Cybersecurity Considerations in Custom Software Development
Custom software development is a complex undertaking that requires careful consideration of security. Without the proper security measures in place, custom software can put your organisation at risk for data loss, cyber-attacks, and compliance issues.
To ensure your custom software development project has robust cybersecurity protections, here’s what you need to consider:
Develop a secure development lifecycle model
A secure development lifecycle (SDLC) model is a framework that documents and describes each activity involved in developing secure custom software. It ensures that all security requirements are addressed during the development process and that they are consistently communicated to all team members. This helps to prevent threats by addressing them earlier in the process, rather than waiting until after launch when it’s too late.
Conduct security audits throughout the development process
Security audits should be performed on an ongoing basis throughout the software development lifecycle to ensure that any vulnerabilities are addressed as early as possible. This includes regular code reviews, automated testing and penetration testing to ensure that all security risks have been addressed. Automated tools such as static and dynamic analysis can greatly simplify this process.
Use best practices for coding security features
Ensure that your developers use best practices for coding security features into your application. This includes using industry-standard encryption algorithms when dealing with sensitive or confidential information, and using input validation to protect against malicious attacks or exploits. You’ll also want to ensure that user authentication is handled securely with strong passwords, encryption of passwords in transit between client and server, or other technologies such as OAuth 2 or OpenID Connect environments, which can provide an additional layer of control over who has access to critical systems behind your firewall.
Use secure software deployment procedures
The deployment phase of custom software development should always include secure procedures, as you could expose yourself to various security risks if not done properly, such as skipping important updates, setting insecure defaults on production machines, etc. Make sure you’re following best practices, such as using checksums during transfers between staging/production environments, monitoring log files, etc., so that any suspicious activity can be quickly detected before it has time to do any damage.
Ensure security standards are maintained during maintenance
Custom-built applications require regular maintenance, as new versions of operating systems and other core technologies can introduce new vulnerabilities that need to be addressed with patches or fixes that are released from time to time, depending on the specific environment. Ensure that these are applied on schedule — ideally with some form of automated process — so that any potential loopholes left by outdated technology don’t become attack vectors for hackers or malware looking for weaknesses in the application architecture.