According to FirstData, about $9.1 billion in potential online sales revenue is lost, because of shoppers fear to purchase items online. However, this figure is not just vital for all the ecommerce businessmen, but also draws our attention to the fact that consumers financial and personal information is always at risk for online theft, fraud and data breaches.
Many organizations, both large and small scales are falling prey to cyber-attacks and data fraud. In fact, in U.S. the report of data breaches has increased from 447 annual occurrences to 783 from 2012 to 2014. As per experts this trend will continue with many companies suffering massive data breaches and also impacting millions of consumers.
The current phase of security breaches are usually dealt with applications. But are we on the right track, by just incorporating application into system?
The answer is, a product or an application usually goes through some specific Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which involves design, coding, testing and deployment. However, a major miss in this entire cycle is that security is considered at the end of the development. Instead, applications should be designed, with the concept of S-SDLC (Secure Software Development Life Cycle), which closely incorporates security and includes security assessment at every phase of software development.
Rather getting back to the usual cycle of testing-patching-retesting that will ultimately lead to multiple iterations, it is always better to address the security issues at the early phase of the development cycle, giving you monetary benefits and saving time. Let us have a look at certain simple steps ensuring that critical data will not be easily susceptible to hackers and will be recovered easily.
It is necessary for all organizations to onboard a new security team to avoid security breaches right from the beginning. Each development team should have software experts who can analyze the threat at an early level and take necessary steps as and when required.
Penetrating ethical hacking techniques is not that easy and hence, it is very important to measure out proper security process. Ethical hacking techniques and security assessment measures like ‘penetrative testing’ or ‘pen testing’ usually consists of authored stimulated attacks on system which lacks security. The process of ‘pen testing’ is typically identified to target systems, review the information and set-up a goal. This involves conducting physical security assessments of servers, systems and network devices, probing for vulnerabilities in web and thin/fat client applications to pinpoint methods that attackers could use to exploit weaknesses and logic flaws.
Hence, depending upon the scope of the project organizations can choose between Black Box, White Box or Grey Box Penetration testing.
The result of conducting such testing can be discussed with IT teams as well as management to finalize the necessary measures required to plug the security flaws.
It is true that product development cycle is a fanatic rush of deadlines, hence project coordinators and managers are often found had-pressed to spare time for security checks, thereby opening up the opportunity for error. Therefore, to maintain adequate security measures there should be dedicated timeslots for security analysis.
Often it is found that security teams are charged by top management executives for adding to project costs in their bid to buy special security software or solutions. While this is considered as an added cost the true value makes onboarding worthwhile. It is only then that the circle is complete and also the idea of involving security experts works for a project. In fact, restricting their roles to just security reviews measures at inadequate results.
Though software security assessment is considered as a time-consuming exercise, organizations must always create seamless channels that will enable faster assessment and swift deployment of security measures.