Feeds

App dev security – where are the risks?

Tackling bigger and better idiots

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Thanks for some great comments from the article about making applications more secure. One of my favourites was, “It's all very well trying to make your software idiot proof, but the problem is that the world keeps creating bigger and better idiots.” How true this often appears.

Meanwhile, from secure applications we can turn our attention to the development process itself. Much as we would like them to be otherwise, developers themselves are only human – and fallible. When we conducted some research into security around development and test last year, we identified four areas of risk:

  • Sourcing – i.e. who is involved in the development process
  • Geography – where people are, and how they are organised
  • Environment – what tools and systems are in place for developers
  • Data – what information is being used or managed as part of development/test

Of course these areas are inter-related. Few organisations these days have the benefit of an entirely in-house development team these days, and we have all seen the issue of having a key developer move on, potentially subcontracted in as a consultant, from some far-flung place. Meanwhile, data and environment are tightly knit: in our research we were surprised to see how many organisations actually run test applications on the same systems as the live environment, for example. While this may sound like a recipe for disaster there may be no choice, if costs to replicate an environment are prohibitive.

CIA

Risks can be divided into three types, based around the old stalwart confidentiality-integrity-availability acronym.

For availability, it’s clear that here we are thinking wider than security – in the above example, a potential outcome is that the test system crashes, pulling the live system down with it.

Integrity and confidentiality are just as much of a concern for protecting information itself, as for the possible compliance damage (and legal exposure) that may be caused if data is lost or damaged. And of course, source code represents a company’s IP, and needs its own protection.

Join us on 21 July, as we will be bottoming out some more of these risks, along with how to run a more secure development shop, in our upcoming Regcast. In the meantime if you have any experiences or best practices you’d like to share, do let us know. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.