Luke Walker

4 reasons to consider a security-first approach to product development

The internet is a powerful invention. It was originally built for collaboration, but it’s far surpassed the capabilities anyone could have expected, and has become a core function of society. As developers, we contribute to these incredible advancements every day, but it’s also our job to help protect and preserve the future of the internet.   

To put it simply, the internet was not originally built with security in mind — much like the automobile. But over time we’ve recognized the need to protect internet users and the sensitive data that is shared. We now expect to have security features built into our products and services similar to how we expect to purchase a car that comes equipped with airbags, seatbelts, alarm systems and more. 

Nevertheless, security can still be an afterthought in the product development lifecycle — but it shouldn’t be. The cyber security landscape is evolving and organizations must evolve with it. Here are four reasons why your organization should consider adapting a security-first mindset when building the next generation of innovative solutions. 

Recovering from a data breach is a costly mistake 

The financial disparity a data breach can cause is catastrophic, especially for smaller businesses. A data breach costs businesses $3.92 million on average, not to mention organization’s continue to incur residual costs for years after the initial data breach. Reversing these repercussions are far more costly than investing in a strong security foundation from the start. Establish principles of privilege-based access, strong authentication, and minimize risk from the get-go, to save your organization money, time, and negative brand exposure down the road. 

Negative brand reputation decreases customer trust

A data breach can cause substantial damage to a brand’s image and reputation, including a loss of customer trust. In fact, studies show that 65% of data breach victims lose trust in an organization after a breach, and 80% of consumers will avoid using a service if their information was compromised. 

Strong security is a competitive differentiator 

With an ever-evolving security landscape fueled by a growing remote workforce, a forward-looking security perspective will become a standard among consumers and enterprises, and strong security options will set your organization apart from other competitors. 

Operators, system administrators, and developers who shift from a perimeter-focused approach to a comprehensive multi-layered approach that protects all elements — networks, endpoints, cloud services, and mobile devices — will succeed.

A seamless user experience builds customer loyalty

When done properly, good security can play an important role in improving your customer’s product experience. In fact, it can make or break the experience all together. Take passwords for example. No one likes them, they’re hard to remember, and they do very little in terms of offering adequate protection against account takeovers. Yet, they are still used widely across the internet and oftentimes, account creation or log in can be a customer’s first interaction with a website or mobile app. 

“When product development prioritizes security early on, the resulting product offers a better user experience from day one,” explains Josh Aas, Executive Director, Let’s Encrypt. “There are few things as disruptive to user experience as security mechanisms bolted on as an afterthought.”

When security is a forethought rather than an afterthought, it provides an opportunity to design a seamless and enjoyable user experience from start to finish. 

Ultimately, a security-first mindset can help your organization avoid detrimental repercussions caused by data breaches and reap the benefits for your bottom line, your customers, and your brand. 

At Yubico we value strong authentication as a critical piece of this puzzle, but we also recognize that there are many other security aspects that must be taken into consideration (and work together) to ultimately make the internet a safer place for everyone. That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with our friends at Let’s Encrypt — a non-profit organization that issues TLS certificates.

Starting today, Let’s Encrypt is giving the first 500 people, who donate $50 or more during their 2020 Summer Giving Campaign, a coupon to redeem a free Security Key NFC by Yubico at yubico.com.  

Developers who are interested in implementing strong YubiKey authentication with open standards can join the Yubico Developer Program to gain access to open source libraries and servers, implementation guides, training resources and more.