Why AppSec Should Be a Principal Focus Early in Development?

DNS hijacking detection

There are many processes and practices to keep on top of during the development of an app. Security, though, is not always at the front of the minds of those involved in the project. The initial inspiration and ongoing impetus are to create and launch a product that does what it needs and sets out to do well. As a result, security is often an afterthought.

No matter when you start, it will always be an ongoing process. Cyber threats or the potential for them are constantly adapting and changing, so the measures to combat them should too. The earlier in the lifecycle of the app security is focused on, the easier it is to maintain a high standard. Security becomes part of the app’s story.

Saves Time and Money

App developers are often working against deadlines and tight budgets. Both time- and money constraints come with expectations, provided by themselves, investors, or an eager community and audience. Leaving security confined to an afterthought status means that there could be serious making-up to do if the app is compromised.

This is the reason why sast, or static application security testing, is so frequently discussed as a solution to finding issues in software early in the design and development stage. There’s also threat modeling analysis which enables vulnerabilities to be detected and prioritized. Both methods will allow developers to fold security into the fabric of their product’s lifecycle, as opposed to scrambling to fix issues closer to the release date or having it severely affect its launch. The time and money that embracing security early on in development could be the key to both a surviving and a thriving product.

Security compliance shouldn’t be seen as something to complete, to get out of the way.

Marketing Benefits

In the contemporary world, consumers and governments are being more and more concerned with privacy and security. As digitization continues, as traditionally in-person events move online, as millions and millions of people’s sensitive data is archived by more and more companies, there is an expectation and desire for rigorous standards of security. The likes of DuckDuckGo and Telegram are two products receiving huge influxes of users due to their emphasis on security and privacy while other major players like Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp come under scrutiny for their handling of sensitive data and their apparent weaknesses to threats.

Having security front-and-center as part of the app’s ethos will help make it more attractive to a potential user. It is what they are looking for, what they are wanting. It’s all well and good having security as an unspoken positive, as a perk which no one questions or wonders about, but making sure it’s part of the rollout’s key literature and promotional strategy won’t hurt at all. As such, there’s a good chance of appealing to a desired community of users too, those who won’t try to expose the app’s software. Things like authorization and authentication are useful tools for pursuing this clientele too.

As 2021 progresses, governments strengthen legislation and regulation, and internet 3.0’s development continues towards blockchain incorporation third-party software allows creators and users to manage themselves, security becomes the precedent.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.