Keeping software secure has become increasingly important for businesses over the years. Software security is no longer optional; it has become an absolute necessity. Security breaches and attacks could potentially result in a significant loss to your company’s revenue, reputation and even your customer base. With this in mind, it’s important to have procedures and processes in place to minimise the chances of any sensitive customer data getting into the hands of the wrong people.
Let’s dive in to the five key security steps Enable recommends your company should take to keep your software secure and your customers protected.
1. Preventive Measures
Being part of a connected world provides a significant number of both benefits and risks. Any computer that is connected to the internet is at a potential risk from various security breaches and attacks, such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware. Firewalls should be used to protect your company network by only allowing internet traffic that is defined in your firewall policy. Antivirus software should be used to prevent, detect and remove any malicious software and other threats. All software should be properly patched and kept up to date.
Software security is a concern for all of your employees, not just your IT team
2. Company Practices
Software security is a concern for all of your employees, not just your IT team. While there are many significant measures that your employees will be aware of, such as using firewalls and antivirus software, there are also other extremely effective company practices that can be implemented. User access rights should be regularly reviewed. Company equipment should be kept secure and locked whilst unattended. Strong passwords should be established. VPNs (virtual private networks) should be used when connecting to your servers through mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets, or working offsite. Customer data should be securely backed up on a regular basis and all of your employees should be trained to follow best practices in protecting data. Regular internal audits as well as annual external audits should be undertaken, documented and regularly reviewed. Third-party access to your company’s information systems or for unescorted access to the premises should be restricted and regularly reviewed.
Encryption is important for protecting your company’s internal information such as customer data, personal files, financial accounts and other sensitive data. Using suitable data encryption where necessary is a simple and efficient method to protect personal data in these situations. Information should be encrypted to prevent unauthorised usage both at rest and in transit. Data should be encrypted when at rest to provide protection in the event that an attacker gains access to files either physically or over your network.
Software has become a common target for attackers, who can leverage relatively simple vulnerabilities to gain access to confidential information or even gain full control of the targeted environment. It is critical to ensure that your software is not susceptible to common types of attack and proactive efforts should be made to prevent them by performing various types of testing. These should include specification testing, unit testing, integration testing, penetration testing, end-to-end testing, load testing and accessibility testing.
5. Disaster Recovery Plan
Most companies have a disaster recovery plan to prepare for any unforeseen data downtime, but many overlook the possibility of a severe security breach or attack. A thorough disaster recovery plan should be in place to isolate the problem, notify any parties that have been affected and also to efficiently resolve the issue. This should be tested regularly, with the outcome reviewed and used as a basis to continually improve and ensure that your employees are best placed during a disaster recovery scenario.
With the everyday distractions of running your business, it can be easy to fall into the trap of taking some of these software security measures for granted. As with any other areas of your business, failure to effectively plan your software security strategy could lead to a redundant and potentially damaging solution. Efforts spent refining and maintaining your software security could greatly reduce the risk of security breaches and attacks, leaving you free to focus on your core business activities.