Securing Your Application Modernization Process

Securing Your Application Modernization Process

Developers are under immense pressure, whether they are in the public sector or commercial enterprises, to provide new product features, maintain availability, and prioritize bug fixes. Yet many organizations still use legacy systems, infrastructure, processes, and policies that prevent development teams from delivering programs and applications that support their missions and drive business results.

Replacing legacy applications takes a lot of time and resources, which is why organizations don’t do it often. But the resources required to maintain security on these legacy systems often place a heavy burden on security teams, so modernization is a crucial step. This is what you need to know.

common challenges

Modernization is a multi-step process for each engineering organization. To successfully exit legacy systems, organizations must overcome a number of process-oriented, cultural, and technical challenges.

These challenges can include a cultural reluctance to change, time or resource constraints when adopting or pioneering new processes and technologies, and increased pressure to accelerate the speed of project delivery when using outdated tools.

Additionally, many organizations face new legal, compliance, and security regulations that make modernization an even more ambitious task. However, with a thoughtful and strategic approach, this process can be a little less painful.

Leadership Driven Cultural Changes

As with all organizational changes, it is critical to start with leadership. Leaders across the organization must plan how an updated system will help a specific mission while keeping security, scalability, and efficiency at the forefront.

Modernization doesn’t just apply to tools used by software development teams; it also includes a management-led culture of constant learning and growth. This means regularly investing in opportunities to reskill the broader workforce, facilitating networking opportunities, and collaborating with colleagues on best practices.

break down the silos

Outdated legacy systems often result in artificial silos between developers and security teams. A single platform can help create centralized, real-time communication and collaboration.

Too often, security teams work in a separate silo that is isolated from the rest of the software development process, and security measures are applied too late in the development cycle. Breaking down silos between development, operations, and security teams reduces handoffs and ensures security is built into the lifecycle.

Get rid of DIY development systems

Many organizations that have adopted proprietary application development tools experience the consequences of on-chain toolchains, that is, a collection of preferred tools that developers can pick and choose from. Although this seems like a more flexible option, it actually makes the software development lifecycle an unpredictable process, rather than a proven one.

These DIY toolchains rarely scale well, are difficult to maintain, and prevent a streamlined, repeatable process.

DIY toolchains force teams to access a number of different platforms, test solutions for each use case, and spend budget on multiple different solutions. This creates more risk, as access is configured and managed through multiple tools, often moving security to the last possible stage in the software lifecycle. This delays delivery, harms product quality, and increases security vulnerabilities and compliance issues.

Make security a continuous process

Organizations must take a proactive approach to mitigating risks and vulnerabilities before they arise. Security teams should be empowered to collaborate with developer teams to implement security and compliance measures throughout the process, rather than leaving them as an afterthought.

Centering security throughout the process means instituting thresholds, safeguards, and vulnerability remediation within your pipeline at the developer level. This will radically increase the speed of delivery, while ensuring that all products are safe by design.

Migrating from legacy systems that are often held together with digital duct tape is no easy task. But the rewards of adopting a mature, streamlined development platform are enormous. Organizations can continue to work quickly and collaboratively, and meet the demands of customers, investors, and partners.

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