy, but a requisite for modern companies. It cannot be more true that office security best practices may make or break your entire organization in the 21st Century. 

There are several reasons why any company that values its survival must make being cyber secure among their top priorities, if not the top priority. Not only can a cyber incident compromise data in a company, but it will lead to even worse consequences in a toppling domino effect. This means that an insecure company will not only compromise their equipment, but all of the data on that equipment, and that data may include everything from intellectual property to customers’ personal information. The problem is that today, we rely heavily on the internet for everything from work to entertainment, to finances, to medical transactions. This presents a huge problem because offloading our entire lives and entrusting them to certain company servers is a very Russian roulette-Esque decision. That is if the company in question does not have cyber resilience plans already in place and is acting on them on a regular frequency. 

Cybersecurity issues will affect every organization out there, everything from small companies that employ 10 employees to the largest organizations that employ hundreds of thousands of employees and make billions in revenue. All of these companies share the same problem, the internet. Think of the internet as a jungle. If you are not prepared and go in there blindly, there are hundreds of different ways that trouble can find you. The same analogy goes for securing your company. Now, if that company is a software development company, the issues only get deeper. 

For these reasons, let’s look at what being cyber secure is all about and how you can cyber secure your software development organization.

What is Cybersecure?

Cyber security is a modern term, the root of which comes from the term cybersecurity. Cyber refers to the virtual realm, and secure to security. A lot of organizations now use this shortened term to refer to the capability of their digital defense, a.k.a the level of cybersecurity instated. Why is cybersecurity so important? It is important because data is at the core of almost every modern business, without which it could not survive. The danger factor is manyfold here; cybercrime, human error, and compliance. Being cyber secure determines the stability, integrity, and ultimately the survival of any business. Unfortunately, over 40% of companies do not have a proper cyber resilience plan put in action, because they believe they are not important enough to be targeted by hackers. Secondly, a large portion of companies do not train their employees in safe computer and internet practices, which leads to a lot of human error – another issue that can bring a company down (even though it may have been involuntary). Third and finally, being cyber secure means complying with global privacy and data regulation standards, which are increasingly becoming a requisite for doing business, especially on a global level. 

How to Cyber Secure Your Software Development Company

Now, to answer this question it is important to first dig deep and understand what a software development company does. Such a company develops software, which means it needs to store a lot of data and own a lot of powerful, complex equipment. Such a company requires the practice of secure coding, and to comply with the latest international technology and data protection standards. After all, a software development company is like a kitchen, where if something goes wrong in the kitchen, millions of people can be poisoned. In much the same way, bad software can lead to vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to harm people or, at the very least, conduct identity theft on whoever they choose. A software development company may be producing apps that millions of people use, for instance, and that in itself is sufficient to incite anxiety in anyone.

Software development organizations, first of all, need to be top-notch in training their employees to a high standard so that internet best practices and secure coding is established, which is no easy task and something that requires resources such as time and money. Secondly, a company like that will hold a lot of sensitive information on servers or the cloud, or both, that can be stolen or corrupted, which means that the use of cybersecurity tools and network security risk management plans must be instated. Some companies will even shell out the cash to employ a managed security solution offered by a third-party security specialist, which is a smart way to go and something that will cut down on wasted time within the company itself. 

A good risk management roadmap to keep a software development company cyber security is the following from NIST;

  • Preparation
  • Categorization
  • Selection
  • Implementation
  • Assessment
  • Authorization
  • Monitoring

First of all, an organization must prepare the organization to manage security risks and privacy risks. Then, it is necessary to categorize the system and information processed, stored, and transmitted based on impact analysis. Next, the selection and implementation of NIST controls based on risk assessment need to be instituted. Finally, assessing to determine whether controls are in place and producing the desired results, as well as filtering who gets access to what information is key. Monitoring all of the former continuously finishes up this process. With a security-from-the-ground-up approach like this, a sensitive company that deals with software can eliminate the majority of cybersecurity problems that typically occur.

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