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The Main Security Strategies in Software Development

In the current digitally connected world, technology has covered a vast area in the life span of human beings. From shopping over the internet to making transactions into various bank accounts, you can grab the world at your fingertips. It has become a “Digital Era” with a massive increase in the speed and breadth of the knowledge turnover within the healthcare, economy, education, and society.

With so much dependence on technology, we and our computer systems are very vulnerable to cyber threats or attacks. The question arises, is a technology providing the necessary security to prevent such attacks? Is customers or company data stored in a secure environment or handled by a trusted source?

Here’s the bad news: Unfortunately, it’s impractical to write perfectly secure applications. Bugs will slur over, and they will be vulnerable to attackers if they do. It will trigger Hackers or criminally motivated attackers to command enormous botnets and acquire sponsorship from hostile nations for financial gain through money theft, data theft, or business disruption.

The Main Security Strategies in Software Development

Here are a few security strategies or practices that need to be adopted in software development.

Design faults and implementation issues abound in existing software. Defining security requirements and criteria of software in the early preparation or planning phase is quite handy and helpful. All weaknesses and potential vulnerabilities should be identified as early as possible. Previously security was considered at the end of the testing phase in SDLC. But now, it is the primary concern for secure software development.

By making security analysis and configuration a priority in SDDLC, developers, and testers have more options to troubleshoot risks and threats and fix them early. It will act as a precaution. Due to this feature, SDLC appears cheaper and more beneficial to mending security gaps before the final product.

Authentication and Authorization of User Requests

Multiple authentication factors should be used to have solid control on who to expose data and who not to. Authentication is used to know precisely who is accessing their information or site. The main motive of Authentication is to verify the actor or subject and identify them as an existing member.

Authentication merely identifies and confirms who the person or system is. No user should have privileges to change system properties or configuration. Authentication refrains from accessing or entering invalid users or unauthorized users by opting for two or more methods such as:

  • Single-Factor/Primary Authentication
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Certificate-based Authentication
  • Enforce Strong password requirements
  • Password recovery procedures
  • Web Cookie Management

Authorization comes into the picture after Authentication. It is the process of determining what privileges are granted and denied to the user requesting to access the data. This kind of verification might need passwords, while some cases require no authorization. Any variety of actors: users, applications, or processes, may use resources and files by asking for them.

Enforce Principle of Least Privilege

According to their role, a user or employee within the organization should have access to the least privileges. For example, if you design a system that holds sensitive customer financial information, limiting who can access it is good practice.

By ensuring the principle of least privileges, you confirm that you minimize what information they can access if an attacker compromises an account. This limits the attack’s damage, and the administrator must carefully grant the rights.

Use Strong Encryption and Decryption Techniques

Encrypting and decrypting are techniques used to protect valuables’ assets and information confidentiality and integrity. It is also used in preventing injection attacks and malicious codes. They refer to the encoding of readable data into specific codes or random strings of bits that are not readable by humans and are protected by private and public keys. Encryption keys are generated with algorithms designed to ensure that each key is unique and unpredictable. We need information security professionals to understand the attacker’s mind.

Maintain Integrity

Preventing unauthorized users from making any modification to the code generated. Keeping all code and resources in a secure repository to protect its integrity. Cosley audits the contact made with code and preserves integrity. Identify, rant, track and understand software security risks as it changes over time.

Consistent Code Review

Code reviewing is a touchpoint and one of the pillars of security. All software development projects have millions of code lines, and many security problems are caused by simple bugs spotted in code called a Buffer overflow.

Code review is a dull, lengthy, complex, and tedious task. It is more often like “get done, go home.” Reviewers start motivated and dedicated, and are diligent but eventually lose Focus.

Code review helps catch vulnerabilities at a very early phase, which saves time and money.

Keep a Record of All Secure Development Activities

It includes monitoring, identifying, investigating, and handling logging activities into security information. It was essential to maintain an audit trail to track the changes in the original data sources. Auditing is the process of keeping records of activities of actors and users in the form of documents that come into action during a data breach event and analyzing how the breach was possible, whether it was by an internal intruder or external intruder.

Keep Your Software and Systems Updated

Patching your system from time to time mitigates a large number of risks and threats which are vulnerable to attackers. Many attackers choose their target system, which is usually old or outdated software, and common attacks occur because of this very reason. So, ensure that all of your systems are updated and not cracked. Regular patching is an essential software security practice.

It is a quick-repair job designed to resolve functionality issues, improve security or add new features. A patch is an immediate fix to problems like bugs and flaws.

Make Sure to Use Upgraded, Secure Libraries and Frameworks

Leverage to secure coding libraries and frameworks guard security level design and implementation of flaws and help accomplish security goals more efficiently.

Using only the safest and updated versions of libraries, frameworks, and components can avoid middleware issues, vulnerabilities, threats, and data breaches. Use software frameworks and libraries from trusted sources with good positive feedback and are actively maintained and widely used by many known applications. Lookup for third-party libraries.

A regular security practitioner is not very skilled in deciding which libraries to use. A professional software developer is required.

Penetration Testing

It is a technique to evaluate the security of a computer system. It is also called a pen test. It’s a fictitious cyberattack on your PC. to check for exploitable vulnerabilities. Insights provided by the Pen test can be used to patch the identified vulnerabilities. Stages of Pen Test are-

  1. Planning and reconnaissance
  2. Scanning
  3. Gaining Access
  4. Maintaining Access
  5. Analysis

Establish a Regular Testing Process

For an efficient security system, regular testing and evaluation are mandatory for checking vulnerabilities. It’s necessary to validate every single line of code, so no backdoor is created for data leaks and cyber-attacks. Perform white-box testing or black-box testing.


It’s no easy task to maintain security during software development. Technology advancement comes with advantages and disadvantages. Keeping software design simple is less prone to threats and risks. Securing doesn’t mean only obtaining code. You need to opt for a holistic approach to create a safe environment to improve software performance and reduce business risks. Software development is a never-ending cycle or loop.


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