Cybercrime is not likely to go away soon. Thieves with extensive technology know-how are constantly looking for ways to obtain personal information. Information they can use to open up lines of credit and drain bank accounts. Identity theft affects millions each year. Thieves prey on companies with low level security defenses,while other thieves go after bigger fish. They target corporations which stores thousands or millions of customers information.
While corporations have the latest technology to block cyber thieves from gaining access, sometimes crooks are able to get around defenses. This could be a result of unforeseen circumstances or a lack of sufficient cyber testing. Implementing cyber testing is one way to better protect a company and their greatest asset … their image.
A Shift from Hardware to Software
Cyber-attacks are moving from IT infrastructure to software programs used daily by thousands of people.
Software infections can provide cyber thieves with additional access to customer’s personal data. Primary targets are software programs specifically designed to gather, organize, and store consumer’s personal information.
Just when IT developers identify and create a defense against the latest cyber scheme, it’s just a matter of time before another one comes out which keeps technology professionals constantly on their toes. It’s important company IT staff are one step ahead of their cybercrime nemeses.
When security breaches happen, depending on the severity, it can have a huge impact on a company.
A huge security breach will create dire financial consequences. Employees may have to take part in damage control, setting aside normal duties to assist callers with questions and concerns. Those in charge of public relations will have to face the media firestorm. Finally, depending on the industry, money may have to be returned or customers will cancel their monthly subscriptions. Plus, customers and clients will lose faith in the company and take their business elsewhere.
A brand’s image which takes a significant amount of time to build can be squashed within a few hours following a breach.
Needless to say, breaches cause a massive headache for executives and employees for months.
Therefore, a strong IT security team is vital to every organization. A team which can quickly identify and defend their company against the latest threats.
1. Always be on the lookout for hidden threats.
This is where testing is important. Implementing testing to ensure coding does what it was designed to do.
It is also important to ensure functionality, which is not supposed to be included, is identified and eliminated.
These can cause unexpected side effects which could be exploited by potential hackers. There is no such thing
as a ‘no big deal’ issue. Each issue identified should be handled immediately.
For example, you may live in a safe neighborhood and generally leave the doors unlocked every night. Yet,
eventually an upset neighbor or complete stranger may decide to target your home. When you get home, you
notice all your expensive belongings are missing. It was an issue which may have never happened if your door
was locked while you were away.
The same holds true with identifying and eliminating any issues which are not consistent to the end goal.
2. Never exclude public interfaces when testing
While in a rush to get software completed and integrated, it’s wise not only test it in house but also with
public interfaces. During security testing, inputs tend to arrive through its application program interface and
other public interfaces. These end up outnumbering inputs which arrive from the network and file system.
This can be a doorway prone to attackers looking for sensitive data.
3. Static Analysis
This is a process which allows developers to inspect a software source code while the program is resting. In
order to capture potential flaws in coding, it’s important developers create a program static analysis tool
designed to find flaws which may have been made during the coding process.
4. Dynamic Analysis
This step focuses on testing performed in a runtime environment and security analysis while the application is
in operation. Dynamic testing can uncover hidden problems which could may be too complicated for static
analysis to detect. Issues which may not be in plain view.
5. Testing the deployment environment
The next step would be checking for configuration errors before deploying the software to the end user. Even
a small misconfiguration or mistake during the setup process can leave a secure application exposed.
6. Testing procedures for incident response
IT professionals always have their incident response procedures up and running properly knowing by not
doing so could make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They will run breach simulation exercises during
security testing to be able to quickly identify significant vulnerabilities. A training exercise which helps those
on the front lines better prepared to fix problems.
Security protocol can make or break a company
Incorporating sufficient cyber defenses will lower chances of a breach happening.
While time is of the essence when implementing new technology, minor flaws overlooked can create significant
problems and open a door to cyber crooks to gain access to personal information. Not just for customers but
also about the company they hack.
Following a standard protocol to ensure security is catching threats can be the key which either makes or breaks
the company’s brand.