How to Build Resilient Software in the Age of Cyber Threats

June 11, 2024 Business

Cyberattacks target everyone on the web. If you have something an attacker wants, they will come after you.

They will try to steal your data and finances, leaving your reputation and business in crumbs. That’s why it always pays off to invest in security. You need to do your best to stay informed, especially since these dangers are constantly evolving and trying to find new ways to sabotage us.

If you are a software developer, you need to stay conscious of new technologies and ways you can invest in cybersecurity. Better safe than sorry, and better late than never!

Read this article to find out more about how to build resilient software that withstands these attacks on personal safety. Let’s get into it.

What Are Cyber Threats?

A cyber threat is any potential attempt at attacking a computer network, system, or device that seeks to destroy or disrupt it or gain unauthorized access to another person’s data.

These threats can have significant consequences on your reputation and finances. That is why protecting ourselves and building resilient software is crucial.

Statistics say that there were 2,365 cyberattacks and 343,338,964 victims in 2023. One data breach costs around $4.45 million on average. This is serious business!

Keeping that in mind, we need to be continually developing optimal solutions for this problem and investing in protection. 

Cyber threats can come from different sources, like individuals or groups, and they can target different systems (from personal devices to large infrastructure). 

They can be very sneaky and persistent, and they are getting more and more developed by the second. So it’s up to us to constantly improve our knowledge and find new and better ways we can protect ourselves.

What Types of Cyber Threats Are There?

Knowing more about these liabilities and staying informed can help you defeat them. Some types of cyber threats are:

  • Malware: Malware is malicious software designed to harm, exploit, or compromise a computer system in any way. These threats include viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware.
  • Phishing: These types of threats try to obtain valuable information, like passwords, usernames, and credit card details.
  • DoS and DDoS attacks: These attacks attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic.
  • SQL injection: This type of attack is used to attack data-driven applications. It aims to collect private information, like user lists, customer data, company data, and more.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks: In this type of cyber threat, the attacker secretly intercepts and possibly alters the communication between two parties who think they are communicating with each other.
  • Advanced persistent threats (APTs): These cyber attacks are prolonged and targeted. The intruder gains access to a network and stays undetected for a prolonged period of time.
  • Zero-day exploit: These attacks occur when the software is vulnerable, before the developer has a chance to fix the issue.
  • Ransomware: This software blocks access to your device until you pay the attackers ransom. Usually, even after you pay the ransom, they won’t remove the software, so experts say it’s best to not pay it.
  • Insider threats: Insider threats are created by individuals from within an organization, like employees, former employees, contractors, or business associates, who have inside information about the organization’s security practices, data, and computer systems.

Why Is Software Resilience Important?

We rely on software more and more in our day-to-day lives. Therefore, it’s important to build software that helps keep our data protected and our reputation and finances guarded.

Today, more than ever, we need software that can withstand change, stay resilient, and install trust. Resilient software needs to anticipate and actively deal with any possible vulnerabilities, not leaving any room for cyber threats.

Here’s a breakdown of why it’s so important:

1. Ensures Continuity and Reliability

Resilient software not only continues to function correctly but can actually help people rely on it. For healthcare systems and financial services, this is a matter of life and death, since we need to make sure that sensitive data is protected at all times.

2. Minimizes Downtime

Software resilience means better prevention and recovery from all types of parties who want to cause injury to different products. 

The risks involved are big: financial resources can be used up in no time. What’s worse, a company’s reputation could be irreparably damaged, so investing in the creation of high-quality software that customers can trust is crucial.

3. Enhances User Experience

By creating resilient software that can withstand the challenges of our time, you are making sure that users have a great experience, which helps companies choose you and trust you as a developer. 

The more you invest in creating the best software possible, the better the user experience will be.

4. Reduces Maintenance Costs

By analyzing the problems that are likely to occur and being prepared for them, resilient software diminishes the need for urgent repair work and extensive maintenance. This reduces time and expense over the life of a software system.

5. Improves Compliance

Most industries are subject to laws that require a certain amount of uptime (how long the system can operate without shutdowns). Resilient software helps organizations meet these governmental obligations and, by doing so, saves them from potential fines and lawsuits.

6. Builds Trust and Reputation

Reliable products and services are valued by customers, and customers are more likely to recommend them. 

Plus, today, when everything is online, it’s easy for businesses to check your reviews and reputation. So, it’s important to think about our digital trail and the quality of our products more than ever before.

How to Build Resilient Software?

Now that we have established why it’s important to invest and learn about building resilient software, let’s get into how to do it.

Building resilient software is about creating systems that can handle problems gracefully, recover quickly, and continue to provide top-notch services even when things go wrong.

Cybersecurity in software development is an important issue. We need to focus on learning more about potential cyber-attacks and staying safe online.

Here’s how to build resilient software that will make sure all data stays protected:

1. Learn More About Cyber Threats

Educating yourself is key, and with cyber threats constantly evolving and changing, it’s important to learn as much about them as you can. You need to stay informed and always continue learning if you want to stay on top of things in this field.

2. Educate Your Team

Invest in employee training programs and educate your team. Many security breaches do happen because of human error, so make sure all of your employees are equipped to handle any type of cyber-attack.

3. Collaborate With Cybersecurity Experts

When developing software, you can collaborate with experts in the cybersecurity field. Since it is an evolving hazard, collaborating with experts can give you new insights and ideas on how to improve your strategy.

4. Implement Automated Testing

Implement security and integration tests to make sure everything is running smoothly and there are no potential vulnerabilities. These tools can help you gain feedback and see any potential problems the software may have.

5. Performance Testing

Load and performance testing tools can help you see how the software will respond to different tasks (by more people at once). This will help make sure the software is functional and strong before it’s released.

6. Scan for Vulnerabilities

Use tools like dependency scanners and vulnerability databases to identify and address potential security issues.

7. Implement Strong Authentication and Authorization

Incorporate MFA (multi-factor authentication) to add an extra layer of security. This makes it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to data. 

You can use RBAC (role-based access control) to ensure users have access only to the resources necessary for their role. This reduces the risk of insider threats and limits the damage in case of an account compromise.

8. Encrypt Data

Use protocols like TLS (transport layer security) to encrypt data transmitted between clients and servers, protecting it from any tampering.

Also, using strong encryption algorithms to make sure that sensitive data is encrypted is a good idea. This helps protect data in case of physical theft or unauthorized access to storage systems.

9. Develop an Incident Response Plan

Develop an incident response plan and train your team on how to execute it. This includes identifying key roles, communication plans, and steps they need to take for recovery.

Conduct regular drills to simulate cyber incidents. This helps make sure that the team is prepared to respond effectively if an actual attack ever does happen.

10. Build a Cybersecurity Culture

Regularly educate and train all employees on the importance of security practices and how to recognize any potential problems.

Create an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting security concerns and potential vulnerabilities. This helps in early detection of any possible danger.

You need to make sure that every employee understands that this is a serious matter and feels comfortable enough to report any issues.

Act Now to Prevent The Worst

So, we’ve covered what cyber threats are, what are the most common types, why we need to build resilient software, and how to do it.

A small investment now can save millions of dollars, help us build trust with our clients, and preserve their reputation. We need to approach the concerns of security and privacy with the attention they deserve.

Cyberattacks continue to be a serious problem online, but as long as we focus on the solutions and build strong software, we will continue to thrive, and our businesses will only become more powerful.