As millennials are ready to take the IT world with a storm-from production to competition to innovation – everything is changing expeditiously than ever before. This imposes a tension on chief information security officers (CISOs) to integrate the right mix of social tools, embrace mobility, design an amicable work environment, and offer the scalability and benefits that competently caters to the needs of today's mutable workforce. CISOs can be relived off a little in the year 2016; however the omens are not in favor. Technology pundits disclose information technology landscape to become grander and intricate with dramatic changes in the way businesses procure, streamline, engage, and retain various aspects essential for following success.
It goes without saying that cybercrime is reaching its pinnacle exploring every nook and cranny to agitate smooth business functionality. Herein, embracing open source software applications without putting application integrity at stake prove as a rewarding solution. To put into perspective, utilization of open source code by data center service providers is undeniably compelling as it encompasses rich-attributes that are good for maintaining business strength, provided used with strong code management techniques.This blog attempts to throw a light on the key security challenges that companies will encounter in the approaching years and how CISOs can address these defying challenges.
Why 2016 is Another Challenging Year for Organizations?
Challenges among businesses are many. Among all, the thought that troubles any top management team of an organization is of losing potential clients owing to service delivery latency and security vulnerabilities. Today, chief information security officers are losing control and visibility into their software development process. In the present scenario, it is indubitably essential to ensure that application code is free of all probable security loopholes. It is no secret that in the past few years increasing data issues have made it a hot topic of boardroom discussion.
Here is the catch - most CISOs today find it difficult in confirming that third-party code that they implemented for their software projects does notopen up the room for breaches and are capable of speeding up the delivery process within stipulated time and budget. The worst part is as applications are increasing in numbers and sizes; its management is all getting complicated. To put it simply, let me cite an example – in order to run a top-end car, more than 100 million lines of code are written, and managing these lengthy yet mission-critical codes is not at all easy. No matter how complex or lengthy the management process is – it can’t be overlooked, if you don’t wish to take a chance with its integrity and security.
And the Challenge Continues ….
Today, we are well-acquainted with the facts that shed light on highly-interconnected world. Experts believe that by 2020, the advent of Internet of the things (IoT) will completely transform the way we interact, connect to, or render services. The challenge arises when there is any flaw in the software that is responsible for controlling such networked devices. The implication of these flaws can have mild to business-threating experience. Any disruption in application that controls mission-critical architectures and services like traffic systems, or power grid can open a backdoor for bad boys (hackers) to peep and make vulnerable changes into country’s electric supply or air traffic systems. One of the recent illustrations of wireless car hack that took control of a car’s functionality through a vehicle connectivity system explicitly predicts that fragile application code can take a toll on individual’s life. Well, no company wants such nightmares to occur in their entire lifecycle.
Technically, the Internet operates on an open source code, such as Linux, Apache Tomcat, MySQL, and WordPress. These platforms are built on open source. The utilization of open source applications is soaring high with no indications of slow adoption rate. Enterprise-grade applications have only 65% custom code. Moreover, developers in a quest to build cutting-edge applications for their business, navigates through hundreds of libraries, tools, and frameworks. There is no denying the fact that open source code provides immense benefits, if used with utmost knowledge and cautious attitude.
It becomes immensely important to gain proper visibility and control of your open source software to make best out of it. There are an impressive number of organizations that do not make complete use of third-party codes in their software projects. Moreover, some of them who have secure development cycle apply codes that they have written at their own. More than 50% of organizations do not keep an eye on their open source code for secure breaches. A survey suggests that more than 50% of respondents lack stringent protocols for open source utilization and more than 95% of respondents have no idea about the source code that they are already making use of. Unfortunately, the lack of control plus maintenance will present vistas of issues in 2016. The applications developed by team of developers in 2016 will have security exposures from day one.
The increasing dependence of developers on open source components to create applications faster and economically will makeissuesbigger if a company fails to minimize the use of open source. Moreover, if compliance and security are not focused with all the senses wide open, new launches could be doomed since its commencement.
Improper Code Analysis: Market is flooding with a portfolio of static and dynamic codes that help in determining coding errors; however they aren’t that perfect when determining the issues allied to third-party source codes. Incomplete awareness about the source libraries being utilized and security patches that are required to be implemented, applications are extremely vulnerable to attack.
Application developers should always strive to use source code with utmost care and security, and this can be achieved by making using of right tools and strategies. On top of it, they need to clearly fathom different kinds of data an applicationhandles and explore what techniques they should integrate to protect them against nasty attempts. Herein, proper training and automated tools will help in bolstering in-house developed source codes. Moreover, for third-party source codes, CISOs should follow pragmatic approach and include security metrics and framework that not only provides complete control and visibility into the application code, however, suppresses the external attacks.
The Bottom Line: Like it or not, curtailing cyberattack hundred percent is impossible. Let’s face it- the year 2016 and the years ahead will continue to face the security vulnerabilities. To withstand such application assaults, it is important to ensure the robustness, reliability, and security of the application. Having said that means, clear understanding about the application code, latest updates, and whether the patches are applied on time – not only before the application get released, but throughout the application life cycle as it will help developers to stay competitive and agile.