Making a habit of security

Why cybersecurity is key to a long-lasting relationship with customers.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that Valentine’s Day spend in the US will be $18.2 billion dollars with a projected 27 percent of that spend online. So, you can imagine that cybersecurity is top of mind for many retailers right now.

You may recall the data breach 1-800-FLOWERS experienced shortly after the Valentine’s Day sales spike last year. During that incident, it was reported that about 7,000 customers had their personal information compromised on the site. The repercussions of buying a symbol of love turned into a damaging situation for the retailer, with serious implications for the customer.

Similarly, in the government sector, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shared that it had been hit by a massive data breach, exposing the information of more than 700,000 individuals during the height of the 2015 tax season. What was conceived as a value-add service to tax payers turned out to put them at risk for hacking instead.

From retail to public sector, the application economy has drastically changed the landscape of IT security. We all want information and convenience at our fingertips and expect that our passwords and sensitive data are protected by the brands and institutions that we trust. It is this trust that makes security a shared responsibility in every business, and something that needs to be entrenched into a company’s strategy from the beginning to ensure customer satisfaction and a frictionless experience all around.

Yet interestingly enough, despite its importance, a large majority of businesses are guilty of compromising on security to get apps to market more quickly (according to data from a 2016 Coleman Parkes Research report issued by CA Technologies). Cheating the corners on security in the app economy poses significant risk and vulnerabilities. Managing identities and access across apps, services and devices demands an entrenched approach to security in protecting identities and data than has been required previously.

Security can no longer be an afterthought, it needs to be baked into every aspect of application design, development and deployment. Modern paradigms like DevSecOps bring security into the development process sooner. This helps to ensure that security is built into your digital applications from the outset.

In today’s app economy, fast downloads, quick access, seamless experiences, and robust protection are at the top of a customer’s wish list, and they may take their business elsewhere if you fail to effectively protect them. When properly planned, integrated and executed, security can be a business enabler, providing the ability to deliver new services more quickly. By making security a habit in your software development lifecycle, it helps to ensure that this year’s Valentine’s Day online purchases are safe and secure and the only repercussion is a positive one.

 


Ayman is president and chief product officer at CA, responsible for the strategy and development…

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