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Risk Management

3 Common Security Mistakes Developers Make in Their SDLC

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The systems development lifecycle (SDLC) is a process used by developers to create and deploy software applications. The SDLC provides a framework for security, quality assurance, and project management throughout the software development process. Security is of paramount importance in the SDLC, as developers must ensure that their applications are secure from attacks.

Quality assurance is also critical, as developers must ensure that their applications meet customers’ expectations. Project management is essential to the success of the SDLC, as it helps developers track their progress and ensure that they meet their deadlines. By following the SDLC, developers can create high-quality, secure software applications that meet customers’ expectations.

When it comes to developing software, the security of the final product should be a top priority. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Security is often an afterthought, which can lead to vulnerabilities and exploits. 

3 Most Common Security Mistakes That Developers Make When It Comes to Cybersecurity

When it comes to developing software, the security of the final product should be a top priority. Security should be integrated into every stage of the SDLC, from initial planning to post-deployment. Here are three common mistakes developers make when it comes to security in their SDLC.

1. Not Using Software Security Tools to Prevent Cyberattacks

The first common mistake many developers make is failing to use the proper software security tools to prevent cyberattacks. They often try to develop their own tools or use free ones that are ineffective. This can lead to vulnerabilities in the code, which hackers can exploit.

Using software security tools can help developers find and fix vulnerabilities in their code, making it more difficult for hackers to capitalize on them. These tools can also help automate the process of checking and fixing vulnerabilities in the code, saving time and resources.

Different software security tools have varying roles in the SDLC. Some help identify potential security risks, some write secure code, and others test code for vulnerabilities. In-app protection tools assist in securing the app post-development. It is crucial to prioritize security at every stage of the SDLC to ensure that risks are appropriately mitigated and that the final product is secure.

There are many different software security tools available that can help prevent attacks. These tools can help find and fix vulnerabilities in the code. They can also help monitor the system for suspicious activity and block attacks.

PreEmptive offers a variety of  in-app protection tools that can be used throughout the software development lifecycle to secure code, aid in app hardening. and mitigate vulnerabilities. PreEmptive tools are designed to work with a variety of programming languages and platforms, making them versatile for developers. Whether a developer is looking to protect mobile apps, web apps, or desktop apps,  PreEmptive tools can help them secure the code and prevent vulnerabilities from arising.

2. Failing to Use Source-Code Analysis Tools

The second mistake developers often make is failing to use source-code analysis tools. These tools can help identify vulnerabilities in the code and provide recommendations for fixing them. Many developers are not  aware of these tools or do not use them properly. This can lead to serious security issues that could otherwise be avoided.

Source-code analysis tools can be used to find a variety of issues, including buffer overflows, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting. They can also help find vulnerabilities in third-party libraries. By using these tools, developers can find and fix vulnerabilities before hackers exploit them.

Source-code analysis aims to improve the security of an application by identifying potential vulnerabilities during the development process. Security issues can often be found in the code itself, so it makes sense to look for them early on.

Source-code analysis can be used at different stages of the SDLC. For example, it can be used to identify potential security risks during the requirements-gathering phase. During the design phase, it can also be used to ensure that security is built into the system, and it can be used during the testing phase to find any vulnerabilities that may have been introduced during development.

Once the source code is analyzed, the findings can be used to improve the security of the application. For example, if a potential vulnerability is found, the code can be fixed to prevent it from being exploited. Alternatively, if a security issue is found in a third-party library, the application can be redesigned to avoid using that library. The application can then be submitted to the  in-app software protection tools offered by PreEmptive for app hardening.

3. Not Doing Security Testing in All Phases of the SDLC

The third mistake that many developers make is not doing security testing in all phases of the SDLC. Security testing should be done throughout the entire process, from initial planning to post-deployment.  Security testing can help find and fix vulnerabilities in the code. It can also help ensure that the application is configured correctly and meets all security requirements.

Security testing can be done manually or with automated tools. Automated tools can help speed up the process and find more issues than manual testing. Security testing should be done regularly, even after the application has been deployed.

In most cases, security testing is treated as an afterthought, to be done right before the app goes live. Security testing in the earlier stages of development can help find and fix issues before they become a problem. Security testing should be done throughout the entire SDLC to ensure that the application is secure.


Conclusion

Cybersecurity threats are increasing in number and sophistication every day. Developers who want to stay ahead of the curve need to use the latest software security tools to prevent cyberattacks. While developers can make many potential mistakes in their SDLC, we’ve highlighted the three most common ones. Implementing security within the SDLC is critical to protecting applications from cyberattacks and data breaches.

PreEmptive offers high-quality, highly flexible, smart application protection, including app hardening, to a wide variety of industries, protecting and securing applications for a broad range of platforms, including .NET, Java/Android, JavaScript, and iOS.  Take a look at PreEmptive’s solutions today and see how they can help improve the application security posture.


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Risk Management

PCI DSS 4.0 Regulation Framework Requirements

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Payment card industry (PCI) compliance is vital to the security and success of any business that takes credit card payments from customers. Failure to comply results in considerable losses of money and customer trust. 

To achieve compliance, businesses must meet a set of data security standards (DSS), a framework that outlines the steps necessary to protect customers’ data. PCI DSS applies to all organizations that collect, store, and transmit credit card information. 

Maintaining full compliance was recently complicated by the fact that PCI DSS was updated, with version 4.0 issued on March 31, 2022. It is the first significant overhaul of the system since 2014 and will remain in place until 2024, so understanding the requirements is urgent. 

Requirements for PCI DSS Compliance

PCI DSS is founded on 12 requirements that merchants must meet in order to be considered compliant. 

  • Installation and maintenance of network security controls 
  • Application of secure configurations to all system components
  • Protection of stored account data
  • Use of strong cryptography to transmit cardholder data over public networks 
  • Protection of systems and networks from malicious software
  • Development and maintenance of secure systems and applications
  • Restricted access to cardholder data 
  • Identification and authentication of users to access system components
  • Restricted physical access to cardholder data
  • Monitoring and logs of all access to network resources and cardholder data
  • Regular testing of security systems and processes
  • Establishment and maintenance of a policy to address information security

While these requirements may seem overwhelming, getting started is at least fairly straightforward. First, businesses must determine their PCI DSS merchant level. The level depends on the number of annual Visa transactions. For example, a merchant that processes over six million transactions is a level one merchant while a business that only processes one million is a level four. It is also possible for a merchant’s level to be elevated after a security breach. 

After determining the appropriate level, merchants need to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire from the PCI Security Standards Council website. This will help determine how well a company is complying with the regulations. 

At this point, businesses should build secure networks based on the questionnaire answers. Finally, they complete an attestation of compliance (AOC) to verify that they have met the necessary standards. 

Changes to PCI DSS 4.0

As a whole, the goal of the updates for version 4.0 of PCI DSS was to make the standards more flexible and accommodate different data and payment security strategies. The changes also help to stay on top of new threats and changes in technology. 

For example, the standards no longer refer exclusively to firewalls and routers. Instead, they reference network security controls to acknowledge the use of security measures outside of firewalls. 

Additionally, the PCI DSS scope is broader and now includes service providers who might impact the cardholder data environment (CDE), even if they are not directly processing the data. Likewise, rather than focusing on specific technologies, the scope for PCI DSS now includes any and all systems that have the potential to affect account data.

One other important shift to note is that encryption is not enough to ensure a business or any of its systems is compliant. The scope of compliance might be more limited if the system or entity is unable to decrypt data and doesn’t perform any encryption activities, but there is no total exemption from the standards on this basis.

Consequences for Failed Compliance 

Although PCI DSS compliance might seem burdensome and expensive, the consequences for failed compliance are severe. In addition to lawsuits and losses in profits, businesses with PCI DSS violations face significant fines ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 per month. These fines are passed down the line from card brands to payment processors, generally landing in the laps of the merchants. 

On top of the financial costs are losses to reputation, canceled partnerships with banks and other businesses, and suspension from processing transactions. Security failures and breaches in the past have shown just how serious the impact can be.

Target

One of the best-known examples of an enormous data failure is Target. In 2013, Target lost data for 40 million credit card numbers. Investigators found that, although the company had an excellent tool for malware detection, critical warnings were ignored for a number of weeks. 

As a result of their failure to comply, Target had to face one of the most tangible consequences: enormous financial losses. This came in the form of $18.5 million in settlements for affected customers in the United States and more than $202 million in legal fees. 

Because of its size, Target survived its data breach, but the financial security of small businesses is reliant on avoiding these kinds of events. The cost of implementing the necessary security measures pales in comparison to the potential losses of failed compliance. 

Warner Music Group 

A lesser-known but more recent example is Warner Music Group, which was unknowingly under siege for three months in 2020. From April to August, attackers gained access to the data of customers. 

The affected data included names, email addresses, billing addresses, credit card numbers, and CVC and CVV codes. As a result, Warner sent a notification to all customers stating that their personal information might have been captured in the breach. 

One of the immediate financial impacts on Warner was the cost of their offer of 12 months of free identity monitoring. However, the damage is unlikely to stop there. Ongoing class-action lawsuits have not yet been settled, and one of the major points of contention from the claimants is that the company failed to notice that its data was being attacked for such a long period of time. 


Supporting Security and Compliance

PCI DSS compliance is critical for businesses and the results of failed compliance are long-lasting and costly. One of the requirements for compliance is using outside sources to assess vulnerabilities in app security. 

Businesses can ensure that they meet this requirement by including payment app security from the outset. Automated security controls from PreEmptive can identify threats and help merchants meet these and other evolving regulations. 

PreEmptive is a leader in app hardening and shielding that defends against attacks on multiple platforms. This helps assure compliance and keeps private customer data out of the hands of malicious hackers.

The past has shown that application security is a worthwhile investment. PreEmptive’s products offer app hardening solutions for any merchant or business in need of the strongest and most reliable security.    


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Risk Management

5 Ways PreEmptive Boosts Productivity in Your SDLC With DevSecOps

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Devsecops is quickly becoming instrumental for businesses that want to boost productivity. According to the 2021 GitLabs DevSecOps report, teams that use a devsecops approach to generating their code got their work out the door 60% faster than those that didn’t. That’s a massive improvement in efficiency and productivity.

You can reap the same rewards by taking a devsecops approach early in your systems development lifecycle (SDLC). Keep reading to learn the five most important ways that early devsecops implementation can streamline your SDLC and what it means to take a devsecops approach.

What Is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps

The term devsecops is short for “development, security, operations.” It’s the next evolution of the “devops” culture and approach to development. In DevOps, the development and operations teams work together closely to ensure that the program is designed from the ground up to meet functionality goals and deadlines. 

Devsecops goes one step further by rolling the security team into the development process. Instead of having a DevOps group and a Security group, everyone on the project is responsible for ensuring it’s secure. This helps prevent fundamental security flaws from being baked into the final product and reduces the risk of costly security fixes after development is complete. 

Building a devsecops culture within your business helps you accomplish this by providing five main benefits. When your team is dedicated to pursuing devsecops goals throughout the SDLC, you can:

1. Improve Communication

The traditional approach to application development involves siloed teams. Each part of the development process is handled by separate groups. These groups don’t typically work together and only communicate about the project when it’s moved from one team to the next. As a result, communication delays are common, and miscommunications can cause problems that take weeks to resolve. 

Taking a devsecops approach can resolve this issue entirely. Instead of having siloed teams working separately, everyone is working on it at the same time. The group can easily communicate and bring up potential problems in advance, saving time and effort in the long run. 

You can further improve communication about security concerns by implementing security solutions in your application from the very beginning. PreEmptive makes it easy for everyone on your team to ensure the app is secure, including non-specialists. Everyone can communicate in the same language and avoid delays since they’re all working with the same tools.

2. Implement Early Testing

Devsecops allows you to start performing critical tests early before it becomes cost-prohibitive to make essential changes. There’s no need to wait until the project is nearing completion to send it to the security team. Since everyone is responsible for security, and protective features and architecture should be included from the very start, it’s possible to start security testing significantly earlier in your SDLC. 

Working with a tool like PreEmptive makes early testing easier to accomplish. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or worry about whether your tests will miss something. You can simply verify that the PreEmptive hardening features are working as intended. 

This early testing can significantly improve your team’s productivity. You can catch potential flaws and risks right away when they can be fixed in hours or days. The result is less time wasted on preventable fixes and more time spent on features that matter.

3. Incorporate Security Into Metric Monitoring

Many teams monitor productivity metrics to determine how well they’re performing. When you’ve built a devsecops security culture, you can include your security teams in your monitoring process to understand how your project is going. 

This holistic overview helps you spot places where you’re inefficient. You can quickly address delays or redundant processes and refine your SDLC to reach peak performance. 

4. Integrate Shared Knowledge

Another benefit of devsecops culture is the way it encourages sharing knowledge. A well-structured devsecops approach means that everyone does a little of everything. Having team members share their knowledge ensures that the loss of one person won’t derail an entire project. Someone else will have a basic understanding of what needs to be done to keep things moving. 

Furthermore, this team culture can benefit your project as a whole. Collaboration between groups with different skill sets leads to more robust, secure projects, particularly when they have high-quality tools to work with. Providing shared security tools like PreEmptive reinforces this knowledge transfer and collaboration, making your final product even better. 

5. Institute Automation

A quality devsecops team will prioritize the use of automation. When your development and security teams are one and the same, it’s easy to build high-quality security automation from the beginning of your SDLC. This can make all the difference down the road. 

Security automation includes attributes like:

  • Obfuscation: Protecting sensitive information and code through renaming, encryption, and minification.
  • Tamper detection: Identifying and shutting down outside attempts to adjust your application without permission.
  • Control-flow: Ensuring that outside forces can’t affect the commands issued within your application.

The sooner these features are built into an application, the less likely it is to contain major security flaws. Devsecops ensures that you can bake in automated security protection while your app is still in early development.

PreEmptive makes it easy to automate your app’s security from the moment your team begins work. It’s as easy as adding your chosen solution to your app, with no need to send your sensitive or protected code to a third party at any point. You get the benefits of automated security and regular updates while keeping your code in-house.


Make DevSecOps Easier With PreEmptive

It’s never too early to start thinking about application protection and security. Devsecops is the best way to make sure your app is secure from the moment you begin development. 

If you want to make devsecops a fundamental part of your SDLC, PreEmptive makes it simple. By adding a PreEmptive security solution like DashO, JSDefender, or Dotfuscator to your app, you ensure that security is baked into your design. Learn more about how PreEmptive can help you accomplish your security goals, or start your free trial today. 


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Risk Management

Common Mistakes Developers Do When Building Apps

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With the rapid rate at which new apps are popping up, it goes without saying that app development is becoming increasingly popular. Over 143 billion apps were downloaded in 2021 alone. However, not all apps garner the success their developers may have initially hoped to achieve. Many end up getting uninstalled after their first use.

The competitive market is partly to blame for this. But mistakes that occur during the application development process are to blame as well. Here, we’ll go over eight of the most common mistakes developers make so that you can avoid them and position your app for success. 

1. Skipping Over Research

After coming up with or hearing an idea for an app, many developers want to dive right into bringing the vision to life. However, rushing in without research can lead to numerous issues and wasted money. 

Successfully developing and marketing an app relies on user research. Is there a need for the app? If so, who is the target audience — what are their demographics? And what are their typical behaviors and motivations?

Competitor research is also critical. If they’re also developing an app — or if they already have one — then keeping tabs on what they’re up to will help you create something unique and appealing. 

2. Striving to Create a “Perfect” App

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to create a great app that users will love. In fact, that’s usually the point. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” app, though. Trying to create something that’s free of all flaws could lead to a never-ending development cycle. Ultimately, you may never launch it. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to develop an app that continues to improve over time. One way to do this is by creating a minimum viable product or MVP. An MVP is a version of an app that only includes the essential features it needs to work. You can then release it to early adopters who can assess its functionality and performance. Their feedback allows you to create a better final product, avoid time and budget waste, and may even speed up the time to launch. 

3. Failure to Test Properly

Testing is a critical component of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). It ensures a smooth, pleasant user experience and helps developers squash “bugs” before launch. The problem is that several challenges still exist

There are several strategies for dealing with common testing challenges. Here are a few that may help:

  • Develop a solid testing process that includes how often you’ll test an app and who will do it. 
  • Consider using in-house and outsourced testing experts. 
  • Make sure you have all of the proper tools to run tests.
  • Make sure there’s ample time to devote to testing (schedule it if you have to). 

4. Creating a Poor User Experience

It’s not uncommon for developers to get so entrenched in the development process that they forget about how users will interact with an app. Unfortunately, that mistake can be costly. A poor user experience is one of the top reasons people uninstall apps. 

Several issues can impact an app’s user experience, including:

  • Slow loading speeds
  • Difficult to navigate (it takes too many clicks for users to find what they need)
  • Unnecessary log-in pages
  • Intrusive ads
  • Low-quality content
  • Boring design

An essential consideration for a good user experience? The user! Put yourself in their shoes when assessing the overall experience. The feedback you get from your MVP version can come in handy, too.  

5. Trying to Squeeze Too Many Features and Functions Into the App

Unique features and functions that serve a purpose for app users are great. Trying to squeeze in too many, however, can be detrimental. 

For one thing, the more features you add, the more expensive the project becomes. Excessive features can bog the app down, hindering its performance and ruining the user experience. The app can also become too large and require too much space on users’ phones.

When determining what features to add to an app, consider if they’re necessary first. Leave out the ones that don’t offer any value. If you start hearing a call for specific features from users, you can add and optimize them later. 

6. Building for Every Possible Platform

You might feel tempted to develop your app for every possible platform right out of the gate. After all, it’s a surefire way to attract more users.

But trying to tackle multiple platforms from the start could quickly destroy your budget. It can also be incredibly time-consuming. Instead, consider starting with one platform — basing your decision on market research — and expanding to others after your initial launch. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t develop an app for more than one platform to start. Make sure that you have a cross-platform strategy, though. For instance, you could use a single source code on a cross-platform app development tool to deploy on Android and iOS devices. 

7. Ignoring Feedback 

Feedback has come up a couple of times already. Listening to what your app users have to say is critical for building an app that they want to use. It’s about more than just listening, though. It’s also about using that feedback to improve your app with each update. Along with eliminating pain points for your users, using customer input lets them know you care. That’s one of the best ways to earn their loyalty. 

What happens if you don’t listen? User satisfaction decreases, and people start uninstalling your app in favor of something else.

8. Neglecting the Importance of Security

A recent survey found that 86% of developers don’t view security as a top priority when writing code. Half of the respondents also said they wouldn’t be able to guarantee their code to be safe from common vulnerabilities. 

Hackers don’t only attack websites. Some can reverse engineer mobile apps to inspect them while they work or capture communications between an app and server. They can also use code-based attacks to steal data, get around security checks, or compromise your app’s integrity. 

Prioritizing security is a must. One way to do this is with comprehensive mobile app protection with PreEmptive. Applying a layered approach, PreEmptive Protection uses obfuscation, encryption, tamper-proofing, and more to make your apps more difficult for potential hackers to exploit. It integrates seamlessly into your build process and requires no code changes. Best of all, it goes wherever your apps go. 


Avoid Common Mistakes for Better Apps People Love to Use

App development can be a time-intensive and sometimes frustrating process. Even the best developers make mistakes from time to time. Understanding the most common ones can help you avoid them or manage them more effectively if they do happen. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your apps more secure, PreEmptive is here to help. Visit our products page for more information about our app protection, or check out our resources to see what else we can do for you!


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Risk Management

Reasons to Invest in DevSecOps

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As you know by now, devsecops are commonly talked about by experts across the board, now more than ever as new companies, freelancers and other entities merge into the tech space and increase their reliance on IOT solutions. With all the cyber attacks that have been increasing every 6 months, development security operations have pivoted in the forefront of company investments. That is why it is crucial to not skip out or budget in security measures for your fiscal year. But why should you invest in the first place?

#3: Automation Speeds up Development Process

Working on a large project can be gruesome, but not having it secured is like leaving your wallet on the table to be snatched up. We understand that time is a key factor in the development process, so it should be a no-brainer for companies or developers to seek out a devsecop tool that works in their favor without jeopardizing function. But how can this be achieved? Automation of course! Shift your security to automated testing speeds up your development process providing quicker response time to help pinpoint and solve problems. Just like DevTools, DevSecOps are very similar. They both need automation and by shifting security measures to this, ensures best practices with your IT team.

 #2: Replaces the one-off Security Assessments

Usually security is probably at the last stages of your development cycle and while other companies only look at this quarterly, which only sets you up for a breach. DevSecOps changes this dynamic by securing your projects from the start. It replaces that one-time snapshot of your code by consistently looking at it. And since Devops is driven by code, your security should follow suit, security can easily be integrated in your CI/CD pipeline. Shifting your best practices by investing in DevSecOps takes your team from examining problems at the end to testing each week. If you know where the weak spots are then you easily fix and repeat this process throughout only making your project rock solid!

#1: Breaking Down Organizational Silos

Silos should be a thing of the past, but can still be found in today’s organizations. There should be no reason that security measures be isolated to only one department, because as you may know, each department is used to handling situations in their own way due to urgent matters. The common corporate “red tape” is consistently boroughed through, so in order for DevSecOps to truly work, everyone and every department need to be following the same measures. Development teams should align and agree on what type of measurements to use or have a set of objects implemented throughout, and not only isolated in one department. By having everyone on the same page your security will be one force to be reckoned with and you won’t have to worry about becoming another victim of cyber crime. 


We encourage everyone to read our case studies to find out how other companies found success with PreEmptive in their DevSecOps. PreEmptive has been blazing the trail in devsecops division for quite some time. Not only do we have a long company history, but our products are used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide. We hope this blog has helped you solidify the decision to invest in your DevSecOps process, but if you’re not sold try us with a FREE Trial!


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Risk Management

The Risks Of Not Using In-App Protection

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Businesses of all types rely on applications, in fact they have become the central way the majority of us live our lives. From online banking, to filing your taxes on your phone or attending a virtual doctor’s appointment. Every element of our lives is navigated by a mobile or desktop application

It’s not just users, companies are also reliant on applications. Using them to manage central operations, production, fulfillment and marketing. Organizations use applications in a myriad of fashions, by the same token every application adds further risk. 

Businesses are shifting online to meet emerging needs but are also being faced by an emerging risk landscape with expanding risk across the Internet of Things. Application protection as such is an essential component to protect every element of your organization. IP Theft, application attacks or data leakage can all have material impacts on the organization, reputation and adherence to regulations. The impact of failures in this regard can be expensive. In 2018 it was estimated that IP targeted cyber crime accounted for $50 to $60 Billion of global losses. The payment industry has established fines of up to $500K per incident for security breaches according to UCSC failure to comply for companies is clearly expensive. 

With that noted, it is important to examine the tacit consequences and long term impacts of not using in app protection:

Risk of Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized Access is a critical risk for the majority of industries that handle private information, specifically personally identifiable information. If a person who is not allowed to make use of your application starts making use of it then there are more chances that the individual will commit fraud. It is hard to predict the behavior or intentions of anyone but it is essential to take every proactive step to avoid unauthorized access. 

Vulnerabilities like Broken Authentication expose your applications to hackers gaining access and then committing fraud. Session management or credential management issues can easily enable hackers to gain access and commit fraud against your application. The worst part… these attacks often go unnoticed without in app protection or runtime checks. As we know the cost of breaches only goes up over time: A breach identified in 100 days costs approximately $5.99 Million, while a breach that takes longer can cost upwards of $8.7 Million. 

Hackers can also use access to your application to expose sensitive datam putting end users at risk of losing their personal data or facing the downstream risks of identity theft, data leaking and doxing. All of which present a tangible threat and will likely result in financial obligations for the organization, due to negligence and failure to protect their customers. It can also be as simple as privilege escalation, a user enabling additional privileges allowing them to control aspects of the application that should not be externally leveraged. A recent example is the 2017 Accenture attack.

Risk Of Fines & Financial loss

There is a reason that the top software companies like 1Password, Google & Adobe pay over $100,000 for researchers that identify vulnerabilities within their toolsets. The bug bounty is in fact a rapidly growing industry and entire organizations exist around identifying these vulnerabilities. A recent research report from IBM identified that finance security professionals detect just 56% of incoming attacks, managing 53% of these attacks and only preventing 31% of attacks completely. Organizations don’t have a comprehensive ability to mitigate risk, even if you are using SAST / DAST / IAST and penetration testing risks can still slip through the gaps. 

The average cost of vulnerabilities for all industries is approximately $13 Million. This combines the cost of paying for fines corresponding to regulation violations, the cost of remediating the risky vulnerabilities, the expense to prevent data from being leaked and the potential cost of IP being leaked. Then let’s lay on the cost of reputation damage, Security Magazine reports that 80% of customers will not continue to leverage a bank’s services if their information is compromised… this is probably justified. Organizations are equally skeptical of services following attacks and they will follow the example of customers.  But, reputation isn’t singular, organizations can also face the impact of loss of goodwill. It will impact your brand image and can prevent customers from even acknowledging the validity of your organization.

Risk of IP Loss

Intellectual property loss is likely the most pernicious risk of not using In App protection. It is often the case that applications include some form of intellectual property which could encourage competitors to copy, steal or leverage in their own applications. 

Reverse engineering is a significant issue for organizations, by enabling capabilities on the client side, users and hackers can gain access to and expose more functionality through the server siege of the application. Not obfuscating code enables these users to easily interpret the intended functionality of the application and identify how to replicate this operability. One recent example is American Superconductor, a U.S based provider of clean energy solutions. In 2011 their largest customer Sinovel ignored their contract and refused to pay millions of dollars owed. The company then obtained the source code for all of the electronic components and were able to install a pirated version into their wind turbines. The violation of the IP rights and loss of revenue can incur as much as $200 Million a year in losses. Without possibility for legal resources or ability to prevent continued leverage. 

IP trade theft costs organizations as much as 3% of Annual U.S. GDP.

But, what can be done to prevent these risks? 

Obfuscation, PreEmptive provides a layered approach that clings to the deployed application and helps to ensure any unidentified vulnerabilities that are hidden. Reducing the likelihood of hackers identifying and leveraging them. Obfuscation also protects your IP concealing the framework and structure of your application from corporate spying and ensuring your competitors can’t repurpose your sweat equity.

For more information about in-app security, visit our products page and start protecting your apps today!


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Risk Management

How to Avoid Breaches

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Did you know that your company’s finances, reputation and intellectual property is at stake when you’re not protected even during the development phase? Desktop (client) applications perform many critical business functions and when not protected, they are susceptible to piracy, tampering, vulnerability probing, data, and IP breaches. 

We cannot stress enough on the importance of investing in desktop application protection. Research shows that the average application received over 13,000 attacks monthly even after deployment! The same goes for app development, all of those endless nights of debugging, troubleshooting can be hacked within seconds and your sweat equity is sold to the highest bidder. Hackers have no remorse and can readily run a few lines of code to probe or gain access to your project(s). While these criminal activities are not news, cyber hacking has evolved and will continue to do so as DevSecOps also progresses. 

In order to get ahead, you must know the facts about a hacker’s business model, industry risks and the proactive measures in order to prevent breaches.

What is the Hacker’s Business Model?

If you guessed “money” as the ultimate goal of the hackers business model – then you’re right! What else would be the motivation?

In terms of “increasing revenue,” data is equivalent to currency, the more data they obtain, the more money they can get, but this is a small portion of a much larger scheme. One large attack won’t suffice, they tend to automate their tactics or use additional help. For example, a master hacker can create a clever downloadable kit for other hackers to use on a specific site, these are called “proxy” hackers, which technically multiplies the solo hacker’s work. But let’s not underestimate the master hacker, these clever kits have barriers – they allow and grant access to a single proxy hacker to store data on a database in the cloud, all while having adjacent blocking mechanisms to other proxy hackers. Even those proxy hackers cannot see each other’s data, the master hacker has the ultimate backdoor key to the cloud database. 

Time is money, and in the world of hacking “cutting cost” is essential. Let’s not be naive, there are kits for just about every kind of attack. Instead of inventing the wheel or doubling up on the work, hackers will use what others have already built. Another cost-cutting example is to utilize proxy servers. This allows attackers to temporarily store the data that is being retrieved. Last but not least, hackers love to use Remote Desktop Services (RDP) sessions or isolate a central processing unit (CPU) to maximize their attack. 

To stay on top of your security game, the best thing to do is educate yourself and your team about the behavior of hackers. Study their business model, understanding this will allow your IT department to focus their controls on the problem, rather than on the symptom. Educate your teams on how they attack. If you understand their methods, you can be proactive, applying security throughout the SDLC to give your team the power to prevent risk.

Knowing Industry Risks

Each industry has specific risks. For example; software vendors, financial service providers, telecommunications companies, industrial manufacturers and other businesses rely on applications to generate revenue, assure business continuity and contain unique intellectual property. Businesses of all types have risks associated with their divisions and recognizing all of them is a full time job. But, we can’t all afford to hire security researchers, proactive approaches are based on recognizing the key challenges and building security around them. 

If your company’s security systems aren’t up to par, then the risks of a breach are far greater, not discovering a breach costs you money, for every week a risk is in a deployed app your customer data is accessible, IP available and runtime performance at risk. 

The average annualized cost for cybercrime in the financial services industry is approximately $20 Million with the average for all industries being $13 Million. Each year technology changes and with that so do unforeseen challenges, for instance, prior to pandemic industry risks were far less than they are today with remote working. Now that sensitive data can be accessed anywhere at any given time, attacks have tripled in the past three years thus shifting each industry’s security standards. If you know your industry’s risk, you know what to look out for.

Investing in In-App Security

Allocations for security tools are crucial for all types of business when developing for their fiscal budget. According to Cisco, 50% of large enterprises (with over 10,000 employees) are spending $1 million or more annually on security, with 43% spending $250,000 to $999,999, and just 7% spending under $250,000. Larger corporations have the budgets, but it is the smaller businesses that tend to overlook or not invest in security. By not investing in any type of cyber security, this exposes each business to the core. Reputation, loss of finance and sensitive data are just a few examples of what a company will face during a breach. It is better to be safe than sorry.


PreEmptive layered approach using obfuscation, encryption, shielding, and tamper proofing, makes it very difficult for a hacker to read your source code. Our products require no changes to your source code, easily integrate with your build process, and provide passive and active protection customized to your business’ needs. For more information on how to get started, download our free trial or need further help, we encourage you to use our resources, found in our navigation bar.


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Risk Management

Apache Log4j, should you be concerned?

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A vulnerability in a widely used Apache library has caused developers to launch into a furor over the past week, but what impact does it have on your organization?  

In a recent media appearance Jen Easterly (Director of America’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ” noted that the vulnerability was “One of the most serious that i have seen in my entire career” and that federal officials fully expect the vulnerability to be widely exploited by sophisticated mal actors. It is assumed that the bug will have a broad impact affecting hundreds of millions of devices across the globe.

For PreEmptive users there is little to be concerned about, our tools are verified as being protected against this vulnerability. However, you might be impacted elsewhere in your development organization. Here is what you need to know about Log4J: The affected program, Apache’s log4j, is a free and open-source logging library that a wide array of companies use. Logging libraries are implemented by engineers to record how programs run; they allow for code auditing and are a routine mechanism to investigate bugs and other functionality issues. Since log4j is free and widely trusted, companies large and small have been employing it for a multitude of tasks. So the risk is pernicious and widespread.

The vulnerability when exploited can result in shell access to a server’s system. This provides considerable risk and it is essential for teams to consider the severity of this vulnerability. Formally designated as CVE-2021-4428 the vulnerability carries a severity rating of 10/10 making it a highly risky bug. This issue is a zero-day remote code execution vulnerability which means that it allows attackers to download and run scripts on targeted servers, leaving them open to remote control. It is also relatively simple to exploit, hackers do not have to use complex tools to cause significant issues.

Are you impacted?

Apache Log4j is a ubiquitous tool, most of the largest platforms across the internet are tied up with this vulnerability, and there are an array of lists that show just how widespread this impact might be. However, at this point it is difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of the direct impact, but it includes popular websites: Apple, Twitter, Amazon, Linkedin, CloudFlare and more. These organizations are rapidly working on releasing patches to protect their users against vulnerabilities but the discovery of the vulnerability was simultaneous for security teams and hackers, so exploitation attempts are already under way and increasing exponentially. Since December 11th there have already been over 800,000 attacks leveraging this exploit and it is only likely to get worse. Since the vulnerabile systems are critical assets such as servers, it is likely that the threat level will continue to be severe for the short term and it is essential that organizations take every step possible to mitigate risk.

Ready to add another layer of security to your applications try PreEmptive: Free Trial

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Risk Management

Top 3 Cyber Attack Vectors During the Pandemic

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Cyber-attacks have increased in quantity and sophistication in 2020, but we may not have heard about them in the news. Covid-19 updates have dominated headlines, and our physical health and safety has taken the spotlight over our technology’s health and safety. While news of vaccines and outbreak hotspots will continue to be the most important “news of the day” – it is important to be aware of security breaches that threaten the safety of our data and privacy.

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Risk Management

Protecting Utilities and Infrastructure with PreEmptive’s .NET Solution, Dotfuscator

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Protecting Industrial Internet Applications

Bayshore Network Case Study

Today’s utilities, factories and other infrastructure are exposed to high risk. The software that controls many of these entities is not protected. In the last 20 years, the way industrial environments operate has completely changed. Many industrial systems were designed with permissive set-ups that assume only the “right people” in the “right place” would ever give instructions. Past systems were not built with exposure to the internet in mind, and as a result they relied on this “air gap” to limit access to onlyauthorized personnel within the organization.