Solutions Review’s Expert Insights Series is a collection of contributed articles written by industry experts in enterprise software categories. Andrew Woodhouse of RealVNC offers some insight into why white box audits provide the best insights– for developers and customers alike.
When determining proper security parameters for software, there is a slew of options — Black Box and Grey Box audits, Port Scans, etc. Customers in need of software for their business are looking at what these tools can bring to their organization for greater efficiency or profits and how secure their own data and business processes will be while using them. While over half of businesses report that cybersecurity incidents are hindering critical business applications on a monthly basis, only a third have a formal approach to cyber resiliency. The first step in bettering any company’s security begins with finding enterprise software offerings that value security just as much as you do.
Not all cybersecurity certifications are created equal. Some company leaders view particular certifications as a box to check off a list, showcasing a baseline level of security. While these security certifications are essential for any software company looking to make headway within certain industry sectors, those certifications mean nothing if a threat actor still finds a way to compromise your software and your customers’ private information. To gain absolute customer trust, software companies need to test the external security of their software, as well as the entirety of their digital infrastructure, via comprehensive third-party white box audits.
White Box Audits: Insights for All
Clear/White Box Audits: The Test Above the Rest
White box audits, also known as clear box audits, offer unparalleled insight into the inner workings of a system or application. They provide full visibility, making them a preferred choice over other testing avenues like black box and gray box audits. Testers take the role of true auditors, acting as both an external attacker and an internal threat. A source code assessment allows auditors to analyze threats that only someone with internal knowledge could execute to bring down a program. For example, past employees may still be able to access the code via vulnerabilities that black and gray box audits cannot identify.
Betterment for Customers and Developers
Due to the comprehensive nature of white box audits, both buyers and sellers garner critical advantages over other audits and rubber-stamp security tests.
- Higher Security Assurance: By giving security teams full visibility into the application’s code and architecture, white box audits can better identify vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit. This makes it less likely that customers will experience security breaches or data leaks, which can be costly for both financial and reputational damage.
- Better User Experience: White box audits can identify performance and scalability issues due to the process of auditing code in its entirety. By ensuring software is functioning optimally at all levels via all platforms, user experience is impacted positively across the board.
By working in tandem with the auditor, developers also get incredible benefits from a white box audit. These include:
- Improved Development Lifecycles: Having an impartial third party analyze every facet of source code can be a lifesaver for a software development team. Auditors often provide innovative solutions — prioritization of fuzzing or even certain flags in the binary — to help reduce the time and costs associated with bug fixes and software updates later down the line. This level of transparency with an auditor brings about more efficient and reliable software applications across the board.
- Higher-Level Verification: Depending on who you work with to conduct the white box audit, your company can get verification of your team’s proposed fixes in real-time as part of the engagement. Gaining insight into the problems with your digital infrastructure, as well as confirmation of the solutions in one audit, makes for a comprehensive and efficient process.
Software Security: An Investment in Customer Trust
While certain security tests are a must-have depending on your industry, cybersecurity can no longer be viewed as a box to check. Reports show there is an increased focus on third-party risk assessment — now up to 95 percent — but not all tests are cut from the same cloth. Rubber-stamp exercises are better than no security protocols at all, but companies need to continuously invest in security measures to garner external customer trust and keep products secure from all threat actors. There is no better tactic in ensuring your software’s security than bringing in a third party as a trusted auditor and partner to analyze and uncover all possible vulnerabilities within your source code on a recurring basis.
Like white box audits, comprehensive code testing is no longer an overkill tactic. These tests require more time and resources than other testing methods, but they signify a new standard in enterprise software that drives the highest levels of internal onus and external transparency. It’s like going to the dentist. Your team will never be at-ease until you get your software checked out thoroughly and are prescribed the best fixes.