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How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity

How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity_CodeScan

How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity_CodeScanA code analysis tool can improve the quality of your applications and updates, which also leads to a stronger data security strategy.

Why It Matters: The DevOps tools you use will only provide the desired benefits if they’re properly used. A code analysis tool can improve code quality while also reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

  • ROI from a DevOps tools will vary between organizations depending on the frequency and strategy of usage.
  • Most DevOps tools will provide cross-functional benefits when used in an intentional way.
  • A code analysis tool will benefit developers and administrators by setting up ensuing processes in the DevOps pipeline.

1. Ensure Code is Error-free

The most obvious use for a code analysis tool is to verify the coding structure of your updates and applications. Flawless functionality means the end user of your DevOps project is going to get the most benefits from it. However, while this is a major part of strong code, it is not the only benefit. Error-free code also supports your organization’s cybersecurity efforts.

Buggy code causes malfunctions that can corrupt data and create data security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to your system.

A code analysis tool finds bugs the moment they are introduced to they can be immediately fixed before they negatively impact other aspects of the project. This creates a smoothly functioning product that doesn’t create data security vulnerabilities.

2. Find and Rectify Technical Debt

How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity_CodeScan

Technical debt refers to legacy bugs and errors that currently exist within your system. Often, these are issues that are meant to be fixed at a later date while prioritizing speed in the development pipeline. And then after production, they are either forgotten or simply lost. However, these legacy errors can present a data security risk.

A code analysis tool can be used to scan for technical debt so it can be addressed before it causes a data loss event or breach in the system’s security protocol.

A speedy Salesforce DevOps pipeline can be a huge asset for an organization but only if it produces secure and reliable products. Existing errors need to be found and fixed in order to maintain a secure environment and an automated scanner is a great way to accomplish this.

3. Pair with a Policy Scanner

An optimized DevSecOps pipeline will involve the utilization of a series of automated tools. These tools can address the various layers of testing, integrations, or data loading requirements your organization needs to optimize your efforts. A code analysis tool does a great job of addressing bugs and errors and works seamlessly with a policy scanner that addresses the administrator side of the equation.

Automated scanners that serve both developers and administrators ensure total coverage of your Salesforce environment from code health to permissions settings.

A policy scanner can be leveraged to ensure adherence to internal rules and verify compliance standards. These considerations support cybersecurity awareness and lead to a stronger platform.

4. Integrate Into CI/CD Pipeline

How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity_CodeScanAnother aspect of a complete DevSecOps toolset is to combine the power of a code analysis tool with automated release management tools. And when this is done intentionally and purposefully, an organization is able to achieve continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD).

A streamlined CI/CD pipeline enables companies to be more flexible and timely in their DevOps projects to address emerging issues and keep their Salesforce environment secure.

Version control, deployment automation, data loaders, and more streamline operations to increase release velocity. More releases every year means more functionality and a stronger capability to secure your Salesforce environment.

5. Incremental Releases Encourage Flexibility

Every release doesn’t need to introduce a complete groundbreaking application that changes the way your Salesforce environment operates. In fact, it can be much more beneficial for an organization to make more frequent, smaller releases. A code analysis tool supports this by allowing your DevOps team to focus on the functionality of the code instead of the granular considerations for each line.

Incremental releases support smooth functionality in your Salesforce environment but only when their code is flawless.

The ability to quickly produces patches, updates, and other smaller releases means your organization can respond to cyberthreats in real-time. These considerations are constantly evolving and you need ot be able to quickly match them—but only if you can trust your code.

6. Reduce Manual Processes

Our team members are our greatest asset—but they’re also a major cybersecurity reliability. This isn’t to say you need to be skeptical of your employees, but you should be aware that simple mistakes can have massive ramifications for your cybersecurity strategy. Code analysis tools reduce the strain on your team members by automating a tedious, repetitive task.

Code reviews can take a massive amount of time and attention when performed manually. And eventually, your team members will glaze over and become prone to errors.

Automating these previously manual tasks will free your team members up to address more pressing concerns. This reduces the strain on team members while supporting accuracy and reliability in code health.

7. Encourage Communication

How to Leverage a Code Analysis Tool for Cybersecurity_CodeScan

You can get more out of your code analysis tool if the team that utilizes it has the training they need and understand the expectations of their fellow coworkers. And the only way for this to happen is to encourage open and honest communication across the various departments included in your DevSecOps pipeline.

Confusion and miscommunications lead to errors, which complicates the benefits that can be seen from using an automated code analysis tool.

Take the time to explain all of the expectations from your team and field any questions they might have. Ensuring everyone has a clear idea of what to expect will minimize downtime as people seek out answers.

8. Continually Analyze for Improvements

The way these tools are used will vary from team to team. Specific processes will need to be dialed in and adjusted as success and failures are identified. Open communication will go a long way to inform these adjustments, but the code analysis tool will be able to provide its own metrics that can be used to redirect the efforts of your team.

Dashboards and reports will be made available by the code analysis tool that should be continuously analyzed to find aspects of your processes that can be further refined.

Strong code will go a long way to increase the security of your Salesforce environment. The processes that surround the writing of this code will also factor into this. And when these factors are taken together with a view toward secure and repeatable processes, the result is a more flexible and stable Salesforce environment.

Next Step…

Overexposed data is much more likely to be accidentally leaked or corrupted. Simply put, the more people that can access data, the higher chance it has being messed up.

Automated scans can help. Check out our blog “10 Ways Automated Scans Avoid Costly Overexposures” to learn more.

FAQs

The health of your applications and updates produced through your DevOps pipeline directly translate to the health of your Salesforce environment as a whole. Any bugs or errors that make it through production and into a live environment have the potential to compromise the product. This could come in the form of misfires that corrupt or delete files. Or even worse, a bug could create a backdoor that a cybercriminal could exploit and use to gain access to connected parts of your system. Healthy code will prevent these harmful scenarios while also strengthening your Salesforce environment. Updates with flawless code address emerging issues and allow you to be flexible in your cybersecurity strategy.

Static code analysis is an essential aspect of an optimized DevSecOps strategy, but it is not the only tool in the toolbox. Other types of testing automation will create multiple layers of security to ensure nothing slips between the cracks and infects a live product. However, there are other products that target surrounding areas of your Salesforce environment that contribute to your overall success with data security. For instance, a policy scanner will ensure that team members have proper permissions for accessing sensitive data. These types of scanners address the concerns of Salesforce administrators while a code analysis tool helps developers.

No matter your industry, cybercriminals want your data. The global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $8 trillion in 2023. It’s in every organization’s best interest to do everything they can to protect their environment. And while Salesforce itself is secure, they are not responsible for any vulnerabilities your team introduces to your instance. Every customization and add-on is an opportunity for an error to create a data security vulnerability. It’s your responsibility to guard your information and you need to do everything you can to protect it.

Develop high quality, secure code!

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