Why You Need to Understand “Secure by Design” Cybersecurity Practices

Why You Need to Understand Secure by Design Cybersecurity Practices

Secure by Design (SBD) is an approach focused on integrating security into the design and development of systems, applications, and devices. The frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to increase. In 2022, IoT malware attacks saw a sobering 87% increase. Attack volume is also ramping up due to the use of AI. It’s essential to shift from a reactive to a proactive cybersecurity approach, with one such approach being Secure by Design.

International partners have taken steps to address commonly exploited vulnerabilities. A recent advisory highlights Secure by Design principles. This collaborative effort underscores the global nature of the cybersecurity threat landscape. As well as the need for coordinated action to protect critical infrastructure.

Today’s Modern Cyberthreats

Cybersecurity threats have evolved significantly over the last few years, especially with the rise of AI tools. Gone are the days when just installing an antivirus could protect your computer. Today, cybercriminals use highly sophisticated tactics. The potential impact of an attack goes far beyond the inconvenience of a virus or slowdown of your computer. Most businesses today now face the need for cyber insurance, reporting of data breaches and data loss incidents, among other hurdles.

Modern cyber threats now encompass a wide range of methods and attack types, including:

  1. Ransomware: Malware that encrypts your data and demands a ransom for decryption. One of the costliest attacks for businesses.
  2. Phishing: Deceptive emails or messages that trick you into revealing sensitive information. Eighty-three percent of companies experience a phishing attack each year.
  3. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Long-term cyberattacks aimed at stealing sensitive data.
  4. Zero-Day Exploits: Attacks that target vulnerabilities not yet known to software developers.
  5. IoT Vulnerabilities: Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to compromise networks.

These evolving threats underscore the need for a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Instead of reacting to attacks after they occur, you want to prevent them from happening.

What Is Secure by Design?

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Secure by Design is a modern cybersecurity approach that integrates security measures into the very foundation of a system, application, or device. This means considering security as a fundamental aspect of the development process, rather than adding it as an afterthought. Secure by Design is becoming increasingly important as cyberattacks become more sophisticated and frequent. By taking a proactive approach to security, organizations can reduce their risk of being compromised and save themselves time and money in the long run.

here are a number of different SBD principles and practices that organizations can follow. Some of the most common include:

  • Threat modeling: Threat modeling is the process of identifying and analyzing potential threats or vulnerabilities to a system. This information can then be used to design security controls that will mitigate those threats.
  • Risk assessment: Risk assessment is the process of evaluating the likelihood and impact of potential threats. This information can be used to prioritize security efforts and allocate resources.
  • Standardized Security Standards: Maintain consistency and follow a documented process when applying security standards by following a framework. Such as CIS Critical Security Controls, HIPAA, or GDPR.
  • Secure coding: Secure coding is the practice of writing code that is free from vulnerabilities. This includes using secure coding practices and avoiding common coding mistakes. While this may seem impossible, regular code reviews and staying up to date with security vulnerabilities and common programming issues is a good start to this.
  • Security testing: Security testing is the process of testing a system for vulnerabilities. This can be done manually or with automated tools. Penetration testing and regular security audits will help with this.
  • Vulnerability management: Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, prioritizing, and remediating vulnerabilities in a system. This is an ongoing process that should be done on a regular basis. Ensuring that security measures are continuously updated to address new threats.
  • User Education: Educating users about security best practices and potential risks. This can be done by regular security awareness trainings, communication bulletins, or phishing simulations to educate and train employees.

Here are some examples of some of the largest tech companies and how SBD is being used in practice:

  • Google: Google uses Secure by Design to develop its software products, such as Chrome and Gmail. The company has a team of security experts who work with developers to identify and mitigate security risks.
  • Microsoft: With Secure by Design practices, Microsoft is able to better develop its software products, such as Windows and Office. The company has a number of security programs, including the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), which helps to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in Microsoft products.
  • Amazon: Amazon uses SBD to develop its cloud computing platform, AWS. The company has a number of security features built into AWS, such as encryption and access controls.

Do you have confidence in your cybersecurity tech stack?

Are you certain your tech stack is protecting your employees and endpoints? Dark Blue Technologies combines security solutions from leading cybersecurity partners to provide organizations with best-in-class coverage for all attack surfaces. We provide businesses with cutting-edge XDR, cybersecurity awareness training, hardware and cloud optimizations, and more. Get in touch with us to find out if we can help improve your business security.

Why Secure-by-Design Matters

This proactive strategy aims to create inherently secure and resilient systems that are less susceptible to cyberattacks. Understanding and implementing Secure by Design practices is crucial for several reasons. By having security practices at the core of business operations, they can take advantage of numerous benefits, including reduced costs, improved customer trust, enhanced innovation, and a better competitive advantage.

Reduced Risk of Attacks

Secure by Design practices significantly lowers the likelihood of cyberattacks by addressing potential vulnerabilities and security flaws early in the development process. This proactive approach makes it more difficult for attackers to find and exploit weaknesses, minimizing the risk of data breaches and other cybersecurity incidents.

Cost Savings and Regulatory Compliance

Implementing SBD can save businesses money in the long run by preventing the costly remediation and recovery efforts that follow cyberattacks. Data breaches can incur significant expenses, including data loss, reputational damage, legal fees, and customer attrition. SBD helps to avoid these costs by minimizing the occurrence of breaches in the first place.

Most industries are subject to strict regulatory requirements for cybersecurity and data protection, such as GDPR and HIPAA. Secure by Design practices can help you meet these standards more effectively. It reduces the risk of unknowns that end up costing you in fines and penalties.

Reputation Management

A security breach can severely damage your organization’s reputation. Customers are increasingly concerned about the security of their personal data and are more likely to trust businesses that demonstrate a commitment to data protection. SBD can bring confidence in customers that their information is safeguarded, enhancing your reputation and creating a form of customer loyalty.


Cyber threats continue to evolve. Secure by Design practices help ensure that your systems and applications remain resilient. Especially against emerging threats.

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