Security Considerations in Custom Software Development: Protecting Your Data

As far as a custom software development agency and its expertise are concerned, security stands out as one of the main advantages over off-the-shelf software and applications. However, that is only possible if proper actions are taken to ensure this safety and data protection. More often than not, hackers will target off-the-shelf software because of its knowledge, but if someone wants to target a specific company, such custom software can be at risk. Every custom software development company has to have security protocols in place in case any such event arises. 

In this blog post, let’s learn about the security threat that all top custom software development companies consider when creating business software. 


Injection Attacks 

Regarding custom software security, injection attacks are a common threat. Such susceptibilities are prone to happen upon issuance of an unsafe piece of data as a part of the command to an interpreter. Such exposed vulnerabilities can have serious consequences – if they reach the attacker, they can get unsanctioned access to the data, which can be corrupted or erased. If not heeded at the right time, they can take over the system completely, causing significant repercussions to the company. Every custom software development agency must prevent such susceptibilities by input validation, parameterized database queries, strict whitelisting, and more. 


Cross-Site Request Forgery 

Cross-Site Request Forgery, abbreviated as CSRF, is when a hacker exploits a user’s identity, access, and rights without them knowing by deceitfully having them make unanticipated requests to web applications where their authenticity is already certified. It can have severe, undesirable consequences as the hacker can perform questionable actions as the victim, ranging from small data changes to significant unwarranted operations. A custom software development company has to be alert and have defenses against such forgeries in place – they can use the anti-CSRF tokens to make sure that all significant operations have authenticated requests to do so. They can also use the same site cookies to have stronger protections against this. 


Cross-Site Scripting 

When the software includes any rescinded or corrupted data on a web page, the vulnerability that arises is called Cross-Site Scripting or XSS. In this way, a hacker can administer vindictive scripts in the browser of an unaware user. The consequences of these scripts can be hostile – it can lead to the hacker being able to steal the user’s data, damage the web page, or even spread malware. All top custom software development companies have a quick action plan ready to combat such XSS – confirm and sanitize the inputs from all users, implement CSPs (Content Security Policies), and rely on security libraries, configurations, and arrangements specially designed to mitigate such shortcomings.  


Security Misconfigurations 

As the name so aptly suggests, Security Misconfigurations include all potential blunders and errors in the configuration of the software or its associated systems, which results in vulnerabilities that pose a security threat to the software. Misconfigurations like these can contribute to the unguarded data access of the system, complete breaches, or even deletion of the entirety of the database. A custom software development agency regularly audits the configuration of the application and the server, eliminates redundant features and accounts, and censors all error messages not to give out any fundamental information. 


Insecure Direct Object Reference 

Abbreviated as IDOR, Insecure Direct Object References are the vulnerabilities that arise when hackers get to manually access or control entries or files in the database by simply changing the input parameters a little. Such exploitation by a broken access control can lead to unsanctioned data transfers, meddling, or even deletion. As a defense against Insecure Direct Object References, a custom software development company should confirm all user inputs from a whitelist of permitted values, implement robust access control mechanisms, and ensure that all direct object references are confidential from end users. 


Security practices all Custom Software Development Companies should implement

For security and data protection, there are certain practices to implement that can ensure your data remains safe. The first practice, and one of the most important ones, is utilizing encryption to keep all data confidential from people who don’t need to know about it – encryption can deny unauthorized access and potential attacks. Next is Secure Authentication: all important areas of the software must be jaded with two-factor authentication for all user accounts to avoid and eliminate all risks. A custom software development agency can also implement identity management solutions. Other than these, they can also utilize safe coding practices, such as input validation and output encoding, encrypted data transmissions, and more. 

For such security purposes, security testing tools can be implemented, such as Static, Dynamic, and Interactive Application Security Testing (SAST, DAST, and IAST) to identify and combat possible vulnerabilities in the codebase and Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) to consistently observe the application’s behavior to spot any abnormalities or irregularities to safeguard the data. 


Final Words 

To sum it all up, combating security threats is one of the most important tasks of a custom software development company. It has to be done not only when there is a security risk but also at all stages of software development to ensure the output of a robust application free from risks and threats. With due diligence and effort, the security of your custom software can be maintained. 

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