Keys to Software Durability – Security

This post is part of our series discussing the topic of software durability. As I wrote earlier, software durability refers to how long a software solution will function effectively and meet your business requirements. The durability of a software solution depends largely on its ability to address unpredictable future needs, and this, in turn, results primarily from the architecture of the software application.

Durable software exhibits several key characteristics. I discussed scalability in an earlier post. This post will discuss the importance of a flexible and robust security model.

Why Security Matters
The continuing evolution of marketing software systems has elevated security from an administrative task to an issue with major strategic implications. Today, software applications touch almost every aspect of marketing, and they have become vital to effective marketing operations.

The growing importance of marketing software has driven changes, both in the nature of the software itself, and in how marketers use software tools.

  • Many companies are moving from stand-alone applications to software platforms that include multiple integrated capabilities.
  • Companies now routinely provide access to remote users via the Internet.
  • Enterprises are increasingly providing access to external business partners.

These changes have produced conditions that make software security more essential and challenging.

  • Software now contains information that is confidential and highly valuable.
  • The number of individuals who need access to software applications has increased dramatically, and the access needs of users can vary significantly.
  • Remote access makes software more vulnerable to external attacks.

From a durability perspective, the greatest challenge is that security requirements are constantly evolving, and that makes it difficult to predict what your future security needs will be. What kinds of information will need to be protected? Who will need access to the system, and how much access will be needed?

What Makes a Security Model Durable?

A software solution with enterprise-class security will have several characteristics. It will typically use a multi-tier architecture that prevents direct user access to system data, and it will provide state-of-the-art data encryption capabilities and extensive activity logging.

For durability purposes, however, the most important attribute is a highly configurable identity and access management system that supports granular access control. Such a system enables enterprises to meet unpredictable future needs relating to who needs access, what system components need to be accessible, and what permissions various users need.

We recently published a Technical Proposition that discusses security in greater detail. You can download a copy of this Technical Proposition here.

This post was previously published on the ADAM Software blog.
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