Best practices for Improving Software Integrity

Eilon Elhadad
Mar 31 · 5 min read

Today’s businesses and enterprises are heavily dependent on software and applications for their day-to-day operations. However, security and software integrity continues to be a challenge. Software security is not a one-time task. Considering the growing number of threats every day, security has to be tackled on an ongoing basis. Threat actors are growing smarter, and so should security professionals. Software developers and enterprises need to be on their toes if they want to be threat-proof and continue advancing any major security speed breakers.

In this post, we look at what software integrity is and how you can improve software integrity for the applications and systems within your organisation. Let’s start by defining what software integrity is and why it is important. 

What is Software Integrity?

Software integrity is a broad term that refers to the quality of the software’s source code. Code quality is directly related to higher security and protection against threats, but also to the maintainability and testability of the code. All of these factors play an important role in software development, and ultimately contribute to a better product. 

Why Does Software Integrity Matter?

When we say that a particular piece of software’s source code is of high quality, what is implied is a high level of security, resilience, and maintainability. It means the code is able to do what it is meant to do with all necessary security features. The codebase should not have security vulnerabilities, and it should be easy to update without leading to new errors or security hiccups. Further, it should do the following:

1. Prevent external attacks from hackers

In today’s vulnerable times, the battle to prevent security risks is ongoing. Thus, software integrity is highly crucial for organisations, especially those which are comparatively more prone to security threats and breaches from hackers. Ransomware, DDoS attacks, phishing attacks, and more are ever-present dangers that can be prevented by ensuring software integrity.

2. Prevent internal attacks due to negligence

There is a general perception that security attacks and breaches occur mostly due to external sources. However, there could be internal attackers as well sitting next to you and you might not even be aware of them. This is usually the result of negligence or bad actors. Having a software system with high source code integrity can help you prevent this problem

Software Security and Code Integrity / Read our new thoughts on our blog:  Wibu-Systems

Image source: wibu.com

3. Deliver a better user experience for customers

With the surge in cybersecurity attacks, customers have become more cautious when picking software for their business needs. No customer would want to invest in software that is already prone to security risks. Having reliable software in place can help you attract more customers by gaining their trust.  

4. Bring predictability and confidence to business operations

High-quality source code not only makes your software more resilient to security threats but also leaves room for you to think about business on a larger scale, beyond security. Your business can only grow when you are fearless towards it. And that’s exactly what software integrity brings to you – predictability and confidence to take your business operations to the next stage of expansion and growth.   

Now let’s look at the best practices to follow for better software integrity. 

Best Practices for Better Software Integrity

Enhancement of software integrity is a process that keeps evolving from time to time. It might feel overwhelming to think about this, but it is easy if you follow certain best practices. 

Here’s a list of best practices to ensure software integrity:

1. Perform Risk-based Validation

This is essential when working with vendor systems. It involves authorising only systems that are compliant with data management protocols. The quality and reliability of data matters in this case. Only vendors that take the necessary data compliance measures should be allowed to integrate with your supply chain.

2. Use a coding standard

This is about ensuring that development teams follow a uniform standard for coding and collaboration across various projects. This brings predictability and greatly reduces the time to troubleshoot and resolve issues that show up along the software delivery process.

By implementing coding standards, you can reap multiple benefits such as improved efficiency, minimised project failure risk, and easy maintenance. In a nutshell, standardization can play a huge role in the success of your projects. 

3. Enable strong log-ins

To be able to create an eco-system of qualitative software integrity, it is crucial to have a strong log-in system. You must have a log-in system for all the consolidated authentication services and have the IP addresses of these systems in one place. Place a cap on the authentication attempts and block suspicious users. Even while unblocking, a detailed, cautious manual review should be done. A review of successful and failed logins can help improve software integrity.     

4. Perform Functional and Non-Functional Testing

There is no better way to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of your software than to test it frequently and in the right way. There are two broad categories of testing: 

  • Functional testing to verify the tasks of the software 
  • Non-functional testing to verify the performance of the software.

In order to test your software in the best way possible, you must have testing methods in place to make sure that testing covers the majority of the codebase, leaving no loopholes, and is able to detect the possible defects. 

Image source: Pixabay

5. Use the Right-Third Party Tools 

While you follow best practices to ensure high integrity of your software, it is equally important to use the right tools when developing your software. Whether they are open source or commercially available tools, they need to be checked for how actively they are being developed, the kind of compliance measures they follow, the level of access you need to share with them, and more.

Final Thoughts

Software integrity is crucial to any business today. It is important to keep your quality level high and leave no stone unturned to ensure that there are no loopholes when it comes to the security of your software. Following the above-mentioned practices can help you embrace software security and quality.

Argon is one of the key players in the software industry that ensures the holistic security of your software supply chain. It is a unified security solution that protects the integrity of your software throughout the entire DevOps CI/CD pipeline. As you look to improve software integrity in your codebase and across your software supply chain, consider Argon to bolster your security posture.

Eilon Elhadad
Mar 31 · 5 min read

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