Of all the developments in modern computing, the emergence of open-source software in the early 90s transpired to be one of the most transformative. Where once software was previously designed, developed and delivered in a closed and private environment, open-source programming helped reveal the way apps and software were coded and gave rise to many burgeoning development communities around the world.
However, while the willingness to share the source code of open-source apps has indeed proven to be a game-changer in terms of how many programmers and development companies approach the production of their apps, it still faces criticism from many detractors. Indeed, many developers suggest giving root access encourages and enables hackers to explore and exploit security vulnerabilities.
From open-source to commercially-developed software, no app is safe
In truth, the reality is no piece of software should be considered 100% safe, regardless of whether it was produced privately for commercial gain or with the support of developers in the open-source community.
Nonetheless, there is still some considerable truth to the notion that applications that borrow open-source components could leave potential loopholes and backdoors which can be exploited. In particular, when the core functions of an app rely on independently-written code, there can be interoperability issues or security holes which often go undetected.
An open-source approach doesn’t mean bad – but it does require testing
Developers looking to use open-source code in their projects should be ever-mindful that conflicts frequently occur between snippets of code that can leave their software (and, hence, their users) wide open to security breaches. As these open-source building blocks increasingly become the bedrock of many of the world’s most used and most popular apps, it’s becoming increasingly important for development companies to test each level of their platforms to explore the potential for these vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, the sad truth is, many don’t, and new problems can arrive at any time at the base level of apps.
By performing comprehensive Software Composition Analysis, dev companies can identify and address performance issues early in the production cycle. However, should you find hard-to-trace problems suddenly entering your network, it may well prove worth checking the stability of the underlying code and components that were used in the production of your apps.
The benefits of partnering with a security specialist
When faced with the relentless progression of technology, there has been a tendency on the part of many companies to simply trust the idea that their company is immune to cyberattack – often driven by a misguided notion that their business isn’t big enough, of a sufficiently-high profile or generates too little revenue to be the subject of an attack.
However, somewhat alarmingly, the opposite is true, and cybercriminals are moving more and more to attack Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that often take a blasé approach to their security.
This cost-cutting approach to tech also often manifests itself in the desire to choose cheaper software – creating the almost-perfect tinderbox combination of cheaper, less-secure apps and reduced security provision. If this sounds like your firm, you should take immediate action by working with a network security provider that will perform a full audit of your operations to isolate potential problem areas.
Compelling, convincing reasons to adopt cloud-based digital solutions
New cybercrime threats appear almost daily, and staying on top of the dangers online is beyond the budget or capacity of all but the largest and most dominant market players. By moving to a cloud-based solution provider, you will remove the considerable headache of trying to stay on top of possible vulnerabilities while also benefitting from the peace of mind of having 24/7/365 backup and support.
As a dedicated cloud service company will also be charged with running your software and storage on their servers, they will also check all your existing apps for issues – and have access to the latest security updates, patches, and details of known threats so they can address flashpoints before they escalate to become something more significant. It’s in a cloud service provider company’s interest to ensure their networks remain as secure as possible – not just to protect you but also their other clients’ data.
Not so very long ago, these options didn’t exist, and online/network security provision was too costly for many firms. However, as more companies move to the IT outsourcing model, the cost of these services has dropped dramatically, making cloud computing the most realistic, most beneficial model for the majority of firms looking to stay safe online.
The take out
Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly inventive in the way they target firms and, while you may have trusted a development company to produce bespoke software or solutions on your behalf, if that same firm used outdated or unsecured components in their processes, you may unwittingly be exposed to attack. As stated, neither commercial nor open-source software is immune to hackers – but outsourcing can help give you safety and peace of mind.