Cybersecurity in Software Development

Software should be user-friendly and well designed, but apps that are developed must also be safe. Users can increase safety by using complex passwords, connecting their devices only to safe networks, and so on.  On the other hand, to ensure that the user experience is high, and the app is safe, the companies and organizations who create the software must minimize risks and increase the quality of their end products. They can do this by having Security Quality Assurance (QA) on board. 

Business, technology, internet and networking concept. Young businesswoman working on his laptop in the office, select the icon security on the virtual display.
; Shutterstock ID 1097989835; Projektnummer (Pxxxx): P3311; Kunde/Lizenznehmer: ERGO Group AG; Job/Projekt: Recruiting Roll up IT Specialist; Ansprechperson Roba: Catja Vetter

Insurers have already proven that they can be part of the solution when it comes to building resilience and preparedness against cyber risks. Implementing appropriate measures and controls can be seen as a kind of “digital vaccine” against cyber risks, Munich Re claims for example.

Prevention services that are particularly in demand include network security, backup of critical systems and data, anti-malware tools, identity and access management, and IT security consulting. 

In this table I've summarised the steps in the software development process at which security measures make sense:

  1. Already when defining the strategic goals for the software application, it is advisable to set the strategic security goals and prepare the risk assessment at the same time.
  2. In the planning phase, the requirements are identified, the team structure is determined and a roadmap is set up. Here, the Security QA has the task of doing this analogously for the security-relevant aspects.  In particular, a roadmap for documentation and testing based on the risk assessment should be defined in this phase.
  3. With regard to the UI/UX design, in addition to developing a sophisticated user experience, it should also be about protecting personal data for example.
  4. During the technical implementation, developers and security experts work hand in hand to ensure the implementation of the recommendations at every step.
  5. This also applies to the testing phase: in addition to validating the quality from a software developer's perspective, it's recommended to test whether all security measures work according to the specifications.
  6. To ensure that the application permanently meets the current (and continuously developing) security requirements, a support team is recommended.

To sum up, Security QA should be the best friend of software developers at every stage of app creation because Security QA is like a full-time guard for the application, always on duty.  So, expect more articles about the Security QA process in detail here on //next soon.

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Text: Bartosz Pudło, Security QA at ERGO Technology & Services

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