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Bridging the Gap:
The Importance of Understanding
How Software is Built

Alexa Sevilla

Alexa Sevilla|March 22, 2024

Learn the benefits of cultivating a level of knowledge and empathy for how software development is built.

Software plays an integral role in nearly every aspect of our lives. It is the backbone of modern society, from the apps on our smartphones to the systems that power our workplaces. However, for most people, including those responsible for securing software, the process of how software is built remains shrouded in mystery. In this blog post, we'll explore the critical importance of understanding how software is built, emphasizing the need for security teams to empathize with developers and why this bridge-building is vital.

1. The Foundation of Digital Transformation

Understanding how software is built is essential because it forms the foundation of the ongoing digital transformation. As businesses and organizations strive to become more agile and efficient, they rely on software to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge. Without a basic grasp of the software development process, stakeholders may struggle to make informed decisions about technology investments, project timelines, and resource allocation.

2. Effective Collaboration

Effective collaboration is the lifeblood of successful software development projects. Developers, designers, product managers, and quality assurance professionals must work together seamlessly to create high-quality software. When teams that have been historically outside of this process, such as security, lack an understanding of the development process, miscommunication and misunderstandings can arise. This can lead to delays, cost overruns, and, most importantly, security vulnerabilities going unnoticed.

3. Bridging the Gap: Empathy for Developers

One of the keys to fostering effective collaboration between security teams and developers is empathy. Empathy involves understanding and appreciating the challenges and constraints faced by others. In the context of software development, it means security teams must put themselves in developers' shoes.

Developers constantly balance delivering features quickly and ensuring the software's security. They often work under tight deadlines and are under immense pressure to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape. Security teams that empathize with these challenges can tailor their security practices and recommendations to be more developer-friendly.

4. Enhanced Security

Security is no longer a "nice to have." Cyberattacks and data breaches are rising, and software vulnerabilities are a common target. When security teams and developers collaborate effectively, security measures become an integral part of the software development process from the start. Developers who understand security concerns can proactively implement best practices, code securely, and identify vulnerabilities early in the development lifecycle. This reduces security risks and lowers the cost of fixing vulnerabilities later in the development process.

5. Building Trust and Resilience

Understanding how software is built and fostering empathy between security teams and developers builds trust within an organization. Developers are more likely to accept and embrace security recommendations when they come from colleagues who understand the development process. This trust enables teams to build resilience against security threats, creating a culture where everyone plays a role in securing the organization’s assets. 

6. A Collaborative Future

The importance of understanding how software is built cannot be overstated. It is critical in digital transformation, effective collaboration, and enhanced security. Security teams must bridge the gap by cultivating empathy for developers, recognizing their challenges, and working together to create a secure and efficient development environment. This collaboration not only strengthens an organization's security posture but also lays the groundwork for a more collaborative and successful future in the ever-evolving world of software development.

Alexa Sevilla is Director of Product Marketing at StackHawk

Alexa Sevilla  |  March 22, 2024

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