Top 5 Myths about Off-the-shelf and Customized Software Security

Top 5 Myths about Off-the-shelf and Customized Software Security

Review common myths about cybersecurity and discover if customizedsoftware solutions are more secure than off-the-shelf products.June 13, 2022

When choosing between off-the-shelf and customized software, you may have heardsome far-fetched notions about one being more secure than the other. Sadly, digitalsecurity misinformation is everywhere. Believing in such fallacies could make yourbusiness vulnerable to security breaches.‍You need to be able to separate fact from fiction when it comes to cybersecurity, so let’sexamine the top five myths about software security:‍1. Popular off-the-shelf software is more secure2. Using obscure customized software will save me from hackers3. Customized software development firms will manage my digital security needs4. My biggest cybersecurity threat is from bots and hackers5. Enterprise-level security practices can work for an SMB like me‍Is Popular Off-The-Shelf Software More Secure?Off-the-shelf software is not inherently secure. You should not assume that a commonlyused software solution is secure simply because it's popular. Defaulting to the belief thatpopular equals secure will put your business at risk.‍Additionally, if you depend on security measures built into off-the-shelf software, you maybe putting too much faith in an unknown system. Not only does that risk security on thatsolution, but it could also cause more issues across your entire tech stack. After all, mostsoftware solutions in businesses are interconnected, and if one has not been securedcorrectly, then none of them are truly secure.‍Will Using Obscure Customized Software Save Me from Hackers?Most people assume that off-the-shelf software is safer and less vulnerable because of itspopularity. Nevertheless, commercial software is often targeted by hackers. From thehacker’s perspective, there is much more to be gained from exploiting vulnerabilities incommonly used software that can grant access to data from thousands of companies.‍Therefore, you may wonder if choosing customized software solutions will provide you withsecurity through obscurity.‍Software that has been uniquely created and structured for your business growth andscaling development is less likely to be targeted by hackers. The payout for their efforts isless, so it may not be worth their time.‍That said, going customized does not mean you are 100% safe. You simply have a securityadvantage with customized software that you would not have with mainstream off-the-shelf software. (For additional guidance on choosing between commercial andcustomized software, review this article).‍Will Customized Software Development Firms Manage My Digital SecurityNeeds?Even though custom software solutions are less of a target, that doesn’t mean they areun-hackable. Secure software development practices must be integrated throughout theentire development lifecycle.‍Managing security at the project level is not sufficient, either. Yes, you want each softwaresolution you implement to be secure on its own, but security measures, practices, andprocesses vary based on the type of software and information that you are protecting.Therefore, it is critical to prioritize security at the organization level with an end-to-endframework in mind.‍Such a framework must encompass but is not limited to the following: Ongoing security training Implementation of cybersecurity tools Risk and assessment threat tracking Risk modeling Continuous system testing System documentation Outside reviews and audits Response program logs Accountability chains Vulnerability and remediation policies‍While some customized software development firms can work with you to organize andmanage your cybersecurity processes, this is not a specialty that all firms provide. If it is aservice you require, you will need to choose a suitable firm with this capability.‍Although not all software development firms specialize in providing additionalcybersecurity services, firms that follow development best practices will create solutionsbased on a system framework to ensure your entire organization (processes,technologies, and people/teams) align to your company’s set of practices, requirements,and policies around cybersecurity.‍By using such a framework to develop customized solutions, firms can help theircustomers assess risk well in advance of business-critical problems. Likewise, thisframework system better prepares companies to mitigate the potential impact ofexploited vulnerabilities and facilitate rapid responses to address and fix the root causesof said issues.‍Is My Biggest Cybersecurity Threat From Bots and Hackers?IT security professionals point out that there are multiple layers of cybersecurity, includingprotecting businesses from both active and passive cyber-attacks, creating a perimeterwall of solution-based security, ensuring networks running systems remain locked down,monitoring endpoint and data security, and finally training personnel to remain vigilant.‍Most of the layers of cybersecurity protection can usually stop bots and malicioushackers, but that only covers the basics. The biggest threat to your security is notnecessarily from forces outside your business, but from within your organization.‍Employees who are not properly trained in cybersecurity may unknowingly open the doorto criminals.‍Sophisticated hackers use methods to trick employees, often mimicking emails andwebsites from legitimate-looking sources. Whether team members accidentallydownload a virus or provide business-sensitive data during a phishing scam, it all endswith your system being compromised.‍If you want to achieve a higher level of security, you should put just as much focus if notmore on internal vulnerabilities as you do on external ones. Your company is only asstrong as the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain.

Can Enterprise-level Security Practices Work for an SMB Like Me?While there are security best practices that every business should follow, the type ofsecurity needed by a larger, enterprise-level organization will vary from that of a small ormedium-sized business. Yet many SMBs consider purchasing commercial softwaredesigned with larger companies in mind, which can result in paying more money forunneeded services.‍Working with a custom software development firm that specializes in security can helpyou determine solutions that are the right size for your business needs. Such solutions canbe customized to fit your budget, threat profile, internal and external user types, accesspoints, threat exposure levels, and vulnerabilities.‍"Cybersecurity is not just a checklist. You can have the mostsecure APIs and frameworks that will pass scans andpenetration tests, but that's only one element of securedevelopment. Security starts with knowing who you areprotecting against and why. It's critical to develop a deepunderstanding of the client's organization."- Tom Kobayashi, Head of Product and Engineering atAltSource‍For SMBs who choose to work with a custom software development firm to build yoursecurity system along with other software solutions, always make sure that the firmdesigns a sound foundation that will scale with you as your business grows. The future ofyour business should always be on the horizon, and you’ll need security that works withyour business every step of the way.‍AltSource Offers Thought Leadership and Guidance on CybersecurityOur product owners hold decades of industry-specific experience not only in technologysolutions but also in business processes and risk analysis. Whether you’re in banking,construction, retail, the digital economy, insurance, or manufacturing, our product ownersknow the security obstacles you face and how to overcome them. We can assess thecybersecurity needs of your business and make practical recommendations fororganization-level protection both from external hackers and internal vulnerabilities.‍Let’s talk about your security concerns with your current software and upcoming softwareinitiatives:

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