Secure By Design, Secure By Default: A Myth or a Must Have For Modern Businesses?

Secure By Design, Secure By Default: A Myth or a Must Have For Modern Businesses?

In 2016, a Tesla vehicle operating on Autopilot met with a tragic end. In an event that shook the faith globally in self-driving technology, the car collided with a truck, resulting in a fatality. Investigations revealed that the Autopilot system may not have adequately distinguished the white side of the truck trailer from the brightly lit sky ahead, leading to a failure to detect the obstacle.

The Tesla incident was a stark reminder that it is not enough to include security features; products should proactively identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities from the get-go. It also underscored the critical need for a fundamental shift in how we approach security, a shift that is necessary not just for self-driving cars but for all technology.

This shift is embodied in two crucial principles: Secure-by-Design and Secure-by-Default.

Secure-by-Design: Proactive Security from the Start

The digital age has woven technology into the very fabric of our lives. From conducting financial transactions to accessing medical records, countless critical systems rely on secure internet connectivity. A data breach can not only cripple business operations but also erode customer trust, potentially causing significant financial and reputational damage.

Secure-by-Design is a philosophy that emphasizes building security into the core of products and services from the very beginning. Security is not an afterthought, but rather a fundamental consideration throughout the entire development lifecycle. This approach ensures that inherent vulnerabilities are minimized, and robust safeguards are in place from the outset.

Secure-by-Default: Empowering Users, Not Burdening Them

Secure-by-Default products are inherently secure “out of the box.” Minimal, if any, configuration is required for basic protection. These solutions are resilient against common attacks and offer essential security features without additional cost.

Here’s the key: secure-by-default empowers users. The concept ensures that security is not treated as a complex puzzle users need to solve. In fact, it eliminates the burden of complex security configurations and minimizes the risk of compromise due to inadvertent security misconfigurations.

Security Shouldn’t Be a Barrier

Robust security and seamless productivity should go hand in hand. For this reason, Anunta’s approach to security is user-centric. Designing and implementing transparent and intuitive security measures must be woven into the strategic planning of all businesses. These measures include:

  • Eliminating weak default passwords: Use strong, complex passwords as the first line of defense.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step beyond just a username and password.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO):SSO simplifies login by allowing users to access multiple applications with a single set of credentials.
  • Role-based Access Control (RBAC):RBAC ensures that users only have access to the resources and data they need to perform their jobs.
  • Usable Security Features: Security configurations should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.
  • Secure Logging: Comprehensive logs facilitate incident response and forensics.
  • Forward-Looking Security: While backward compatibility is important, security should never be compromised. Prioritize security updates to protect against evolving threats.

VDI: A Secure Solution for the Modern Workplace

Let’s remember that VDI IS security.

It offers a powerful solution for businesses of all sizes, by delivering a secure workspace where applications and data reside in a centralized location, accessed by users remotely via virtual desktops. This approach offers several security advantages:

  • Centralized Management: Security policies and patches are applied centrally, ensuring consistency and compliance across all virtual desktops.
  • Enhanced Identity Verification: VDI integrates seamlessly with MFA and SSO solutions, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Granular Access Control: Permissions are tailored to user roles, minimizing exposure to sensitive data.
  • Scalability and Agility: VDI adapts to evolving security threats and regulatory landscapes.

Anunta’s VDI solutions are designed with security in mind. Essential security controls are enabled by default, providing a strong baseline security posture. Customers can choose to loosen some controls, but only with a clear understanding of the associated security risks.

Why Secure-by-Design and Secure-by-Default Matter

Secure-by-Design and Secure-by-Default are the cornerstones of a robust cybersecurity strategy. They offer a powerful defense against cyber threats like data breaches, ransomware attacks, and identity thefts that cripple businesses. They take a proactive approach to cybersecurity instead of patching holes after the fact.

I recently had an interesting conversation with two cybersecurity experts in our webinar of the same name. Watch the webinar here for more insights.


Yogesh Yagnik
Yogesh Yagnik

Yogesh Yagnik is the Sr. VP Information Security and Data Protection Officer at Anunta. With over three decades in the industry, he has diverse experience in Information Technology, Information Security, Infrastructure Technology Services, and Project Management across industry verticals and geographies.