A Closer Look at the Security and Reliability of Software

The modern world is a place where software and devices are part of our everyday lives. Software is everywhere — institutions, offices, factories, our homes, cities and virtual space. Advancement of technology and development of Internet of Things (IoT) is the main force behind the approach of doing things shifting from the traditional way to the modern digitalized way. Today’s software has advanced in functionality, is more reliable and secure, users, on the other hand, demand for software that is advanced and reliable to help them achieve their daily activities, whether at work or home. Even with the current state of technology, there is software that does not meet user expectations or does not offer the required security level, leaving room for security breaches. This article will look at some of the factors that affect security and reliability of software and factors that contribute to successful and reliable software.

Software reliability refers to the probability of software not failing or causing inconvenience for the user; it is closely related to functionality. Reliable software is unlikely to fail on a regular basis or prevent the user from executing an operation.

Below are different attributes of reliable software

Functionality

Software functionality refers to the overall performance of the software. User satisfaction is largely related to the functionality of the software; a software that is fast, stable, offers adequate security and access control, can be said to have excellent functionality. Functionality can be measured by how users rate the software in regards to their experience with the software.

Usability

Software Usability refers to the ease of software use. The user interface design highly affects the usability of software. A good interface is the one that provides the user with a well-defined navigation, well-organized components, is easy to use and minimizes the number of clicks to complete the task.

Efficiency

Efficiency refers to the software functionality based on functional requirements or specifications, generating the expected and accurate results without failure.

Maintainability

Software maintenance aims at making a software perform better and become more secure. Maintenance addresses software performance issues, bugs and security issues.

Security

The core security requirement of modern software is to secure the user data from unauthorized access and also maintain the user privacy. To overcome security challenges, software is built considering security as one of the main objectives.

Factors impacting to reliability and security of software

Design Architecture

Software design architecture refers to a set of principles which defines an application. It dictates an abstract framework for the software system regarding the pattern of structural organization. The success of a software begins at the design phase of software development when the functionality, security protocols, access control factors are designed. Software development has significantly evolved leading to more stable and reliable design patterns, which means more advanced design architectures have been invented to power the modern applications. Design patterns and design architecture affect 3 crucial aspects of a software reliability.

Application Speed

The speed of executing tasks highly depends on the software design. Modern software is designed to be lightweight and swift, built with a small “memory footprint” to enhance the performance of the software even on devices that have a low processing power. Today’s software aids processing of time-sensitive tasks such as serving thousands of clients for the shortest period possible or getting a patient’s medical details on time. Software users, whether using web software, mobile apps or desktop apps, want a software that does not take too long to execute commands and tasks.

Software Performance and Stability

Most of the modern software are built with the objective of supporting multiple concurrent users. This calls for well-thought design architecture that is capable of handling concurrent users without failing or causing inconvenience. Some design architectures designed in the earlier days were not oriented to support concurrent users, and this resulted in performance issues. This eventually led to the development of design patterns that are oriented towards developing high-performance software, which supports multiple concurrent users. The stability of software, even when used by many users at the same time, results in more reliable performance of software that does not fail due to traffic or access by many users.

Software Security

The security of a software system starts at the design phase of the software and ends with the end user. Software design architecture significantly impacts the software security. Software security is supposed to be at the core of the modern software. End users are increasingly demanding for more secure software systems; this is because the data being processed in today’s software systems contain sensitive user data, the privacy of which is critical. An effective software would not be successful unless it is secure, thus security and reliability of software are both inseparable and crucial.

User Interface (UI) and User Experience

Modern software is designed to automate complex tasks, but users are in constant look of software that both does these complex tasks and has a user-friendly interface. The user interface determines the reliability and usability of software in a great measure. UI design patterns have been invented to present the user with a consistent experience across devices and software as well. Design philosophies like material design by Google provide designers with design principles that help them create apps that have a consistent experience with mobile, web and desktops applications. Software made in the earlier days lacked the consistent look and experience, hence users had to learn to use the same software when the working environment or the device changed. Design principles aim at enhancing the development of user-friendly software that also minimizes the time the user spends to complete a task.

Security and reliability of software in the present-day world are core factors considered in the digital world. Effectiveness of software is coupled with security to ensure that the privacy of user data is prioritized. Software used in sensitive areas like banking, health and government needs to be reliable and secure to prevent unauthorized access and provide software efficiency. As the technology advances, security issues are better addressed together with reliability to efficiently automate our daily activities.