Do your business applications open you up to security vulnerabilities?
There is no question that businesses today are relying more heavily on software solutions than ever before. From financial institutions to health care and even the mom-and-pop shop on the corner, software applications are vital to continuing our efficiency and overall business performance. But as recent news has proven, this efficiency comes at a cost - the security of our personal data.
As we continue to develop software solutions for running global businesses, we are increasingly aware of the vulnerabilities associated with application security. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 90% of data security incidents are a result of exploits against defects in software. But how do these software vulnerabilities happen?
There are a variety of different reasons behind software vulnerability, but there are five that are worth noting for anyone looking to buy off-the-shelf software or have a custom solution built.
Insecure Coding Practices:
The practices that go into writing an application's code are as important as the code itself. If a software developer is not using secure behaviors, policies and practices as they write an application's code, it can lead to vulnerabilities that may eventually result in stolen data or system corruption. The Global Information Security Workforce Study asserts that 30% of software development companies never scan for vulnerabilities during code development.
The Rapid Evolution of Security Threats:
If it seems like you're receiving news about a new security threat every day, you're not far off the mark. Hackers are hard at work finding and exploiting security vulnerabilities just as developers are working to find solutions for blocking them. And the more the threats evolve, the harder it is to protect against them if a developer doesn't have solid security practices in place.
Programming Language Vulnerabilities:
It would be nice if there was a single programming language that was invulnerable to hackers, but that's just not the case. Every programming language has its strengths and weaknesses, and protecting your application is just a matter of understanding the pros and cons of each and then implementing solutions that take these factors into account.
Re-using Vulnerable Code:
For developers, it saves time, and clients' money, if they are able to utilize pre-written code across multiple applications. That's why it's estimated that 95% of applications in use today utilize open-source or otherwise re-used code. The problem is that many companies don't run system and security checks to ensure their applications are protected against vulnerabilities in re-used code. But rather than banning developers from utilizing pre-built code, it's important instead to keep track of code versions and where and how each module is being used to protect against security vulnerabilities.
Not updating software:
We all know how burdensome updates can be, when you are using your phone or computer it keeps popping up telling us that we have a software update and we keep clicking “Remind me later” button, but we never update because it's always suggested when we are in the middle of something. As annoying or burdensome updates may seem, they are a huge part of keeping software secure. This is because in today's day and age there are tons and tons of websites that list software exploits and vulnerabilities and have the code for the hacker to copy and paste right there. A lot of these exploits and vulnerabilities most likely already have a patch for them that is part of the software update, but if you are not running the most current up-to-date version of the software, you are still vulnerable to the exploits and vulnerabilities.
If you need any assistance working with software security, we're here to help. We can design and develop a software solution that actually works for your company. For more information, visit our website or feel free to give us a call at 810-695-0001.