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How Quality Vendor Selection Boosts Your Software Security

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10.05.2021

Best software vendor builds and maintains your products security along with quality software services.

Technology is very much a part of our lives, especially now. Most, if not all, businesses have been heavily relying on technology for different needs, and everything has been more fast-paced and efficient. However, along with the technological advancements, there are corrupt people who take advantage of these advancements to manipulate and illegally obtain money by creating malware.

Malware of different types has been compromising very important data as early as the 1970s. The first recorded virus was the Wabbit virus, created in 1974, which multiplies itself until it eventually causes the computer to start crashing.

Since then, malware continues to evolve and cause more damage, not just to personal computers but also causing enormous and damaging data breaches in big companies like Nintendo, Facebook, and Estee Lauder. The most recent huge data breach was CAM4, which suffered a breach of 10.88 billion records of personal information that anyone can use for fraudulent activities.

Sonicwall reported 304.6 million ransomware attacks and 5.6 billion malware attacks in 2020, and Comparitech predicts that hackers will continue to target large companies with malware in hopes of being able to secure a big payment.

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With all the imminent malware dangers surrounding businesses and companies, it is important to know the different software vulnerabilities your software must protect your business from and what you need to do to prevent them from affecting your business. 

Software Vulnerabilities

Software vulnerabilities are weaknesses in your software system that can be exploited or manipulated by an attacker to cause damage. If they are not immediately addressed, it can not only cause damage to your software but also cause financial losses, especially if hackers manipulate the data to extract cash from your business.

Hackers most often ruin the reputation of the companies that they hack. These software vulnerabilities are seen everywhere, but you can avoid them if your software is constantly inspected and developed.

A quality software vendor learns about your software needs before starting the actual software development process

Here is a list of the common software vulnerabilities that you should watch out for:

1. Software Bugs

Software bugs, which are very common and can be found in any software, are errors that can cause your system to behave unusually. If not discovered and fixed immediately, they might eventually, lead to serious issues like data breaches and inaccurate data results.

2. Buffer Overflow

First, you should understand what a buffer is. A buffer is a memory storage region that temporarily holds data while it is transported to another region. A buffer overflow occurs when you attempt to store data that is bigger than the memory space assigned.

Since the storage capacity is overwritten, attackers take advantage of this vulnerability to access the software system. Fortunately, many programming languages already have automatic protection against this vulnerability.

3. Insufficient Logging and Monitoring Processes

A lack of monitoring and logging processes in your software makes your data susceptible to tampering, extraction, or in worst cases, complete eradication.

4. Injection Flaws

Injection flaws are flaws that allow attackers or hackers to be able to access your software by injecting a malicious code into your system through another application. When this happens, the attackers can have immediate access to your data and can manipulate your program. Injection flaws are a result of a lack of input validation in your system. 

5. Sensitive Data Exposure

Data containing personal information like account and card numbers, addresses, contact information, etc., are considered sensitive data and must be properly and carefully protected.

If not protected properly, it may cause the application to expose personal data. However, one important thing to note is that sensitive data exposure is different from data extraction because data extraction is accessing information without authorization. Data exposure is the exposure of data by the application itself.

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6. Components with Known Vulnerabilities

Components are composed of libraries and frameworks. This vulnerability occurs when the libraries and frameworks used within the application or system are executed with full privileges. When these components are exploited, the system is more prone to data extraction or system override.

7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting flaws occur either when an application has been injected with suspicious data in a new web page without proper validation or when an existing webpage is provided with user-supplied data using a browser API that can create JavaScript or HTML. Suspicious agents can use this flaw to access the software system and maliciously manipulate or extract data from it.

8. Broken Authentication

Attackers are very meticulous in looking for any vulnerability or window. They will grasp the opportunity to enter and gain access to any sensitive information. When the system is poorly designed and there is a poor implementation of accessibility controls, sensitive data can be extracted and compromised. With this, correctly managing sessions and data authentication becomes crucial in ensuring the client's safety using the software.

9. Broken Access Control

It would help if you strictly implemented user restrictions. If these are not enforced, the users might be able to access data or information that should not be readily accessible to the public, and suspicious agents might take advantage of this to exploit the software system.

10. Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration is the failure to properly implement all security controls in a software system or the erroneous implementation of security controls in a system. There are different causes as to why this happens.

The most common causes of security misconfigurations are insecure default configurations, incomplete configurations, open cloud storage, and improperly configured HTTP headers.

11. Insecure deserialization

Insecure deserialization or “object injection” vulnerability, according to Acunetix, happens when untrusted data can be accessed and is used to either abuse the logic of a system application or inflict a denial of service.

Make sure to check if your software vendor has an accompanying code signing certificate

How to Choose Quality Software Development Vendor

Due to the many software vulnerabilities, it is also important to ensure that when you decide which software development vendor to avail services from, they are qualified to handle your software system. A qualified software vendor would make sure that your software is protected from these attacks.

Aside from doing thorough research about the best software development companies, here are more factors you can consider while searching for the best software development vendor for your company.

1. Determine your fundamental needs. Aside from finding out the software vulnerabilities that you need to avoid, it would be best to determine your business’s essential needs. What is the nature of your business and how should it translate to the software you are using? Are there specific security features that your software needs to have?

2. Reputation and Experience. One of the main indicators of a good quality software development vendor is that they have a good reputation and are preferred and referred to by many companies. They should have prior experience in developing software or a system similar to what you want to produce. In addition, you must research if this company also has former experience in handling or working with remote teams.

3. Expertise. It is important that the software development vendor that you hire not only has prior experience but  also  the necessary equipment and knowledge in developing the system that you need for your business. Usually, development companies have profiles of past projects so you can check if they are equipped to meet your business needs.

4. Flexibility. Another important thing to consider is if the development company is flexible enough to meet your business needs and can be flexible enough to embrace any change necessary for your business. An efficient software development vendor must be able to adapt to your business plans and strategies More than that, they must also be flexible enough to incorporate any new technological advancements essential to your business.

5. Pricing. When looking for a software development vendor, it is important to check if the services you will avail of are cost-effective. Knowing your business development needs will help determine your budget when availing of their service. However, low prices are not always indicating good quality. The price also depends on the outsourcing selection.

6. Security Procedures. Ensuring security - physical, networking, and database - is essential in a software development company. An effective software development vendor can ensure that your business will be protected when you avail of their services.

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7. Intellectual Property. Discussing intellectual property rights is critical before reaching a final agreement between both parties. Legal and non-disclosure agreements should be clear and concise before arriving at a final decision.

8. Code-Signing Certificate. Another good indicator that a software developer is effective and legitimate is when their software has accompanying code-signing certificates. Code-signing certificates are a good sign that the software being offered by your software developer is authentic and has not been corrupted. These certificates also help protect the software code and the software files from different kinds of malware like viruses and spyware.

In a world run by technology, it is important to keep up with the advancements. Unfortunately, malicious people with ill intent are also keeping up with technological advancements to manipulate other companies’ data. With this, it is more, if not equally important, to ensure that your business is protected against these threats.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your company. Do the necessary research when looking for the most suitable software development vendor for your business. Do not rush the process. Once you can find the best for your company, you can rest assured that your business is safe from all the imminent threats around you.

Guest blog by Adam Thompson, Marketing Director at Code Signing Store

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