Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

Secure by Design: Implementing the 10 Principles

By . May 3, 2024

In the digital landscape, security isn't an afterthought—it's a fundamental component woven into every stage of development. Secure by Design is a framework that ensures security is integrated into the very fabric of digital services from inception through to deployment. With the adoption of Secure by Design, adherence to its principles becomes mandatory, emphasising the significance of cybersecurity in today's technology-driven world.

Here, we delve into the 10 principles of Secure by Design and offer insights on how to effectively implement them:

  1. Create Responsibility for Cybersecurity Risk - Assigning risk owners who are accountable for managing cybersecurity risks is paramount for the Secure by Design framework. These individuals should be senior stakeholders with expertise in cybersecurity. Utilising the RACI matrix can help delineate roles and expectations clearly.
  2. Source Secure Technology Product - Regular security evaluations of third-party platforms and software are essential to identify vulnerabilities. Collaborate with suppliers to address findings and enhance product security continuously.
  3. Adopt a Risk-Driven Approach - Define the project's risk tolerance and evaluate cybersecurity risks consistently to implement appropriate safeguards. Incorporate security from the outset, beginning with the business case phase.
  4. Design Usable Security Controls - Integrate user research insights into service design to ensure that security protocols are effective and user-friendly. Align security controls with user journeys to enhance usability for a successful Secure by Design implementation.
  5. Build in Detect and Respond Security - Incorporate security logging, monitoring, alerting, and response capabilities to prepare for security vulnerabilities and incidents. Ensure each identified risk has a corresponding response strategy.
  6. Design Flexible Architectures - Introduce digital services and modernise legacy components to accommodate evolving security measures and business needs.
  7. Minimise the Attack Surface - Employ only essential capabilities, software, data, and hardware components necessary for service functionality. Conduct retirement risk assessments to identify and mitigate risks associated with decommissioned components.
  8. Defend in Depth - Establish multiple layers of controls throughout the service to increase resilience against potential breaches. Implement a process for continuous monitoring and verification of security controls.
  9. Embed Continuous Assurance - Incorporate ongoing security assurance procedures to maintain the effectiveness of security measures throughout the service's lifespan. Utilize self-assessment trackers to demonstrate compliance with Secure by Design principles.
  10. Make Changes Securely - Integrate security considerations into all stages of design, development, and deployment. Assess the security implications of changes alongside other considerations, and adapt security controls as necessary.

By adhering to these principles, organisations can foster a culture of security and resilience, safeguarding digital services and protecting sensitive data. Secure by Design isn't just a framework—it's a mindset that prioritises security at every turn, ensuring that technology remains a force for good in an increasingly interconnected world.

Need support on Secure by Design?

Our consultancy services facilitate ongoing security assurance processes, allowing your organisation to adapt to your project needs swiftly and maintain a robust security posture through regular updates, security assessments, and continuous assurance processes. Read more about our Information Assurance as a Service solution.

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