Cyber attacks are on the rise. There have been some very high profiles incidences in recent years and it’s been reported that the average cost of an IT security breach to a UK business is £1.75 million.
Most companies are at least beginning to take tech security seriously but not all threats and potential issues involve malicious outside attacks. So, what are some of these threats and how can you go about tackling these invisible dangers?
We’re all familiar with the idea of broken or lost software but usually we experience this sort of problem when a bug or computer virus invades our PC and renders it unable to operate. In these instances, we simply remove the bug and restore our computer to its former glory, re-downloading or installing various pieces of software until it runs like a dream.
So what happens if you lose software through other means? How can you reclaim your computer’s functionality then?
One potential cause for concern that is often overlooked is the possibility of your software system and other tech service providers going bust. If you rely on a particular system and you can no longer maintain or update it, it could have serious ramifications for the continuity and smooth running of your business.
This is where a professional software escrow service like that provided by NCC Group can come in handy. When you license software for use in your business, what you are typically given is the object code or machine language that can actually run on your system. This means you’re able to use the software or programme but you don’t actually own the rights to it and you don’t have access to the source code which sits behind it.
Source code is the version of the program as it is written by a human programmer. This is required for other programmers to understand the software and without it the version you have simply wouldn’t work.
Developers tend to be understandably protective of their source codes as it is the key to all their power. Should someone else get this code then they could reproduce and distribute the software to other parties, undercutting the original owners.
With source code escrow the relevant assets are held by the escrow provider as an independent third party. The source codes and any other relevant intellectual property data is essentially kept locked away and released to the end-user only if the developer’s business fails or they are otherwise unable to fulfil their contractual obligations.
This can be an ideal way to protect both parties’ interests as it means you don’t have to worry about lost software while developers don’t have to worry about lost assets.
The source code itself is of little use of course if the end-user (i.e. your business) is unable to effectively use it. Verification services ensure you will have all the required material, knowledge and guidance you need should you ever need to carry out maintenance and support of your business critical software.
Software verification services are designed to complement software escrow services and together they can play an important part in your holistic tech security strategy.