Not An Afterthought: Security By Design

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and integrate into our daily lives, the sophistication of cyberattacks is also increasing. Recent incidents such as the ChatGPT software leak and the Activision Blizzard data breach highlight the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to be built in at every level of application and software development. Security must be built into the core of any product or technological advancement during the early stages of design.

Unfortunately, many software companies still treat cybersecurity as an afterthought. They often focus on developing and releasing products and services quickly with security added along the way, or even worse after everything else has been completed. This approach can be disastrous, as demonstrated by countless cyberattacks capitalizing on substandard security measures. These attacks serve as a reminder of how crucial it is that security is built-in from the very beginning of the development process.

Answering Modern Threats from the Beginning

This approach, known as “Security by Design,” involves incorporating security into products and services from the outset. This comprehensive approach should integrate compliant, multi-layered security measures and features at every stage of development. Cybersecurity experts are engaged early on, during the initial planning stages, to ensure security considerations are taken into account from the outset. Secure coding practices are implemented throughout, and the security features of products and services rigorously tested before deployment.

Comprehensive security measures involve the use of multiple layers, including physical security, network security, and data security. This security construct implements anomaly detection, alerting, and analysis throughout critical application, systems, and data points throughout target environments. This approach helps to reduce the risk of successful attacks, protects against data breaches and theft, and demonstrates a commitment to protecting customer data and privacy. It also provides protection from insider threats and provides awareness of activities that occur throughout the cyberattack kill chain.

Security Can’t Stop At Design

SecDevOps or DevSecOps is an approach that integrates security continuously into the entire lifecycle of software, from design to launch to maintenance. This approach ensures that security is a core component of the development process across the entire lifecycle of a product. SecDevOps is based on the principles of Agile and Lean methodologies, where security is incorporated into the continuous integration and deployment pipelines. By incorporating security throughout the development cycle, SecDevOps fosters collaboration between development, security, and operations teams, resulting in a better understanding of security requirements and a more efficient development process. The SecDevOps approach aligns with the Security by Design philosophy, resulting in more secure and resilient software products.

Comprehensive Security is Alive

Comprehensive security is never simple, and is composed of multiple layers of defense. These layers include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, antivirus and anti-malware software, and other tools designed to protect against specific types of threats. A comprehensive approach ensures that a wide range of potential security risks are addressed and mitigated, reducing the likelihood of successful attacks.

Early planning for security by design and comprehensive security can help improve customer trust and confidence. By building security into products and services from the outset, companies can demonstrate that they take cybersecurity seriously and are committed to protecting customer data. Furthermore, security by design and SecDevOps help companies comply with regulatory requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which require companies to ensure their products and services are secure and customer data is protected.

This article was originally published in Forbes, please follow me on LinkedIn.