Technologies and Tools for Ensuring Security and Data Compliance


Applying a multi-level security and data compliance paradigm in software development projects is the best option, which should involve diverse technologies and tools. These options allow the use of organisations to look for vulnerabilities, protect sensitive data, and be in compliance with the criteria of the industry standard and the regulation. In this section, we will explore five key technologies and tools that are essential for ensuring security and data compliance:

1. WAFs (Web Application Firewalls)

Web Application Firewall (WAF) is an indisputable player in securing applications as well as sustaining data compliance during software manufacturing. WAFs have the purpose of protecting web applications from numerous types of attacks for instance SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. WAFs perform intrusion detection by means of a precise screening and filtering of incoming traffic to the web applications and, therefore, they protect the code of the web applications from being exposed to malicious activity.

WAFs accomplish this by looking into the structure of incoming HTTP/HTTPS traffic and then making the comparison against a set of established rules or signatures. These rules will detect any access directed at known attack vectors and block them. WAFs can function as physical appliances, software solutions, or cloud-based services which are determined by the structure and dynamics of the organisation. Another crucial function of using centralised WAF is to protect web applications from existing vulnerabilities and known methods of attack. To make sure that rules kept in the WAF are up-to-date according to the newest threat intelligence, organisations will be able to remain a step ahead of emerging threats by evading the latest attack methods.

Advantages of WAFs as well include detailed reporting and logging capacities. Through the WAF logs analysis, the security team can deduce the nature of attacks, notice the trends between them and take necessary steps for risk reduction. To make a WAF productivity credible it is indispensable to set it in the right way and to keep it updated with the newest rules and signatures. Testing and monitoring on a regular basis are the use of WAF as well so that it can function according to the planned actions and provide the required level of protection.

2. Scanners and Testing Tools

Security scanners and vulnerability assessment tools are must-haves for spotting and eliminating vulnerability fatigue. These tools make use of the possibilities of searching sites and networks as well as systems of an organisation for discovered vulnerabilities and configurations, giving a detailed view of the security posture of the organisation. The range of security scanners and vulnerability assessment tools in the market today spans different types of tools with contrasting strengths and capabilities. Some common examples include.

  • Network vulnerability scanners: Such tools search for weaknesses in networks they look for unpatched systems or misconfigured ones and open ports.
  • Web application scanners: Here, the software scans web applications, seeking out vulnerabilities, like SQL injection, XSS, and CSRF.
  • Database scanners: These utilities do automated scanning of the databases for such threats, for example, weak passwords, and unpatched software against misconfigurations.
  • Compliance scanners: These tools are capable of running checks on the system and applications to meet safety and compliance standards in the industry such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and so on.

This can be achieved by relying on security scanners and vulnerability assessment tools that identify vulnerabilities before it is possible for hackers to exploit them. Through this, the tools can also assist in ensuring that organisations are keeping up with the regulations and standards by figuring out ways where the systems and applications could be failing to meet the security controls.

For effective security scanners and vulnerability assessment tools, they must be updated with the most current vulnerability definitions while they should be scheduled in a regular way the entire system and applications will be scanned every day. Further, processes should be created for the identification and determination of product vulnerabilities based on the severity as well as impact.

3. Encryption Protocols & Secure data and Storage Solutions

Encryption protocols and secure data storage solutions should be implemented as they will protect sensitive data and be a way of complying with the data protection law. Encryption means converting readable data into an incomprehensible form so that it can be protected from unlawful reading. A secure data storage system ensures that data is stored in a way that the data is not only accessible by authorised users and data breaches but also loss of data is reduced.

Today, there are many varieties of encryption protocols and safe data storage methods at users’ disposal with each having its unique abilities and capabilities. Some common examples include Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS refers to a cryptographic protocol that is used to secure communication over the network. Generally, SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) is applied to encrypt data that is sent from a web browser to a web server, for example, passwords and credit card information.

  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): SSL is a slightly older cryptographic protocol used to provide secure communication that is transparent when used on a network. Although SSL is still strongly in demand, TLS has taken its place in widespread use, thanks to its security weaknesses.
  • Disk encryption: Disk encryption is the point of using a key to encode the data of the hard drive or solid-state driver. It guarantees protection also of the data stored on a device even when the gadget is lost or stolen, being inaccessible for unauthorised use.
  • Database encryption: Database encryption means the practice of encrypting the data stored in the database. It ensures even in the case where an attacker bypasses the database, the data stays cryptographically protected.

Through the utilisation of traffic encryption and secure data storage mechanisms, companies can prevent the access of confidential information by unauthorised persons and maintain compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and HIPAA Rules.

These means help organisations to prevent privacy violations, data integrity and availability, which is necessary to build trust with customers and stakeholders. To make encryption protocols and secure data storage solutions effective, it is necessary to periodically update them with the mightiest security patches and to perform challenges frequently to find out more vulnerabilities. Moreover, agencies should be equipped with a mechanism for permit management of encryption keys and ensuring that they are kept away from prying eyes.

4. Compliance Management Software

The Compliance Management Software has made it possible for not only large companies to follow the industry standards and rules but also small and medium-sized businesses. These devices are used at the enterprise level to enable the management and monitoring of the stream of compliance issues like risk appraisal, policy management, and incident remediation. It is possible to find different types of compliance management software, from software with basic capabilities to comprehensive and sophisticated types.

Some common examples include Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) platforms:’ Provide a complete solution for the management of compliance activities across the organisation. They would likely have built-in protective features like risk assessment, policy management, and incident response.

Regulatory compliance software: Compliance software with regulatory function is intended to be used by companies for fulfilling the compliance process for information security condition codes or standards, like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR.

  • Policy management software: Policy management software, in turn, allows an organisation to create, distribute and maintain all policies concerned with compliance and cybersecurity.
  • Incident response software: Security incident response software enables organisations to operate and deal with incidents and cyber attacks, for example, data breaches.

Compliance management software allows organisations to control their compliance activities, shrink the risk of non-compliance and continue with one uniform approach concerning compliance. The compliance can, therefore, be demonstrated to the regulatory agencies and auditors, reducing the risk of imposing a fine or penalties due to these tools. To provide the software for compliance management with the desired level of effectiveness, we should constantly keep it up-to-date with the latest regulatory changes and regularly revise and update the current policies and procedures. Also, establishing a procedure for training the employees on compliance and reviews is needed. All staff should be fully aware of their roles and the responsibilities of each of them.

5. Secure Coding Platforms

Secure coding platforms are instruments that engineer code stability by formulating standards, testing, and automation. Platforms of this kind are created to help programmers detect and fix errors in code while in the process and therefore reduce the risks of security breaks and compliance issues. The secure coding platforms come along with the different types, however, each of these types has its own set of features and abilities. Some common examples include:

  • Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tooling: SAST tooling examines source code for the purpose of finding weaknesses and security issues. They could be included within the process of development as a tool with which developers could evaluate the beta versions of the product.
  • Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools: DAST tools crawl applications to detect and find security weaknesses and issues on sites and applications. They can be implemented to check the web apps, APIs, and mobile apps.
  • Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools: Detective tools like SCA perform code scanning that analyzes the components and libraries under the application to pinpoint any known vulnerabilities as well as license problems.
  • Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) tools: IAST mechanisms incorporate both SAST and DAST techniques to offer more wider detailing of the security situation of the application.

Through the application of coding platforms that have security built-in, organisations can shift their security left by incorporating them into the development processes thus minimising the difficulty and costs of finding and handling vulnerabilities at later stages. These tools can be also used to aid devs in writing more secure code through the provision of guiding principles and secure code advice.

On the other hand, maintaining a secure coding platform includes keeping it up to date with new vulnerability definitions and reviewing and updating coding standards as well as guidelines periodically. Moreover, companies will need to offer developers the training and assistance they need as well as ensure that the right tools are applied in an effective fashion, and secure coding practices are integrated into their daily routine.

GRC Tools for Compliance

GRC tools are essential for compliance in the digital world, and there are several top-performing tools available in the market that offer a range of solutions for risk management, compliance, and data management.

GRC tools for compliance focus on cyber security, stakeholder engagement, risk management, and creating a culture of compliance.

-The right software is crucial to ensuring companies can manage all the necessary processes and documentation they need for enhancing productivity.

-Full risk compliance and auditing systems give you a complete view of your company for agility and resilience purposes.

-OneTrust offers a comprehensive range of privacy risk compliance and governance solutions, ensuring efficient data management for businesses.

-Zen GRC helps companies move beyond the basics of check the box compliance, equipped with award-winning customer service and industry-leading GRC teams.

-Logicgate Risk Cloud offers hands-on assistance from GRC experts to help risk managers understand how issues and problems are connected on the business back end.

-Logic manager platform prepares companies for all kinds of future threats with state-of-the-art risk.

RSA Archer is a top performing solution for companies with no extending coding or database development required.

Azeez Bijin April 24, 2023