Secure Software Development

- By -

Robert Wilson

What are the greatest threats facing software development firms?

Almost all organisations are reliant on software to drive their operations. We assume sound security of these programmes enabling us to deliver upon daily objectives. But what are the key threats facing software developers, and what measures should they be taking to counteract these issues?

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: Overwhelming the infrastructure of the developers, preventing access to critical services. This can cause significant disruption to a company’s operations.
Ransomware: Encrypting access to company systems causing devastating operational downtimes, financial losses, lengthy legal challenges and potentially irreparable reputational damage.
Vulnerabilities in third-party software: Software development companies often use third-party software and libraries in their applications. If these third parties have vulnerabilities, they can provide an entry point for attackers to infiltrate a company’s systems.

How can they mitigate against cyber attacks?

Software development companies should adopt a “secure design” or “secure by default” approach. The following secure design principles, applied by NCSC and aligned to NIST, ensure security is applied from the outset and risk exposure remains limited throughout the software lifecycle:

• Establish the context before designing a system
• Make compromise difficult
• Make disruption difficult
• Make compromise detection easier
• Reduce the impact of compromise

Beyond applying these principles, the following selected measures should also be deployed to safeguard developers against these prominent threats to their practices:

• Perform regular backups to reduce the impact of any potential data loss or ransomware attack.
• Conduct regular security assessments and penetration tests to identify potential vulnerabilities and address them before they can be exploited by attackers.
• Use encryption to protect sensitive data in transit and at rest. Implement other security measures including zero trust principles, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and anti-virus and anti-malware software.

To find out more about the work Amicis does to keep software developers resilient against critical cyber threats, or to understand the questions you should be asking of your third party software providers, please reach out to us at

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