Software Outsourcing and Data Privacy

Hackers attempt to break into a computer “every 39 seconds on average.” This startling statistic from the University of Maryland illustrates just how serious software security is for modern business.

Cloud computing and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) also means that hundreds of millions of consumers records are being stored online. This makes software security even more vital — since much of this data lacks the proper security and is vulnerable to malicious actors.

The current environment is why software security is one of the most important priorities during a software development project. This is especially true when working with a software outsourcing service. These types of collaborations often involve working with a mix of in-house and augmented developers, or outsourcing the entire project to an end-to-end development team.

This article will help managers select the right software development service and create a strategy for securing vital customer data when outsourcing development tasks.

Selecting a Security Model

Experienced software development companies have the institutional knowledge necessary to suggest the best security model for a particular project. Yet, it can still be useful to understand the most popular security models before meeting with potential outsourcing partners.

Each of the following three security models is widely used to maintain data privacy and software security throughout the development cycle. Companies should also take into account governmental regulations and the preferred software development methodology when selecting the right security model for their needs.

Trusted Software Methodology

The Trusted Software Methodology was created by the United States government in the 1990s to “counter malicious developers.”

This security method uses 25 “trust principles” to determine which trust level to assign to a given website. Low trust levels represent trusted developers with secure websites, while high trust levels add security requirements designed to counter ill-intentioned developers who want to steal personal data.

This particular methodology is most often used to transmit sensitive data, such as that held by banks or the federal government. This model is a great option for financial institutions, medical facilities, and other organizations that deal with extremely sensitive consumer information.

Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Security Development Lifecycle

Microsoft’s security framework is the gold standard in the software development industry. Bill Gates described his motivation for creating the security standard in 2002, saying “Our products should emphasize security right out of the box, and we must constantly refine and improve that security as threats evolve.”

The approach is based on the idea that software security should be integrated into every stage of the development cycle. In addition, the protocol lays out a set of security feature requirements that can be directly integrated into any project. These requirements include secure architecture design, running components with the “fewest possible permissions,” and avoiding risky default settings.

Since its release, major tech companies like Adobe and Cisco have adopted the framework for their own products. The methodology’s innovate tools, like threat modeling, security testing, and static analysis code review, are now standard for most software development projects.

Systems Security Engineering Capability Maturity Model

The Systems Security Engineering Capability Maturity Model (SSE-CCM) provides companies with a set of standard security principles to assess their current data privacy efforts. In addition, this framework specifies 22 different process areas where data security should be integrated.

This security framework is particularly useful for experienced project managers since it provides a general checklist that can be tailored to an individual product’s needs — as opposed to the detailed guide provided by the previous two security models.

Data Privacy and the Software Development Life Cycle

The best way to ensure software security is to make sure that cybersecurity is a priority during every stage of the software development life cycle. This approach is superior to the traditional software security method, which only emphasized security during the testing stage of the process.

This guide will show managers how to ensure that their customer’s data privacy remains important throughout the entire lifecycle of the software.

Requirements Analysis & Design

The requirements and analysis stage of the software development cycle is where the project truly begins to take form. In this early step stakeholders and the development team collaborate to determine the requirements of the software.

They should specifically note what problem the software will solve, what resources are needed to build it, and what software development methodology will be followed. This is also the time to identify what sort of private information will be gathered from consumers and where it will be stored.

Data privacy should also be included in the design stage. Threat modeling, which involves predicting future cyber attacks, is frequently used to help teams visualize risk early on. Lastly, security procedures should be integrated into the database requirements and the system flow diagram.

Software Development

The development stage is the most work-intensive and difficult part of the development cycle. During this stage, software engineers write code and build the software skeleton with its most important features. Teams can use static and dynamic application testing to identify coding mistakes and potential vulnerabilities during this stage of the process.

In addition, many companies have begun using multidisciplinary development teams to implement data privacy at this point in the process.

These holistic teams consist of programmers, design specialists, and security experts. They work together to edit each other’s code and to ensure that software security is included in every iteration of the product.


The testing phase has historically been the focus of software security efforts and continues to be the most important step of the development cycle for security specialists. Most companies and software development services use a combination of manual testers and a software developer engineer in test to find bugs in the system and errors in code.

Manual testers will simulate end users and physically ensure that the software works as intended by pressing every button. On the other hand, a software developer engineer in test will write automated programs that actively seek out vulnerabilities.

It’s also useful to bring in a dedicated security expert during this stage of the process. They can run penetration tests on the software. This simulates a real cyber attack and can identify weaknesses that malicious actors may eventually exploit.

Deployment & Maintenance

The final step of the development process begins once the software has been released to market. The maintenance team must be ready to solicit user feedback and respond to weaknesses and bugs immediately. This is because even the best testing teams will inevitably miss some flaws.

In addition, it’s important to create an incident response plan before releasing software to end users. This strategy will determine how user feedback is solicited and analyzed and will dictate how the development team responds to serious security vulnerabilities.

Lastly, savvy companies often reach out to the security research community as well. This talented, informal network of security specialists frequently performs security tests for free — with the goal of protecting consumer data and thwarting malicious actors.


Software security and data privacy are two of the most pressing concerns for executives involved in software development. The rise of the IoT and cloud computing means that more and more consumer data is being stored online. But, at the same time, the number of data breaches continues to increase every year.

Many companies have chosen to work with software outsourcing services to make the development process easier and to integrate software security into every stage of the development cycle.

The best outsourcing partners bring decades of data privacy experience to the table. They can bring security experts into the planning and requirements stages, rather than relegating them to the testing phase as an afterthought. Integrating data privacy into the entire process will reduce the number of coding errors and strengthen the software’s security.



Paul Azorín is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at BairesDev. He has over ten years of experience working as a software architect.

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Paul Azorin

Paul Azorín is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at BairesDev. He has over ten years of experience working as a software architect.