sinem-email

Digital transformation

digital transformation is all about becoming a digital enterprise—an organization that uses technology to continuously evolve all aspects of its business models (what it offers, how it interacts with customers, and how it operates

Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models.” In general, it refers to the use of digital technology to materially evolve or create new business processes

What are Benefits of Digital Transformation

Increases productivity while reducing labor costs

Using technology to work more efficiently is one of the most impactful ways to transform your business.

More Data-based Insights

When you go digital, you can track metrics and analyze the data you capture during your digital process.

Using data-driven insights can help understand customers better and rethink business strategies, assisting with better decision-making.

Improves the customer experience

customers want a great experience through multiple touchpoints — mobile apps, social media, email, live chat, etc. Digital transformations are the driving force behind improved customer experiences.

Makes You More Competitive in Your Industry

Your competitors are looking into digital transformation regardless of whether or not you are. Choosing not to embrace digital transformation is essentially deciding that you don’t mind being left behind.

Eliminating Time-Consuming Manual Processes via Business Process Automation

By implementing digital technology, you can use software to perform the tasks that were previously being performed manually by staff. Business Process Automation is often seen as the stepping stone to a more holistic digital transformation, but it can also be one outcome.

bianca-email

Different types of software testing can be executed into your product

Unit Testing: 

Unit Testing is done to check whether the individual modules of the source code are working properly. i.e. testing each and every unit of the application separately by the developer in the developer’s environment. 

User interface testing

User interface testing is a process used to test if the application is functioning correctly. UI testing can be performed manually by a human tester, or it can be performed automatically with the use of a software program.

Integration Testing: 

Integration Testing is the process of testing the connectivity or data transfer between a couple of unit-tested modules.

System Testing (End to End Testing):

It’s black box testing. Testing the fully integrated application is also called as an end to end scenario testing. To ensure that the software works in all intended target systems. Verify thorough testing of every input in the application to check for desired outputs. Testing of the user’s experiences with the application.

Acceptance Testing: 

To obtain customer sign-off so that software can be delivered and payments received. Types of Acceptance Testing are Alpha, Beta & Gamma Testing.

Performance Testing

Performance testing is one of the most neglected testings in companies due to its time and cost as well. Moreover, in many requirements document the quality performance requirements are not well defined to ensure system scalability. It examines responsiveness, stability, scalability, reliability, speed, and resource usage of the software and its infrastructure

Performance testing can be done by applying:

  • Load testing: checks how systems function under a heavy number of concurrent virtual users performing transactions over a certain period of time.
  • Stress testing: Stress limits of the system (maximum # of users, peak demands, concurrency)
  • Timing testing: Evaluate the time to perform a function and the response times to return the results.
  • Environmental testing: It is about the tolerances for heat, humidity, motion, portability
  • Recovery testing: It tests the operation of the system in case of data loss or hardware crash.

Regression Testing

At most software projects, there are changes in requirements, and new features are added as well. It is important to perform the new features’ test cases, but It is more important to ensure that it does not affect other tested features and functions.

Regression testing is performed to determine if the software still meets all of its requirements in light of changes and modifications to the software. Regression testing involves selectively repeating existing validation tests, not developing new tests. The most common approach to regression testing is to simply repeat the system tests. Therefore, the best to do that by using automated testing tools and techniques

Usability Testing

it is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. This is in context, the usability inspection methods where experts use different methods to evaluate a user interface without involving users and ensure that it is usable in terms of design colors, fields and information places, A/B test, how it takes to understand the system and use it.

Security Testing

Security became a very hot topic recently especially after cloud adoption, The goal of security testing is to identify the threats to the system and measure its potential vulnerabilities. It also helps in detecting all possible security risks in the system and helps to fix these problems earlier before going to production. I wrote a lot of articles on security testing.

Software testing is defined as an activity to check whether the actual results match the expected results and to ensure that the software system is Defect free.

What is the software testing

Software testing is a process, to evaluate the functionality of a software application with an intent to find whether the developed software met the specified requirements or not and to identify the defects to ensure that the product is defect-free in order to produce a quality product.

Software Testing is not important only for the software company, it is also important for the customer. Many of the customers nowadays are concerned about how the software companies are ensuring their software quality, what is the process to do that and so on.

why Software Testing is important:

  • The testing is verifying that the required functionality is working correctly and validating that every function meets the requirements and we delivered it to the customer as per the specifications. (Doing it right and deliver the right Things)
  • It is important to make sure that the system does not do anything that it is not supposed to do.
  • Effective testing will dramatically decrease the cost of the software.
  • Continuous learning for the team, the team will learn from defects, when the team discovers a defect in function or requirements even, they learn how to avoid that in the future. This will increase team maturity as well.
  • It can decrease the system failures, there are known disasters that have been reported due to insufficient testing.
  • Quality products and software will ensure a sustainable company reputation or it can turn it into an untrustworthy company.

Here are the benefits of using software testing:

  • Cost-Effective: It is one of the important advantages of software testing. Testing any IT project on time helps you to save your money for the long term. In case if the bugs caught in the earlier stage of software testing, it costs less to fix.
  • Security: It is the most vulnerable and sensitive benefit of software testing. People are looking for trusted products. It helps in removing risks and problems earlier.
  • Product quality: It is an essential requirement of any software product. Testing ensures a quality product is delivered to customers.
  • Customer Satisfaction: The main aim of any product is to give satisfaction to its customers. UI/UX Testing ensures the best user experience.

Any software should have its testing cycle mapped to the main development lifecycle activities. every testing cycle has some common activities, which are:

  • Requirements testing: mainly how to ensure that each requirement is testable.
  • Test planning: It is about how to plan the testing activities, estimate the effort, the required team, ..etc.
  • Writing Test Cases: In this activity, the testers start to write the testing scenarios and scripts, these scenarios should include unit, integration, system testing, ..etc.
  • Test execution: It is mainly about preparing the testing environment and starting testing execution
  • Testing feedback: after the execution, the testing results and defects report should be reported to the development team to start fixing them.
  • Defect Retesting: when the developer report that the defect has been fixed, it should be tested again by the testing team.
  • User Acceptance Test: this should be the validation activity with the end-users who will use the system to ensure that they are working correctly from the business perspective. This can be iterative as well after the customer reports some defects as well.
  • Testing Closure: It is important to know when we should stop testing, explore the testing findings, and learn from the cycle for the new testing cycles.

There are three types of software testing approaches.

White Box Testing:

It is also called Glass Box, Clear Box, Structural Testing. White Box Testing is based on the application’s internal code structure. In white-box testing, an internal perspective of the system, as well as programming skills, are used to design test cases. This testing is usually done at the unit level.

Black Box Testing:

It is also called Behavioral/Specification-Based/Input-Output Testing. Black Box Testing is a software testing method in which testers evaluate the functionality of the software under test without looking at the internal code structure.

Grey Box Testing:

The grey box is the combination of both White Box and Black Box Testing. The tester who works on this type of testing needs to have access to design documents. This helps to create better test cases in this process.

The following types of testing can be executed from Blackbox and Whitebox approaches:

  • Unit Testing: 
  • User interface testing
  • Integration Testing: 
  • System Testing (End to End Testing):
  • Acceptance Testing: 
  • Performance Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • Security Testing

In the current digital age and the competitive software industry, it became essential to deliver not only the intended functionalities of the system but to ensure its scalability, agility, and modifiability. In order to reach this competitiveness in the market and to have qualified products, you need an efficient quality process of the software.

bianca-email

Why Scrum works and has visible effects on software projects?

While up to half of software projects are unsuccessful, statistics show that Scrum raises the effectiveness of project management, and as many as 62% of projects run this way will succeed.

Scrum is a project management tool for a working life cycle. It is an Agile framework to properly manage the development cycle. As you’ve probably noticed, Scrum is very popular – especially in software projects. This is completely understandable. Scrum is valued for its high efficiency and its well-designed project management system.

Have a look at another statistic. Various sources show that up to 90% of teams working with Scrum say they have improved the quality of their work because of it. Scrum is also very popular for another reason: it is aligned with the Agile approach, which sets the highest standards for project management.

Let talk about the advantages of the scrum:

# 1 Scrum is efficient

When working with Scrum, your team has the chance to achieve the highest levels of efficiency. This is possible due to the ‘sprints’ scheduled within a specific time frame. During this time frame or sprint, the team focuses on selected tasks. The sprint is carefully planned by the Scrum Master, who is responsible for time management.

# 2 Scrum ensures high-quality results

For good reason, Scrum is one of the most frequently used methodologies in software projects. One of its key features is ensuring quality. During a sprint, the team focuses on pre-set tasks. This avoids the usual distractions from adding unplanned tasks. The exchange of knowledge and support among sprint members also ensures high-quality results.

# 3 Scrum allows you to see effects quickly

The work of the team is noticeable quickly. The work takes place over strictly defined functionalities that are ready and tested when the sprint is finished. Because the product is developed in stages, you can see the effects of development.

# 4 Scrum saves you money

Due to the effective time and tasks management, focused on eliminating bugs in the sprint, Scrum speeds up how you build your product. You will notice very quickly that your budget is being used effectively. You do not waste time dealing with unnecessary amendments. After finishing the sprint, the team goes to work on the next functionalities in the next sprint.

# 5 Scrum is transparent

This is an important feature, especially for customers who want to monitor the progress of work on their product. Thanks to the sprints, they know exactly which functionalities the team is currently working on. They can also see the effects of this work relatively quickly. The aim of the development work is clear for both the team and the client.

# 6 Scrum provides support for all team members

If someone in a sprint has a problem with the task, then they can consult with the whole team for support. Other members in the sprint will provide help or, if necessary, complete the task. Knowledge exchange and mutual support help keep the sprint stable and avoid delays.

# 7 Scrum is user-friendly for sprint members

Scrum allows sprint members to choose the tasks they want to complete. This way, they can work on what they really like or are good at. The tasks are assigned by the Scrum Master, whose goal is to select the best tasks for the skills of each sprint member.

# 8 There are tools to support work in Scrum

Due to the huge popularity of Scrum, there are many tools available that support this project management methodology and allow you to control all processes and stages.

laura-email

How we manage the projects?

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together. Much like a rugby team (where it gets its name) training for the big game, scrum encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve.

While the scrum I’m talking about is most frequently used by software development teams, its principles and lessons can be applied to all kinds of teamwork. This is one of the reasons scrum is so popular. Often thought of as an agile project management framework, scrum describes a set of meetings, tools, and roles that work in concert to help teams structure and manage their work.

How does scrum project management work?

The scrum approach to project management enables software development organizations to prioritize the work that matters most and break it down into manageable chunks. Scrum is about collaborating and communicating both with the people who are doing the work and the people who need the work done. It’s about delivering often and responding to feedback, increasing business value by ensuring that customers get what they actually want.

Shifting from traditional project management approaches to scrum project management requires an adjustment in terms of the activities that are carried out, the artifacts that are created, and the roles within the project team:

Activities in scrum project management

The main activity in scrum project management is the sprint, a time-boxed iteration that usually lasts between 1-4 weeks, with the most common sprint length being two weeks.

Sprint planning meeting: at the start of each sprint, a planning meeting is held to discuss the work that is to be done. The product owner and the team meet to discuss the highest-priority items on the product backlog. Team members figure out how many items they can commit to and then create a sprint backlog, which is a list of the tasks to complete during the sprint.

Daily scrum or daily standup: each day during the sprint team members share what they worked on the prior day, will work on today, and identify any impediments. Daily scrums serve to synchronize the work of team members as they discuss the work of the sprint. These meetings are time-boxed to no more than 15 minutes.

Sprint review: at the end of a sprint, the team demonstrates the functionality added during the sprint. The goal of this meeting is to get feedback from the product owner and any users or other stakeholders who have been invited to the review.

Sprint retrospective: at the end of each sprint, the team participates in a retrospective meeting to reflect on the sprint that is ending and identify opportunities to improve in the new sprint.

Sprint Demo: at the end of each sprint, the team will have a demo to the clients to show what exactly to do during the sprint and they will show the output product to the clients.

Then with the scrum team and clients have all the control over the project and the changes could implement fast and clients will be completely aware of the work progress.

laura-email

What is Microservices?

Microservices are both architecture and an approach to writing software. With microservices, applications are broken down into their smallest components, independent from each other. Instead of a traditional, monolithic, approach to apps, where everything is built into a single piece, microservices are all separated and work together to accomplish the same tasks. Each of these components, or processes, is a microservice. This approach to software development values granularity, being lightweight, and the ability to share similar processes across multiple apps.

Microservice architectures enable faster feature delivery and scaling for large applications

The core idea of microservices is to split the large system into loosely coupled services that can be deployed independently. That’s it.

What are the benefits of a microservices architecture?

Microservices give your teams and routines a boost through distributed development. You can also develop multiple microservices concurrently. This means more developers working on the same app, at the same time, which results in less time spent in development.

Ready for market faster

Since development cycles are shortened, a microservices architecture supports more agile deployment and updates.

Highly scalable

As demand for certain services grows, you can deploy across multiple servers, and infrastructures, to meet your needs.

Resilient

These independent services, when constructed properly, do not impact one another. This means that if one piece fails, the whole app doesn’t go down, unlike the monolithic app model.

Easy to deploy

Because your microservice-based apps are more modular and smaller than traditional, monolithic apps, the worries that came with those deployments are negated. This requires more coordination, which a service mesh layer can help with, but the payoffs can be huge.

When change is required in a certain part of the application, only the related service can be modified and redeployed—no need to modify and redeploy the entire application

Accessible

Because the larger app is broken down into smaller pieces, developers can more easily understand, update, and enhance those pieces, resulting in faster development cycles, especially when combined with agile development methodologies.

More open

Due to the use of polyglot APIs, developers have the freedom to choose the best language and technology for the necessary function.

Also easy to understand and modify for developers, thus can help a new team member become productive quickly

Better fault isolation: 

if one microservice fails, the other will continue to work

What are the Microservice architecture challenges?

complexity and efficiency are two major challenges of a microservice-based architecture.

  1. Building: You have to spend time identifying dependencies between your services. Be aware that completing one build might trigger several other builds, due to those dependencies. You also need to consider the effects that microservices have on your data.
  2. Testing: Integration testing, as well as end-to-end testing, can become more difficult, and more important than ever. Know that a failure in one part of the architecture could cause something a few hops away to fail, depending on how you’ve architected your services to support one another.
  3. Versioning: When you update to new versions, keep in mind that you might break backward compatibility. You can build in conditional logic to handle this, but that gets unwieldy and nasty, fast. Alternatively, you could stand up multiple live versions for different clients, but that can be more complex in maintenance and management.
  4. Deployment: Yes, this is also a challenge, at least in the initial setup. To make deployment easier, you must first invest in quite a lot of automation as the complexity of microservices becomes overwhelming for human deployment. 
  5. Logging: With distributed systems, you need centralized logs to bring everything together. Otherwise, the scale is impossible to manage.
  6. Monitoring: It’s critical to have a centralized view of the system to pinpoint sources of problems.
  7. Debugging: Remote debugging through your local integrated development environment isn’t an option and it won’t work across dozens or hundreds of services. Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to how to debug at this time.
  8. Connectivity: Consider service discovery, whether centralized or integrated.

When to Use Microservices

As a good starting point, these would be some of the ideal situations you can prefer microservices over their monolithic counterparts.

  • When you want your monolithic application to accommodate scalability, agility, manageability and delivery speed
  • When you have to rewrite legacy applications in today’s programming languages or tech stacks to keep up with modern-day business requirements and solutions
  • When you have standalone business applications or modules that have to be reused across diverse channels—some good examples would be login services, search options, authentication facilities and more
  • If you’re building a highly agile application (product or service) that demands swift speed of delivery, innovation and more

When Not to Use Microservices

As a starting point, here are some factors.

  • Microservices are solutions to complex concerns and if your business doesn’t have complex issues, understand that you don’t have a system in place to handle the complexities of microservices.
  • Using microservices can prove to offer contrary consequences if you don’t have a team size that cannot handle the tasks involved. This will only result in the delay of delivery.
  • Implementing microservices for the sake of it can be hampered as well. If your application does not require to be broken down into microservices, you don’t need this. There is no absolute necessity that all applications should be broken down into microservices. There are those that are simple by their nature and functionality.
david-email

How do we stay GDPR-friendly for our clients in an outsourcing environment?

Under the GDPR, data management is carried out by the “controller” and the “processor.” How the personal data of an individual is used is determined by the controller. The role of the processor is to process the personal data on the part of the controller. 

providers play the role of the data processors and the companies that outsource are the data controllers.

Outsourcing firms that want to work with EU-based companies require strengthening their data security and privacy policies in order to align themselves with the standards laid down by the GDPR

In the case of a data breach, both the company and the outsourcing provider can be held liable and penalized heavily. Therefore, both the data controller (company) and the data processor (outsourcing services provider) should strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The following steps can help us in becoming fully compliant with GDPR:

  1. We Know What Is GDPR: 

We know about the GDPR and its effects on our business. First of all, we identify which of our business processes require changes in order to attain full compliance with the GDPR. We make all of our employees aware of the GDPR by providing training to them so that each and every department in our organization knows how to safely handle the users’ data.

  1. We Have A Review Of our Technologies And Business Processes each 3 month 

We review our business processes and look for where they are lacking in following the GDPR standards. Adopt new procedures and, if required, hire specialists so that we are able to meet the standards. Examine the technologies that are actively being deployed in your firm. Check if these technologies are adequately meeting the technical requirements for ensuring data security and privacy as required by the GDPR.

We could implement all the necessities in your product to be GDPR friendy.

  1. We could Set Up A Data Register for your business: 

As part of the GDPR, data protection associations have been set up by the European countries. They have been set up for the purpose of enforcing the GDPR and monitoring compliance. You should create a data register, which is a record of data processing activities. If for any reason, a data breach takes place, you will be required to show the data register to the data protection association.

  1. We will Build A Data Security Roadmap for your product : 

We will prepare a data security road map at the beginning of the projects. It helps us in prioritizing where the greatest security risks are present and in setting up goals and milestones. Data security techniques like encrypting, pseudonymization, etc. can help us meet our security goals.

  1. We could carry Out Periodic Assessments: 

Once we have set up and put into practice the technologies and processes required for becoming fully compliant with the GDPR, our next step is to carry out periodic assessments for ensuring everything is working as expected. Keeping data management and security in order will help you in preventing any sort of data breach, and will, therefore, save you from heavy penalties for GDPR non-compliance.

david-email

GDPR and how do we implement it in the software development process?

All the companies providing goods or services for the EU citizens will have to adhere to the new data protection rules or face fines of up to 4% annual global turnover or roughly $24.5M. As the GDPR comes into force it will affect businesses all over the world.

What is GDPR? Who needs to prepare for GDPR?

Any organization which gathers or processes EU citizens’ personal data is subject to the regulation. Moreover, all your contractors (including software development companies) need to adhere to the standard for your app to be GDPR-compliant.

How we implement it into your software:

1. Get informed consent from the user

The GDPR states that businesses now have to ask users to agree to collecting and processing their personal information. The request “must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent

2.We will minimize the collected data

We will make sure that you are collecting only the information you can’t do without. And, if possible, implement automatic deletion of the data you no longer need. 

3. We will encrypt personal data

Encryption adds an extra layer of security the hacker must defeat before they can access the information. The GDPR Article 32 requires that personal data is protected by the “state-of-the-art” measures. However, the exact nature of those measures is left for the companies to decide

4. We will implement “privacy by design” 

we making sure privacy is taken care of at every stage of the product’s lifecycle. Implementing this idea is a much larger undertaking.

4.1 Two-Factor Authentication

It protects from online fraud and identity theft

4.2 Blocking brute force attacks

If a hacker intends to use automated login/password guessing, these measures can stop them.

4.3 Automatic Log-Off

This feature helps prevent unauthorized access and modification of data

4.4 Separate domain names for Customer and Admin portals

Separating portals helps protect the information and allows securing the admin section without hampering users.

4.5 HTTP Authentication for Web Admin Panel

This feature adds another layer of protection against them.

4.6 SSL Certificate

SSL certificates protect the information transfer between app server and database or between the user and your service.

4.7 Locking Unused Database Ports

New servers are shipped with all the ports open. Lock the unneeded ones so they can’t be used for intrusion.

4.8 Database can be accessed only from API server IP

Allowing only one IP address will prevent unauthorized access and locate data breaches. Cloud firewalls could help with that.

4.9 Database connects to API server via HTTPS

Encryption helps protect the information while it is in transfer.

4.10 Server is accessed via VPN

VPN adds another layer of security to the data on the server.

4.11 Regular Database backup

Back up the information in the DB and store it on an external cloud service. In the event of a data breach, it will help to minimize losses.

4.12 Regular Server Log Backup

All the server logs should be kept and stored externally. It helps locate inconsistencies in case of hacker attacks.

4.13 Adjust Inotify

Set up triggers and notifications to detect intrusion quickly.

4.14 Log all the Server Actions

Logs allow to find out which data was modified.

5.We will implement “Privacy by default”

“Privacy by default” essentially means that if there are privacy settings in your product, they must be set to maximum at the start.

6.We will implement Pseudonymization

Pseudonymization means storing information that can identify a person (e.g. social security number) and the related data (gender, age, location, etc.) separately.

7. We will prepare for the users to exercise their rights

The new European regulation has given people extra rights that companies must grant: Right to be forgotten; Right to object; Right to rectification; Right to access; Right to portability.

8.We will document everything

The regulation requires companies to not only implement additional data protection measures but also document them to be able to prove that they’ve taken the necessary steps.

9. We will prepare a plan for contingencies

No matter how well you are defended at the moment, it pays to be prepared for personal data breaches.

In most cases, you’ll need to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours of detecting a breach. If you opt not to, you must have a valid (and properly supported by documents) reason for it. But if there is a “high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals”, you need to inform your users as well.

david-email

What is the GDPR?

  • What is the GDPR and what does it stand for?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation also referred to as Regulation (EU) 2016/679. GDPR replaces the existing protection directive that was introduced in 1995 and has been created by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission to strengthen and unify data protection for all residents of the European Union.

Additionally, GDPR addresses data protection rules for personal data export outside of the European Union. It also enforces EU data protection laws to guide foreign organizations that process personal data pertaining to residents of the European Union.

In the case of a data breach, both the company and the outsourcing provider can be held liable and penalized heavily. Therefore, both the data controller (company) and the data processor (outsourcing services provider) should strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • When does GDPR come into effect?

GDPR was approved by the European parliament in April 2016. After a two-year transition period, GDPR will be in force for all organisations that handle the data of EU residents from the 25th of May 2018.

  • What is the purpose of GDPR?

The primary purpose of GDPR is to define standardised data protection laws for all member countries across the European Union.

GDPR will:

  • Increase privacy and extend data rights for EU residents.
  • Help EU residents understand personal data use.
  • Address the export of personal data outside of the EU.
  • Give regulatory authorities greater powers to take action against organisations that breach the new data protection regulations.
  • Simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying data protection regulations within the European Union.
  • Require every new business process that uses personal data to abide by the GDPR data protection regulations and Privacy by Design rule.
  • Who does the GDPR apply to?

Similar to the Data Protection Act, GDPR applies to company data controllers and data processors. If you are the controller, the GDPR places additional emphasis on meeting contractual obligations with the processor to ensure they comply with GDPR.  As a processor, the GDPR requires you to maintain records of all processing activities and personal data use.  This increases the legal liability for processors in the event of a breach.

GDPR does NOT apply to specific activities such as processing under the Law Enforcement Directive, the processing is done by individuals for personal or household matters, any processing carried out for the purpose of national security.

  • What type of information applies to GDPR?

Like the Data Protection Act, the GDPR rules apply to personal data. However, the GDPR extends the scope of what is considered personal data such as an IP address that acts as an online identifier.

The GDPR rules also apply to sensitive data which uniquely identifies a specific individual. This includes categories such as genetic or biometric data.

  • According to the EU, What constitutes personal data?

Under GDPR, the definition of personal data has been much simplified to ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable person.’

According to the European Commission, personal data constitutes “Any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’ that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address.”

  • Does GDPR apply to companies outside of the EU?

Yes. Similar to UK compliance post-Brexit, GDPR regulations apply to foreign companies outside of the EU that collect, process and hold the personal data of EU residents, regardless of their location.

  • 9 Key changes under GDPR
    • A single set of data protection rules will now apply to all EU member states. In addition, increased territorial scope means that GDPR will apply to all companies that process the personal data of EU residents, regardless of their location.
    • ‘Right to be forgotten’ – also known as Data Erasure. EU residents will have the right to request that personal data relating to them is erased. This could be based on a number of grounds that include non-compliance, data no longer being relevant to its original purposes, or data subjects withdrawing consent.
    • ‘Right to access’ – Data subjects will have the right to obtain confirmation from the data controller whether or not their personal data concerning them has been processed, where it has been processed and for what purpose.
    • Data Breach notifications will become mandatory in all member states – in the instance that the data breach is likely to “result in risk pertaining to the rights and freedoms of individuals.
    • Consent rules are changing and opt-in requirements for obtaining personal data are stricter. The conditions for consent have been strengthened, as companies will no longer be able to utilize long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese. Organisations are required to ensure that consent is clear, distinguishable and provided in an easily accessible form with the purpose of the data processing disclosed and attached to the consent. It must be just as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.
    • ‘Privacy by Design’ – Now part of a legal requirement with the GDPR, Privacy by Design calls for the inclusion of data protection from the onset of the designing of systems, instead of just being an addition.
    • Data Controllers and Data Processors will be required to conduct privacy risk impact assessments for projects that have high privacy risks.
    • Data processing activity notification rules are changing. Under GDPR it will no longer be necessary for Data Controllers to submit notifications/registrations of data processing activities to local Data Protection Officers. In addition, it will no longer be a requirement to notify/obtain approval for transfers based on the Model Contract Clauses (MCCs). This will be replaced by an internal record-keeping requirement. There is an exception to this.
    • The new Accountability Principle in Article 5(2) requires you to demonstrate that you comply with the principles and states explicitly that this is your responsibility.

Security Within Your Development, Staging, and Production Environments

A typical development workflow has three environments: development, staging, and production. Some developers don’t view staging as an environment, but we included it here to give you a full scope of the process.

Development Environment

A development environment is on your computer. It’s the environment where you’ll conduct all your code development without touching the actual data. In development, you can test upgrades, new features, and improvements without impacting the customer’s view. You may find bugs along the way, but that’s what this environment is meant to discover.

Typical use-cases for a development environment include:

  • Building new features, extending existing features, and code refactoring.
  • Running integration tests. 
  • Debugging.

There are few restrictions on what developers can do in their development environment, and they are free to experiment with code until they are happy with it, at which point they will push it to the staging environment.

Staging Environment

The staging environment is a production-like environment to see how your code will perform. This is the final testing ground before the code is pushed into production. Staging environments are often used for:

  • Quality assurance and performance testing.
  • Vulnerability testing and risk analysis.  
  • Integration testing, to ensure that the code integrates well with services and databases the app depends on. 

Staging environments also give other developers, project managers, and clients an opportunity to examine software before it goes live. 

Because extensive testing takes place in the staging environment, it’s important that it is as similar to production as possible, including both the software and hardware. While it’s fine to host a development environment on a laptop, the staging environment should be on a server with the same hardware it will run on in production. 

Production Environment

In a production environment, systems go live and your developed code is released to end-users. You deploy completed code that has endured proper vulnerability testing and risk analysis. All of the testings are complete and there’s the expectation that you’ll find only minor bugs if any. Once it’s released, you’re relying on it as a profit source, so you want to make sure it’s secure

In theory, major bugs and software vulnerabilities should have been discovered before the code goes to production, but that’s rarely the case for complex software systems. It is likely that at least some bugs made it through testing, so organizations must design and implement network and data security systems that assume the existence of vulnerabilities. 

Importance of Security Throughout Dev, Staging, and Production

With multiple environments comes the difficulty of securely managing them. The best practice is to separate your development, staging, and production environments. This allows each to evolve at its own pace – maybe the development environment is testing out features that won’t be available in production for at least a year – and reduces the risk of cross-contamination. Any bugs discovered in staging, for example, will be contained within that environment and not spread any further. Most importantly, keeping your development, staging, and production environment separate will help protect data.

Security Concerns in DevOps

For organizations that use the DevOps approach, security is an even greater concern. It’s face-based, there’s more overlap, there’s automation – there are many reasons to implement and verify security processes in DevOps.

To preserve high-level compliance practices within your development, staging, and production environments, you can implement configuration management techniques, monitoring, and logging processes, and even integrate infrastructure as code or policy as code. You can set yourself up for success by performing regular code review during the development process, making changes proactively to all environments, confirming that you have limited access to the proper channels, or even engage in continuous penetration testing to ensure no vulnerability is overlooked. These practices will ensure you’re doing your due diligence to securely manage your various environments.