It is no secret that cybercriminals are getting more advanced and aggressive. As people’s lives increasingly transition to the digital space, there is more motivation than ever for hackers to attack a wide range of software targets. So, if you are producing software, even for something that seems like an unlikely target, you should be using security best practices.

Leverage Encryption

One of the most powerful tools available to you is encryption. You can apply this in a few different ways. For example, you may use encryption in your database to protect the most sensitive information such as passwords and payment information. Another option is to use SSL encryption to protect traffic between clients and your server.

If you are scratching your head, wondering what is SSL, don’t worry! You aren’t alone. Fortunately, learning about these technologies is relatively easy and most of them can be implemented with minimal effort. Of course, it is always helpful to work with a security expert to ensure that your products are as secure as possible.

Implement Monitoring Systems

Another valuable strategy you can apply is to monitor traffic through your system to watch for anything suspicious. Depending on what you are creating, you may apply network traffic monitoring in a closed network. Alternatively, you may monitor all the connections to your service to watch for anything suspicious.

When you have information about the connections to your systems and the types of data being passed to your software, you can identify threats. This may help you to minimize the impact of a breach. In other cases, it may help you to foresee a possible exploit and patch it.

Design for Secure User Practices

Users are the most significant security flaw in most systems. Simply put, people make lots of mistakes including opening phishing emails and setting weak passwords. So, when you are designing your software, you need to plan for people to make errors.

Some strategies you can use are to allow or set password rules. You can also require users to change their passwords from time to time. Built-in security tips can be helpful as well.

Ensure Compliance With Relevant Laws

Certain types of software and data are governed by various laws and regulations. For example, if you have health information, you need to comply with HIPAA. If you have payment information, you will need to make sure your software is PCI compliant.

Auditing your software to ensure compliance is a must-do for any team. Failing to do so can lead to some serious legal ramifications. In some cases, it may make sense to use a third-party service to handle sensitive information so that your team does not directly have to ensure compliance.

Plan for Security Updates and Support

The software security landscape is always evolving. It is important to plan for continued updates and support for your product. Good support can be a good way to reduce the likelihood that a user error could cause a vulnerability of breach.

Similarly, being able to quickly patch your software can help to eliminate vulnerabilities as soon as they are found. Offering software as a service can be a good way to avoid issues with your clients failing to update their installed versions.

Test Thoroughly

Testing is perhaps the best way to improve your software security outcomes. This should involve general product testing as well as specific security testing. For example, you should strongly consider hiring penetration testers, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information.

Planning for unknown, possible future cyberattacks can be almost impossible without testing. It is one of the most reliable ways to identify potential vulnerabilities. Using penetration testing can save not only the software but also your business in the long-term.

Learn More

Discover more about software development security practices. When you know more about the technologies and strategies you can use, you will be better prepared to protect your business and your customers.