Virtualization Technology News and Information
4 Tips For Optimizing Time Spent On Software Security

In life, we're generally taught that the more time you spend on something, the better it will be. It can be a good rule to follow in some situations.

However, regarding the fast-moving world of software security, time doesn't always equal results. In fact, wasted time can be detrimental to company prospects. Numerous obligations require attention here, and spending too long on any of them will surely lead to weaknesses and vulnerabilities elsewhere. Crucial opportunities for better security can be lost.

The security landscape is more challenging than many developers might perceive, too. After all, even state-of-the-art security solutions like artificial intelligence are now being actively used against the developers themselves. Answers aren't always straightforward and clear.

What are the best ways to optimize time spent on software security? After the jump, you may find some helpful tips.

Outline Security Requirements ASAP

Software security can be much easier to manage when these obligations are outlined from the very start of the development or implementation process. The sooner everybody's on the same page, the better.

Some general things to outline here include:

  • Anticipating the strategies attackers might implement to gain access to breach your software and steal vulnerable data.
  • Charting which security threats may be more prevalent at certain phases of the software development process.
  • Evaluating security each time new software features are added, removed, or amended.
  • Taking on a big-picture approach with security for the entire duration of the software development lifecycle.

Regularly spending time thinking about software security may not seem time efficient. Nevertheless, the general idea is to spend smaller moments instigating these checks from the start of development rather than lose huge amounts of time and resources attempting to salvage a dire situation later.

Incorporate Automation

Regardless of the size of your firm or the scale of its digital infrastructure, automation consistently frees up time to be better spent elsewhere. That said, it's important to utilize the right tools here, as anything less than perfect will lead to further complications for your company to deal with, as mentioned in the intro above.

ForAllSecure explains how their award-winning AI, Mayhem, can raise application security capabilities. It's partly achieved through automation, as the testing of new features and the maintenance of others can all be done by a reliable computer. These measures satisfy newly emerging industry standards, so you can be confident that your app security is reaching the next level of greatness.

Of course, the principal aim of these types of tools is to free up development time. The automation tests, while you focus on big picture creation. In that sense, app security can work in tandem with other aspects of the business instead of causing everything to grind to a halt when concerns arise. Everything's always moving forward; that momentum inspires process confidence and leaves more room for innovative development decisions. Automated security is a starting point for many further opportunities.

Introduce Coding Reviews

Software developers aren't security pioneers. Their job is to predominantly create innovative digital platforms, and while security concerns can enter their wheelhouse, they're not often considered under the depth and scrutiny they require. Poorly written code is one of the main facilitators of software vulnerabilities.

A cultural shift may be required. Security can be more robust if more than one person reviews these concerns. Any reputable expert or tech provider can be trusted to oversee these commitments, but a peer-to-peer review scheme might work well for strictly internal software security procedures.

Peer-to-peer reviews of software coding can perhaps enforce a wider drive for change, as developers will come to one another's aid, review concerns with fresh eyes, and foster a more collaborative and attentive work environment. Company-wide participation also helps create a sense of standards, as everyone will know where they stand on coding and security and respond appropriately.

In addition to peer-to-peer reviews, you could take things several notches higher if you wish. Expert code reviews can bring in outside professionals to review sections of code. There's also the commercial option, where a professional security company comes in and compares what your developers made to their vulnerability list. Whether you elect to follow one scenario or all of them, they will all play a part in stopping software security problems from spiralling out of control or emerging.

Better Define Coding Standards

Peer-to-peer coding reviews can just be the beginning of higher implementing standards. Ideally, other understandings will also take place so that clarity is assured.

Standards may need to be somewhat improved here, especially regarding coding concerns. Ideally, your company should have a dedicated styling guide that details everything developers need to know. Instructions could include:

  • Avoiding the use of wild card imports where appropriate.
  • Instructions on how to name sensitive files for optimum discretion and secure storage.
  • Determining how to deal with identifiers in different languages such as EBCDIC, Unicode, and other non-ASCII characters.

Consistency is the integral objective to aim for here. Many firms may introduce contrary rules that leave their already security-limited developers completely lost. Clearly defined rules and regulations should be there from the beginning if only to minimize, or ideally completely eliminate, the time developers may spend learning code off their own backs.

Improve Error Reporting

Despite all of your best efforts, things can still go wrong regarding software security. Cybercriminals are always enhancing their processes and learning new tech, and the competence of each of your developers may vary daily. Testing services can be trusted, but errors can occur due to situations completely unrelated to these procedures.

Regardless of the reasons for errors occurring, your software must be able to report these vulnerabilities when the need arises. Error monitoring and bug tracking should be prevalent throughout the development process, but after, there should be helpful error messages that materialize and recommend viable possible solutions to resolve problems.

Typically, error messages feature basic recommendations to reboot a system or refresh a webpage. It might seem like elementary advice, but depending on how severe the problem initially appears, developers may need more convincing to make that call. Moreover, rebooting does machines a great deal of good and shouldn't be underestimated as a strategy that helps security. Any troubleshooting solutions that offer further specificity should also be explored.


Published Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:30 AM by David Marshall
Filed under:
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<March 2023>