Exciting news – Inzite has been accepted onto G-Cloud, the UK government directory for services that can be marketed into the public sector.
This is a great honour and we’re looking forward to working with G-Cloud to get Inzite products into the hands of public sector organisations and workers who need them.
One reason why we’ve been accepted onto G-Cloud is that security and compliance are at the heart of what we do. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to put together 5 essentials that all software providers should think about when designing, developing and managing products in a secure and compliant manner.
1. A security-led culture
It’s inevitable that some employees will have the opinion that security isn’t an issue for them, with responsibility given over to security and compliance teams, or management. That’s understandable – people are busy and only by prioritising can they get their work done. But a sustainable security culture requires buy-in from everyone across the organisation.
Security has to start at the top of an organisation and filter down. It’s no good if only a few people are focused on keeping data secure, as success relies on a firm-wide commitment. By working together a company can stay secure, and a security-led culture is the only way to implement this at scale.
2. Plan and design with security in mind
When building software, security cannot be an afterthought. Problems that inevitably arise will slow down the build, or cause problems once the product is deployed in a live environment.
When thinking about designing and developing software solutions for clients, even before the first line of code has been written or version 1 has been shipped, all conversations must be centred around the question: how can we make sure that this product is secure?
If the answer to this question is “we can’t”, or “let’s think about that later”, then the product needs to go back to the drawing board until the answer is a resounding “yes”.
3. Technology must be agile and adaptable
As with culture, it’s vital that the technology upon which the solution is built has been designed and developed with a security-driven mindset front and centre. Of course, product development must encompass all manner of features, from user experience to re-engagement and everything in between, but a tech-led approach to security is vital. Crucially, the process of designing security-led products isn’t static – it’s ever-evolving.
Sure, some elements can be back-fitted to ensure that security holes that have been missed can be plugged, but it’s important to build products that can be adapted as and when security updates are required. Compliance requirements will change and security measures that govern your product and your business will become more and less stringent over time. Products must be built that are agile enough to meet this evolving environment.
Companies must also remember that bad actors are tremendously adaptive – so their security solution must be adaptable too so that they can keep pace with any parties who are trying to undermine the security of your software.
4. An obsession with testing
As part of a robust security culture, testing must be central. Once the technology has been built, it’s crucial that products are constantly kept up to date and watertight, and this relies on a systematic approach to testing.
A key element is making sure that testing is varied and assesses all possible breaches. There should be an obsession with internal testing as well as an appetite for employing third parties who carry out comprehensive testing from an independent perspective. Code is also a key consideration and it must be tested as soon as it’s written and tested regularly, including static code analysis, code reviews (manual and automated) and requirements-based testing.
Organisations must also look to keep their industry standards up to date. For example, this would include abiding by the relevant ISO guidelines.
5. Documentation leads to transparency
A vital part of the security and compliance process is a near-obsessive approach to documentation. With a firm-wide and consistent approach to documenting key processes and procedures, a firm will be able to provide potential customers and partners with the transparency that they demand when making purchase decisions.
It’s likely that one of the first questions that a potential purchaser may have when deciding whether to proceed with working with your business is to see the necessary security and compliance documentation. If yours is lacking or out of date, that potential customers may choose to go elsewhere.
At Inzite, we take security seriously. These 5 points are central to the way we have built our software and how we intend to develop, manage and market our business in the future.
Instead of seeing security as a burden, we embrace it. This mindset has allowed us to build products that are suitable for large-scale initiatives, like the UK Government’s G-Cloud. We’re proud to say security is one of our strengths, and it will remain that way as we grow in the future.