Software security.

What is software security?

Software security is a form of protection against data breaches, hacks or disastrous events.  Methods of protection typically fall into preventative, surveillance or recovery events. A software system can either prevent a breach by building a ‘firewall’ around itself, which is essentially a layer of armoured code needing a ‘key’ or form of authentication to pass. Surveillance security monitors usage within a software system, telling admin users what’s happened on the system but providing no resistance to the actual data breach. Recovery makes backups and reroutes the customers or users to another older, safer version of the product software, preventing the user from accessing the disrupted version while offering no resistance to the actual attack.

A good security system may use all three approaches.

Why would you want a security system?

A healthy security system should monitor for any red flags or warning systems in the background. Intelligent AI systems can perform this function and learn from their interactions to produce better security, in the same way antibodies learn from interacting with a human virus. If you’re building a custom CMS or web-based application, you’ll need to talk to your software team about either integrating existing security products or building your own. If you’re considering updating your existing product, consider implementing a testing plan to add new security firewalls that protect your customers and the users who access your product. 

How does a security system work?

Aside from storing backups, you should have a secure admin account which prevents unwanted users from accessing your product, accessible either through a password or a dedicated, authenticated entry point. If your user base is largely unknown, you will want to design a ‘customer journey’ map that gives your customers or users secure access to your product and prevents the free access of secured details, like private insurance or medical information. 

Only accept plugins or extensions (additional products) that you can verify the safety of. You might use a plugin to help you reach your customers or users via the channels they use, such as email or social media. Plugins are good for adapting existing software when the code can’t be rewritten to interact with another software. If you’re designing your web application from scratch, however, you may be able to skip this step and design the plugin features separately.

What value does a security system offer?

As we mentioned above, a security system can be used to prevent, monitor or recover lost or breached data. To maximise the value of your security, you may consider installing or allowing:

  • Preventative controls. These exist to stop an action, such as a hack or disruptive virus, from entering your product. Examples include firewalls, fences and access permissions.
  • Defective controls. These are triggered post-disruptive events and include any surveillance, monitoring or intrusion detection software installed.
  • Recovery controls. This system recovers lost data using a hard drive, snapshot, instance or other saved ‘image’ of the hacked product or software.
  • Testing capabilities for critical bugs and problems.
  • Security updates as part of your product release strategy.
  • Building a software fortress around your product as part of the preventative control, including digital locks. Keep detailed testing data during the build to figure out your security ‘map’ (essentially, a record of how to get in and out again).
  • Minimizing your attack surface by making less of the final product available to an unauthorized or unauthenticated user.

Main advantages of a security system

  • Ensures smooth product running, even after a breach.
  • Prevents the cost of redesigning a system.
  • Ensures fail-safes in case of a hacking attempt.
  • Ensures liability in case of a customer or client grievance. 
  • Protects the actual devices used to run the product.

Existing security products.

  • Norton
  • McFee
  • MacKeeper
  • Microsoft Cybersecurity 

A common user story

Any questions?

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