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Are you following the top 10 software security best practices?

Software security isn’t simply plug-and-play. Our top 10 software security best practices show you how to get the best return on your investment.

Top 10 software security best practices

It’s never a good security strategy to buy the latest security tool and call it a day. Software security isn’t simply plug-and-play. You might need to invest in focused developer training and tool customization and integration before seeing a return on your investment.

Before investing in a tool that will solve only a small subset of your security issues, take a step back and ensure that you have a solid software security strategy and that you’re following these top 10 software security best practices.

Top 10 Software Security Best Practices

1. Patch your systems

Many attackers exploit known vulnerabilities associated with old or out-of-date software. To thwart common attacks, ensure that all your systems have up-to-date patches. Regular patching has proven to be one of the most effective software security practices.

2. Educate and train users

Employee training should be a part of your organization’s security DNA. Having a well-organized and well-maintained security training curriculum for your employees will go a long way in protecting your data and assets. Include awareness training for all employees and specialized training for developers.

3. Automate routine tasks

Attackers use automation to detect open ports, security misconfigurations, and so on. You can’t defend your systems using only manual techniques. Instead, automate day-to-day security tasks, such as analyzing firewall changes and device security configurations. Automating frequent tasks allows your security staff to focus on more strategic security initiatives.

4. Enforce least privilege

Ensure that users and systems have the minimum privileges required to perform their job functions. Enforcing the principle of least privilege significantly reduces your attack surface by eliminating unnecessary access rights, which can cause a variety of compromises.

5. Create a robust IR plan

No matter how much you adhere to software security best practices, you’ll always face the possibility of a breach. Have a solid incident response (IR) plan in place to limit the damage inflicted by an attack.

6. Document your security policies

Maintain a knowledge repository that includes comprehensively documented software security policies. Security policies allow your employees, including network administrators, security staff, and so on, to understand what activities you’re performing and why.

7. Segment your network

Proper network segmentation is a software security best practice because it limits the movement of attackers. Identify where your critical data is stored and use appropriate security controls to limit the traffic to and from those network segments.

8. Integrate security into your SDLC

Integrate software security activities into your organization’s software development life cycle (SDLC). While building security into your SDLC may require considerable time and effort, it goes a long way in reducing your exposure to security risks.

9. Monitor user activity

Trust, but verify. Monitoring user activities helps you ensure that users are following software security best practices. It also allows you to detect suspicious activities, such as privilege abuse and user impersonation.

10. Measure

Define key metrics that are meaningful and relevant to your organization. Well-defined metrics will help you assess your security posture over time.

The bottom line

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to securing your organization’s assets. Often, you can achieve the greatest impact by sticking to the fundamentals. Following these top 10 software security best practices will help you cover the basics. When you’re ready, take your organization to the next level by starting a software security program.

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