When discussing website design, it is remarkable how infrequently talk of security comes into play. Many website owners are primarily concerned with design, aesthetic appeal and usability. If after those qualifications are met, and as long as it doesn’t interfere, cyber security may be introduced. This is incredibly dangerous and ill-advised for a variety of reasons.
Cyber security must be your top priority if you want to remain a viable business option. When your client information becomes compromised, your entire future as a company can be demolished. Take a look at any of the data breaches in the last few years; those companies were seen to pay out millions, or billions, of dollars in damages. Included here are a few tips for designing a cyber secure website.
The worst part of being the security team during a web design is that it can feel a bit like being a nerd at a table of jocks. Regardless of the fact that you are all computer focused, the designers tend to get a bit more play when building a website. What they are doing is aesthetically pleasing, cool and exciting, while security is just a boring necessity. Even if your ideas and push for security are getting shot down you must remain focused.
Keep in mind, security is going to be a bottom priority for a lot of people, even if it should be at the top. Identify the processes this web design is creating that offer the most vulnerability and figure out ways to secure those elements. Work with code developers to get the security measures implemented off the bat.
Work With The Bones
If you realize that the site is going to be requiring an email subscription from clients or any other kind of data collection, get this portion of the site running immediately. No, the font will not look pretty, and things won’t be polished, but it will give you ample time to try out the processes before you are running them on the general public. Back-end code is critical to the long-term success of the project, so just push forward with this emphasis at the very beginning.
Separate Data and Views
To really avoid delays caused by the designer/security conflicts, consider utilizing the Model-View-Controller framework. This allows you to split project development into three separate tasks. The model represents data, the view displays the model and the controller handles user actions.
Data used in the model is display neutral, so it does not have any formatting. This means that your model code can be written and tested once, without conflicting with views. The graphic designers can be working separately, putting all of their focus onto appearances. Additionally, the coders and security staff can be working exclusively on the controller which monitors user interaction with the interface.