Building or participating in platforms enables collaborative innovation. The community built around a platform drives innovation forward by freeing it from the confines of a company’s or even a single technology’s boundaries. It is rather interesting to observe how mutual trust and commitment can simplify processes and help us build wonders, atleast small ones.
There is however another complication to platform development. Building platforms and other collaborative digital communities require exposing APIs, sharing data systems, technologies, etc. Such exposure makes the platform and the participants in it quite vulnerable to security threats.
Another issue with platform development is that regulatory compliance is tough to understand and even tougher to implement. This is because of the very collaborative nature that the owners have less control over platforms. It is also because, as in any digital product, platforms usually operate beyond geographical boundaries. As the jurisdiction changes, so do the regulations.
Here are some best practices for security and governance in platform development.
Think security right from the first design version or first line of code – Security is not any more an additional functionality or an afterthought. The platform makers should understand the dangers of building insecure platforms without dampening their spirit of innovation.
Thankfully cyber security is not impossible, as is often perceived to be.
Include tough authentication, authorization, and access controls – The platforms should include authentication and conditional access controls and tough data encryption mechanisms. Additionally, give access to sensitive data only after a multifactor authentication.
Define and maintain security standards and practices – All digital platforms should define security standards and practices that all participants and stakeholders should adhere to. The standards should be upheld by those managing and operating the platform too. The makers and managers of the platform should use security tools in the development integration pipeline and get all automated tests evaluated by security experts
Comply with Regulations – Regulatory compliance, apart from promoting a nation’s interests, secures the privacy and interests of product and platform users. Moreover, non-compliance with regulations is detrimental to any business.
Companies should recruit experts to make a compliance team of data practitioners to ensure regulatory compliance.
Review regularly and check for loopholes – As technologies change fast, security threats wear newer masks. There’s a chance that some updates increase vulnerabilities. Hence, just like platform development, ensuring the security of platforms is a continuous process. Reviewing platforms regularly is an essential step to keeping them safe and stable.
Collaborate with product engineering experts – Getting your platforms regularly assessed by trusted collaborators is the best way to identify and correct those security issues that are not visible to the owners. Since, securing digital platforms also requires a deep understanding of the evolving security needs of products and platforms, choosing a partner with good platform engineering abilities is a wise choice.
Digital Security is a complicated concept, but not an impossible one. The above list of best practices is not exhaustive. The security threats are not hard and frozen but keep changing from time to time. Hence our strategies too should evolve with time.
Since platform development is an endless process, the most convenient way to ensure security of platforms is by collaborating with experts who can help with developing a security strategy. The strategy varies depending on the specific platform, technologies, industry requirements, etc.
Apart from ensuring the security, organizations should also ensure compliance with local as well as global security policies. If you are a platform or product owner and looking for security solutions, you need a platform and product engineering expert to share your responsibilities. Collaborating with trusted experts helps you to concentrate on building your platform or product without worrying about security threats or hefty fines for non-compliance. And such experts are just an email away!