Insights from Experts on the State of Application Data Security

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Blog | Jan 31, 2017

Insight from Experts on the State of Application and Data Security

Author: Peter Salamanca, V.P. of Infrastructure, TriCore Solutions

Application and Data Security.pngAs we look back at last year, reflecting on the state of the IT industry, it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go before companies feel confident that their systems are protected. Where is application and data security headed, exactly? Tom Smith, research analyst and writer for DZone, was recently thinking the same. Over the past few months, Smith has been asking industry executives and experts (including myself) for their insight on all things application and data security. Recently, he compiled his findings into a comprehensive report on the topic. What did he discover?

Below, I’ve summarized the key findings – seven of the most important things to keep in mind to keep your applications and data secure:

  1. "What do you see as the most important elements of application and data security?"

Start with the fundamentals: assessing the risks associated with your organization that are the biggest concerns. Then start prioritizing and monitoring your progress as you go. Protecting your data at all levels and pathways can be done with certain security mechanisms put in place: encryption, minimum access, and limited presentation of data, just to name a few. Your database is the last line of defense that you have and it’s always a target for hackers; Keep this in mind as you start defining, maintaining and controlling the information that you have in your database. Don’t underestimate the importance of tracking behavioral patterns, either: When you start observing trends, you will tap stronger insights to develop better pathways and solutions when it comes to data security.

See full article here: The Most Important Elements of Application and Data Security

 

  1. "What kind of security techniques and tools do you find most effective? Least effective?”

Security needs to be baked in from the ground up, because you can’t go back once you have already built your architecture and application platform. Start with these four pillars as key focus areas: 1) database security to prevent SQL injection; 2) scan software for sensitive data discovery; 3) active monitoring of the database; and, 4) dynamic data masking. Once you have security basics embedded within your architecture, you can then proceed to a layered approach of making sure that encryption is occurring when at rest, in motion, and in use. No security process, technique or tool is 100 percent full proof, so make sure you are testing frequently to avoid potential risks.

See full article here: Techniques and Tools for Application and Data Security

 

  1. "What are some real world problems being solved by securing applications and data?"

A big spotlight is being put on the healthcare and finance industries when it comes to securing applications and data in the real world, in large part because of the sensitivity of the information these industries need to protect. The reality is, vulnerabilities are everywhere, and most organizations’ core competency does not boil down to security. On top of that, security comes with the connotation that the time and effort involved will ultimately slow down projects, and teams will run the risk of not meeting deadlines. So, what can be done? Make sure that security basics are something that everyone can understand at every level, then start integrating best practices that address vulnerabilities and outline precautionary actions that need to be taken.

See full article here: Real World Problems Solved By Application and Data Security

 

  1. "What are the most common issues you see affecting application and data security?"

Enterprises have clear advantages over SMBs when it comes to application and data security. They have the man power to staff security monitoring and updates that are necessary to prevent attacks and mitigate potential risks on the horizon. On the other hand, smaller companies and start-ups are really strapped in terms of budget and staffing, making application and data security far from a priority. As a result, SMBs often lack specialized expertise and resources to address vulnerabilities or hacks that they are susceptible to, making outsourcing an important way they can have greater control over their data while being cost-effective.

See full article here: Most Common Issues Around Application and Data Security

 

  1. "Do you have any concerns regarding the current state of application and data security?"

Technology that is getting ahead of security – such as IoT – is a major concern for most. New types of attacks can jeopardize home security, not just their bank accounts or personal information. Malicious hackers have the upper hand when it comes to innovation and cracking into vulnerabilities. As hackers get smart and IT gets more advanced, security companies need to come together to close these gaps – beating hackers at their game for innovation, offering competitive price points for widespread use and controlling accessibility, to start.

See full article here: Concerns With Application and Data Security

 

  1. "What’s the future for application and data security from your point of view – where do the greatest opportunities lie?"

As of right now only about four percent of IT security budgets are spent on applications; As application security starts to grow in importance, we should begin to see IT security budgets shift so that companies are spending upwards of fifty percent of budgets on applications. If this happens and  budgets do start to shifts toward applications, you can expect the following changes to take place:  1) There will be a mix of different approaches from dynamic and static analysis, real-time application security and automatic correction on top of already implemented automation techniques; 2) AI and virtualization will lead to a powerful security transformation; 3) defensive strategies will become more integrated on all levels; 4) security will fall in line with design and functionality; and 5) finally, companies will incorporate system-wide security best practices. Forget the patch work solutions to data protection from before, it’s time for organizations to step it up and become more proactive, because hackers aren’t going anywhere.

See full article here: The Future of Application and Data Security

 

  1. "What do developers need to keep in mind when working on application and data security?"

Developers need to start with proper training: Once they have the fundamentals of a qualified engineer and have some real-world practice under their belt, they can start to concentrate on the requirements that lead to success in that field. This includes everything from understanding the framework, strength and requirements of the app at hand.

Other focus points would include: data validation, vulnerability tests, built-in quality assurance, early security integration techniques and secure coding best practices. The most valuable thing throughout their process is remembering that security is a mindset that you need to have at every stage of development, it’s not something you can include ad hoc.

See full article here: What Developers Need To Know About Application and Data Security

 

While these findings may be daunting and overwhelming at times, it’s important to realize that there are options out there in terms of budgeting, prioritizing and safeguarding your business or organization for future risks and vulnerabilities. While many are uncertain of where to even begin, managed service providers have the background, knowledge and expertise in place to help address your company’s concerns so that you don’t have to face them alone.  

To read all of the compiled tips on application and data security, see the full DZone report here: “The Most Important Elements of Application and Data Security.”