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Security Engineering – A Pandemic Enforced New Kaleidoscope

It would be an understatement to say that the pandemic hasn’t changed our lives forever. From a change in the work environments to a grounded impact in everyone’s personal lives as well, the pandemic has changed many realities. With the pandemic still at large and its impact being felt even today, organizations are facing the brunt in terms of their security posture – more than ever. Although security engineering has been given its due importance before, today its need has only increased. It needs to be looked at from a comprehensive standpoint – a journey that should be a part of any SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) from the get-go.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

As aforementioned, the pandemic has brought in a new world – a new normal. With the shift to an online mode of working, especially with work from home (WFH), the need of the hour calls for a shift to a more robust way of working as well. There have been a number of instances wherein cybersecurity attacks have occurred with a WFH environment. This has made organizations increasingly realize the significance of security engineering – from the very early stages of an SDLC.

Security can be compromised anywhere and anytime – the most important aspect to understand is how to keep organizations’ posture safe throughout. With or without the pandemic, security becomes a key facet to be taken seriously. That being said, some key steps that can be taken by IT teams and by individual employees, to ensure that security is maintained while a WFH environment prevails, are:

WiFi Protected Access – For ensuring end-to-end wireless security, encryption becomes extremely important. With encryption, the data remains secure and confidential.
Preventing cybersecurity attacks – For preventing DoS or DDoS attacks, one’s router firewall needs to be enabled with the appropriate prevention measures.
Updated antivirus softwares – With a WFH environment, it becomes imperative to install the latest softwares and technologies to keep the equipment in use, safe and secure.
Advocating security from the get-go – There needs to be a change in the mindset as well of the organization as a whole – to understand the importance of maintaining and sustaining a security posture from the very beginning of an SDLC – through DevSecOps.

These are just a few steps that can be taken to ensure security amidst this pandemic – surely not an exhaustive set. With WFH, the need for organizations has only increased to ensure that their security robustness is kept intact. Both at the organizational level and the individual level, security engineering should be kept at the forefront – ensuring that the data is kept secure, remotely.

Onset of DevSecOps

As DevOps paves its way into the technological domain for expediting processes and deliverables, DevSecOps has also ushered in as a more nuanced pipeline for immersing security from the very onset of an SDLC. With DevSecOps, it is increasingly becoming easier to identify any and all security vulnerabilities and mitigate those with effective security engineering from the get-go, be it security or penetration testing or monitoring post release as well. Security nuances get amalgamated within a software’s lifecycle and processes as a whole – for an end-to-end security coverage.

DevSecOps brings in the required level of efficiency and robustness by being seamlessly integrated from the get-go. Automation becomes a crucial aspect within this domain and helps expedite security processes furthermore. Using the latest set of security tools and technologies, such as OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), Kubernetes, etc., DevSecOps can ensure an efficient security posture for organizations. Thus, the advent of DevSecOps has ushered in a new wave of robustness from the very early stages of an SDLC – which will only be augmenting further.

It’s Now or Never

The pandemic has taught us an array of things – security engineering being one of them, and an important one as well. A holistic mindset and execution of security engineering needs to be taken upon by organizations – from planning to monitoring. Albeit a cultural change for organizations, this effort has become the need of the hour – it’s now or never to take that step and ensure a robust security posture for organizations as well as for individuals amidst this pandemic.