Your app is following best practices for security. But is your organization? The following steps and practices should help limit the ways important data or information could be compromised.

No Duplicate Passwords

Do not use duplicate passwords. Not even for a couple of apps. This seems like common sense, but just do not do it.

Use a Password Manager

Instead of using duplicate passwords, use a password manager that can easily handle generating, storing, and sharing secrets. This means instead of using duplicate passwords for easy memorization, difficult to guess passwords can be generated and recalled all from one place. It also means that when you need to share the Twitter account with the marketing team, you can share the password without sending it in plain text.

1Password and LastPass are solid options with support for teams.

Audit Access

Does that contractor who worked on the app eight months ago really need GitHub access? If not, remove them. It is easy enough to add them back if you need to.

Go through the critical services your software relies upon, and ensure that only folks who need access have access. This means removing folks from places like AWS, Heroku, GitHub, etc.

While folks may not have bad intentions, decreasing the number of possible accounts that can be compromised that have access is a great preventative measure.

Use 2 Factor Authentication

Too many policies can be a bummer, but security should be taken seriously, and I think a worthwhile policy is to ensure the folks that do have access to the services your app relies upon are using 2 factor authentication. This means that for someone to log into an account, they need the username, password, and an ephemeral token generated via an authenticator app or sent via text message.

This extra layer of security means that if their password is compromised or guessed, the attacker would need access to their phone or authentication device.

Using a service that does not support 2 factor authentication? Reach out and request it. Let them know that it is important to your organization.

Encrypt Hard Drives

On OS X this feature is called FileVault. Folks with sensitive information on their computer’s storage should have it enabled. This means that the contents of the storage cannot be accessed unless the encryption key is known.


Take the time today, or this week, and work with your organization to setup these tools and follow these practices. They are easy enough to do, and they may save you some serious headaches in the future.