Working as a developer, regardless if you’re in software, data centers, or any other field, comes with its perks and risks. On the one hand, companies around the world are always looking for skilled and experienced developers to take their brands to the next level through better apps, systems, IT infrastructures, and more. On the other, the ever-present and ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks means that being a developer requires you to learn how to protect vital company data, safeguard customers and employees, and identify cyber threats before they strike.
Because after all, it only takes a single cyber-attack to be successful for your app, software solution, or digital product of any kind to meet its untimely end. Needless to say, a successful cyber-attack can also ruin your brand’s reputation for good. With all of that in mind, now is the time to talk about cybersecurity in the realm of IT developers, so let’s take a look at the five key ways you can minimize the risk of cyber-attacks.
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Ensuring data encryption and safe transfers
To start, we need to talk about data vulnerability in the online world. Whether it’s a mobile app you’re developing or if you’re managing software through which business data is exchanged, there are two risk factors that come into play: data visibility and data vulnerability during transfer. In other words, the company or customer data is most vulnerable when it is not encrypted and when it is in transit.
Someone who is trying to access your data stores will have no problem acquiring sensitive information if it’s not encrypted. Likewise, someone might try to intercept data as it is being sent from point A to point B, so it’s imperative to ensure end-to-end encryption throughout your network and the system you’re developing. Encryption – it works, and you need it in order to stop data breaches and theft.
Reducing the risk of social engineering
The next big cybersecurity risk on our list is social engineering, and it might not be something that developers in particular are aware of. Why? Because social engineering is thought to be a threat only to consumers when hackers impersonate big brands to scam people – but the truth is that it can happen to developers and entire development teams as well. No one is really ever safe against social engineering and malware attacks, and the most common way these threats appear is through email communication.
Also known as phishing scams, these are real threats that can catch you off guard, and fool developers into leaking sensitive information about colleagues, projects, or themselves into the hands of the scammers. However, it’s not just about protecting yourself as a developer, it’s also about making sure that your software or app integrates security measures against phishing attacks.
Remember that your users aren’t always capable of spotting phishing scams on their own, so they need their software and apps to help them spot threats and eliminate them with ease.
Strengthen the IT infrastructure
One of the biggest risks to the security of the developers, the company, and the consumers is poor IT infrastructure security and upkeep. It is imperative that you employee the leading security measures and constantly update your firewall to ensure data protection throughout your organization. It’s also important to upgrade your infrastructure with leading automation solutions like IaC (Infrastructure as Code) in order to elevate the level of security.
Some of the biggest IaC advantages include the ability to automate the entirety of your infrastructure to minimize the risk of human error, improve the security of your computing architecture and secure the data on your servers. IaC is one of the leading solutions developers are using right now in cloud computing, and it might be just what you need to build an impregnable IT infrastructure.
Continuous testing and probing is key
Of course, you can’t expect to bring secure digital products to market or keep your IT infrastructure intact if you’re not constantly probing it for weaknesses. Testing and probing should be a standard procedure throughout your development cycle, and you should be using the best protection tools that can scan your system for weak points to identify potential threats and eliminate them before you launch your product. Remember, the more you test your security system, the higher the chances of preventing cyber-attacks, scams, and hackers stealing your data.
Two-factor authentication and passwords
Last but definitely not least, you need to make sure that all of your devices and work accounts are properly secured. Two very important factors will play a vital role – user authentication and password management. Be sure to enable two-factor authentication for all devices and accounts, so that the second layer stops a hacker from gaining entry if they somehow managed to get your basic information.
Of course, you shouldn’t have let them break through your password in the first place, so be sure to use a reliable password management tool that will create random strings of letters and special characters to make all of your passwords impervious to attack.
Developers are as much at risk of cyber-attacks as any other consumer, business leader, or professional in the IT field, so it’s important to strengthen your cybersecurity right away. Use these tips to safeguard your work, your customers and users, and yourself in the increasingly nefarious online world.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist and contributor to bizzmarkblog.com. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.