Tech Insight

Attacks are rising - are your applications secure?

With cyber attacks on the rise, securing your applications has never been more important.

Image of a hand holding a USB device

If cyber criminals continue to attack at their current rates, cyber crime is expected to grow 15% year on year and will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

Put differently, cyber crime would be the world's third largest economy, coming in after the US and China.

Unfortunately, there is no escaping the threat that cyber crime poses on every size of business and across every single sector. With this in mind cyber security must be at the top of everyone's priority list as we move closer to 2023.

Cyber Security and Software

Unsurprisingly software applications can be the first route for cyber criminals, especially those that are cloud based. Applications can provide a direct path to your servers and networks which is where hackers can cause the most damage to your organisation.

As we continue to rely on technology to advance our operations, improve our performance and better engage our staff we present greater opportunities for cyber criminals to infiltrate our systems.

This reliance on technology mixed in with a post-pandemic shift in working patterns creates quite a fast-paced, less structured and even uncertain environment. Add to this the geopolitical climate that we find ourselves in and you effectively have a cyber criminals dream come true. Plenty of chaos and endless opportunities to attack.

Every type of business should worry about cyber crime, but you could argue that it is most concerning for organisations that hold highly sensitive information, such as banks and financial institutions.

In fact, after manufacturing, the finance and insurance sector was the 2nd most targeted sector in 2021 according to IBM Security's 2022 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index. With ransomware being the most common type of attack.

Which all makes perfect sense in the eyes of the criminal. Stealing extremely personal and sensitive information and holding it for ransom has much more impact than stealing data that isn't actually precious to anyone. If your business handles highly sensitive data, sadly you will be at the top of the target list.

How do applications get hacked?

Cyber hackers are always on the lookout for software vulnerabilities or weaknesses that they can exploit. Simple configuration errors and flaws are good examples of this and although individually they may not pose a problem, combined they can cause significant weaknesses.

How do I ensure my applications are secure?

One of the best ways to protect your business is to ensure your software developers proactively considers security from beginning to end; right from planning through to deployment and throughout on going support.

It is then important that your applications are thoroughly examined for weaknesses.

Threat modeling is one type of tool used for uncovering risks and vulnerabilities. Threat modeling uses hypothetical scenarios, system diagrams, and testing to help secure systems and data. Once vulnerabilities are identified, corrective actions can be devised to close any gaps.

Other tools include secure development platforms, code scanning tools and application testing tools.

What do I look for in a software partner?

When it comes to application security, it's important to work with a software partner who actively puts security first.

Look for a partner who has the relevant accreditations including ISO9001, ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials. These are recognised frameworks that demonstrate how seriously they take cyber security.

Ask to see their security policies and frameworks, are they established and robust?

Read their case studies and reviews (Especially on places like Clutch). If they have developed software for similar high assurance organisations, you'll have more peace of mind that they understand the priority of cyber security in these environments.

Once you find the right software partner, don't rest on your laurels. Continuously check their security credentials and accreditations to make sure they are keeping up with best practices and the latest security threats.

CoreBlue designs and builds custom software for high assurance environments across the globe. If you'd like to find out more about how we can support your business, get in touch.

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