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Why partnering for the security of your digital solutions makes sense?

The world is in a constant state of change, and application security threats are no exception. To run a successful business, your devices, applications and information systems need to stay secure, and that also requires keeping up with the external software dependencies and their vulnerabilities. This, however, is easier said than done, especially if you attempt to tackle all of it on your own.

As virtually every device, application and information system today is directly or indirectly connected to the internet, cyber security has become an increasingly integral part of running a successful business. For example, the introduction of software updates to your business critical solutions can be a double-edged sword: while software updates often bring necessary improvements to usability, functionality and security, they may also introduce completely new vulnerabilities.

Due to on-going evolution of software dependencies, management of vulnerabilities is a continuous process. If your device or application has a security flaw, criminals or nations will want to take advantage of it. The consequences of a security breach can be severe to your business.

Security is becoming a market requirement

In software design, the emphasis placed on security has up until now been nowhere near the level it should be. Even the European Union has concluded in the Cybersecurity Act that generally security and resilience are not sufficiently built in by design, leading to insufficient cybersecurity. This is particularly surprising considering that devices and applications are either directly or indirectly connected to the internet. Connectivity enables new digital business models, but is also a significant business risk if related threats are not considered from a lifecycle and supply chain perspective.

However, the role of security in device and software design is rapidly changing. Following the Cybersecurity Act, EU is preparing cyber security certification schemes covering devices, applications and services/processes, including also cloud-based services and applications. First, the certification schemes will be voluntary, and between 2023-26 EU will decide which schemes will become mandatory. This will eventually mean that a device or an app cannot be placed on the EU market if the required mandatory security processes and functionalities are not in place.

IEC 27001-series standards are proposed to be applicable in the EU Cloud Service Provider Cyber Security Certification Scheme. This means that software companies should start considering investing into Information Security Management System e.g. according to IEC 27001, and prepare to become certified if necessary.

Overall, voluntary and mandatory security requirements on the global market are good news for everybody (except for criminals, and for companies that do not care about security).  Security is assuming a core role in software and device design, starting from the very first steps of the development process.

Maintaining the security of digital solutions requires a continuous process

Constant monitoring is the only way to truly deal with the threats looming around our systems and applications. There should be a plan: in case a vulnerability or a concrete security threat is detected, what are the measures that will be taken to deal with the situation? In Application Lifecycle Management, the cornerstones of dealing with the ever-changing threat landscape are:

  • Prevention of vulnerabilities (to the extent feasible) via regular system security updates, including updates of technology and library dependencies, to ensure that security is on good level by default.
  • Monitoring of system capacity and behavior for identification of abnormalities and possible threats,
  • Monitoring of vulnerability databases for identification of new known vulnerabilities in dependencies
  • Tailored service model and service level according to customer’s requirements related to security.

Unless software applications and IT systems and their security in particular happens to be your core business, it is quite likely that you won’t be able to tackle all of this on your own. You might need to consider buying security as a service and outsourcing the job to a reliable partner such as Etteplan.

Etteplan’s team of cyber security experts, combined with our Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) service, will help you monitor your business critical applications, fix issues whenever security-related vulnerabilities or other abnormalities are detected, and make sure your critical applications stay secure. We do all this while you focus on your core business and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

 

Tero Kivistö

Tero Kivistö

Director, Application Lifecycle Management
+358 50 486 7783
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