Software is as integral to modern business as are employees skilled in the art of selling. With millions of global businesses dependant on sophisticated software systems that help them manage anything from inventory to direct marketing, the use of well-designed programs has become widespread.
Such popular use makes software security a real concern for many modern businesses. By identifying particular flaws in software, it might be possible for third parties to gain access to information or data you might otherwise want to keep private. That’s why knowing about the following four biggest software security design flaws could prove important.
Companies like Dell have worked hard on software security measures to ensure that trust is always earned or given, rather than assumed.
As most software systems are made up of more than one single component and instead rely on two or more software tiers, it’s essential that all parts function correctly and are run in a safe environment, well protected from threats. Keeping these functions internal and avoiding offloading of them to a client helps avoid design flaws that can lead to security failures propagated by misplaced trust.
Malleable Authentication Systems
Having an authentication system in place that is inherently difficult to bypass or tamper with is fundamental to software security. Asking for an entity’s identity, in terms of software design, should always be one of the first things in kept in mind at the drawing board.
Software that is poorly built in consideration of its authentication system, could possibly fail in its attempt to prevent users or attackers gaining access to a system, could sorely cost a business further down the line.
Just like authentication, authorisation is just as important when it comes to software security risks or flaws that could spell disaster.
The act of authorisation entails identifying the user’s identity and then granting them access to perform particular functions after the process of authentication. For an ATM, for example, the authorisation procedure functions usually by having the user enter a piece of information known solely to them (a PIN). Failure to enter the correct data and the user won’t be granted authorisation to functions like withdrawal or balance checks.
Software that permits weak authorisation processes can wreak all kinds of havoc. To overcome such a design flaw, specifically in regards to sensitive operations, more substantial evidence of the users’ identity should be given. This, for example, could come in the form of biometric or token-based data.
Instructions from Untrusted Sources
Perhaps one of the more obvious flaws in software design that can lead to security issues is that of permitting process control instructions to be received from untrusted sources.
Well-designed software should overcome this by implementing security mechanisms that harden the software stack against multiple forms of attack. Programmers can do this by imposing separation and segregation between data and control information.
These four flaws in software design can put the businesses dependent on them at great risk of data manipulation and control. By understanding what they are and how better to address them, business owners are doing themselves a big favour in preventing future catastrophe.