Data breaches are a major security concern for any software business. Whether you own the data yourself or want to ensure that your customers’ databases are protected, the right cybersecurity practices are essential. It is no secret that hackers are creative and tenacious. Fortunately, a few of the right practices can help keep you safe both technically and legally.
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1. Create a plan for data protection
First and foremost, you should have a clear plan for data and how it will be protected. If you don’t know what you are trying to protect, you will have a hard time doing so. This should involve identifying the types of data that are flowing in and out of your application. Determine which types of data are sensitive and which aren’t. Assigning priorities can help. Then, create a plan for how each type of data will be protected.
2. Leverage encryption whenever relevant
Encryption is one of the best tools against data breaches when it is used correctly. This process obfuscates the data by making it unreadable without an encryption key. You should encrypt data in transit between your server and your app client. Additionally, you should encrypt stored data in many cases. Whenever in doubt, it is better to implement encryption than to leave it exposed.
3. Never hard code credentials
A common error made in software development is hard coding credentials or other information that hackers can exploit. This type of programming is lazy but can be helpful during the early phases of development. The problem is that people often forget to remove their hard-coded data. The best thing you can do is to avoid the practice completely.
4. Work through a VPN
Your work on your application can be a potential vulnerability. This applies to someone trying to access your source code. It is also relevant if you are supporting the application and a malicious agent tries to intercept messages. You can help to protect this by using a VPN. This will hide relevant networking device information, such as your router IP address. Keeping your development environment secure is a big step towards avoiding data breaches.
5. Run security audits
Periodically run security audits to examine how you are keeping your app safe from would-be hackers. The reality of cybersecurity is that the landscape and requirements are always changing. People think of new ways to get into systems without authorization. Additionally, everyone misses things. You may have a long-term vulnerability or one introduced by a patch. Doing regular security audits will help to root out any problems before they become critical.
6. Make regular updates
Updating your software is one of the best ways to ensure that it is protected against data breaches. Again, the capabilities of hackers are changing constantly. New exploits are found, and new protections are created. Plus, if you are implementing any third-party systems, you will need to update your software as your vendors update. In short, creating a regular release schedule and getting patches to your customers will help to protect your app against
7. Use penetration testing
Finally, you should be using penetration testing. This is the process of security consultants to try to break into your software. It is sometimes referred to as “white-hat hacking” (although that is technically a broader term). Penetration testing is intended to find the vulnerabilities that you have missed. They will run various exploits and make recommendations on how to protect against issues. Depending on how in-depth you get, this can become expensive. However, it is much less expensive than a security breach.
Discover more about protecting your app against data breaches and cybersecurity threats. Coding best practices can go a long way. However, you need to have a comprehensive technology security plan to ensure that your software is as safe as possible. The above tips will help you get started with app development cybersecurity.