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How to do Application Security right in an organization

How to do Application Security right in an organization

With the constant evolution of cyber threats, organizations need to stay one step ahead to protect their data and operations. That’s why ensuring solid cybersecurity standards is a strategic necessity for any company.

Fortunately, there are design principles that can help every company's cybersecurity posture. In this article, we will explore eight essential practices that not only enhance an organization's resilience but also serve as a bulwark against cyber adversaries.

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Least privilege

Granting entities only the necessary permissions for authorized actions is a fundamental cybersecurity principle. By adhering to the least privilege principle, you minimize the potential damage that can occur in case of a security breach. Regularly review and update permissions, adding or revoking them as needed to ensure that employees and systems only have access to what is required for their tasks.

Fail-safe defaults

When it comes to access control, it's essential to implement fail-safe defaults. By default, access to resources should be "denied," and users should only receive explicit "permit" grants for their required actions. This approach ensures that unauthorized access attempts are automatically denied, reducing the risk of accidental data exposure.

Economy of Mechanism

Complexity is the enemy of security. To enhance cybersecurity, design your systems and processes to be as simple as possible. Ensure that components and interactions are easily comprehensible, making it easier to detect and address vulnerabilities. Complexity can often lead to overlooked security flaws, so simplicity is key.

Complete mediation

Complete mediation is about validating access rights for all resources, without relying on cached permissions. Each request for access should be thoroughly checked and authenticated. Avoid shortcuts that might inadvertently grant unauthorized access, and instead, enforce strict access control at all times.

Open design

Transparency is a cornerstone of good cybersecurity. Building systems transparently, without hidden algorithms or secrets, allows for greater scrutiny. This transparency fosters trust among stakeholders and experts who can help identify and address security flaws. Open design also ensures that security is not reliant on obscurity.

Separation of privilege

Rather than basing permissions on a single condition, it's advisable to base them on resource types. This approach, known as separation of privilege, limits the potential for security breaches. It means that even if one condition is compromised, it won't automatically grant access to all resources, adding an extra layer of protection.

Least common mechanism

To mitigate the risks of shared state and prevent widespread corruption in your systems, adhere to the principle of least common mechanism. Limit the shared resources and mechanisms that can be accessed by multiple users or components. Reducing the commonality of mechanisms minimizes the potential for one compromised entity to affect others.

Psychological acceptability

Cybersecurity shouldn't hinder user experience. Enhance security measures in a way that doesn't compromise usability. Striking a balance between robust security and user-friendliness is essential. Users are more likely to follow secure practices if they find them acceptable and easy to adopt.

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