DEV Community

Ashok Sharma
Ashok Sharma

Posted on

A Look Inside HiBob’s Defense-in-Depth Data Protection Stack

For any company that holds large quantities of personnel data, security is priority zero. Between payroll details, healthcare records, and performance metrics, most HR platforms handle sensitive info warranting fortress-level protections.

Enter HiBob and their cloud-based system centralizing core HR workflows for 3,000+ organizations globally. Given the nature of this data, HiBob recognized an immense responsibility to safeguard it properly. As such, they've constructed a robust, defense-in-depth architecture of tools and processes specifically for locking down client information while preventing a HiBob data breach.

This post will dive into HiBob’s tech stack surrounding:

  • Encrypting data at rest and in transit
  • Maximizing service availability
  • Secure application development methodology

We’ll analyze how they leverage industry standard protections like AES-256, least privilege access, redundancy, and OWASP Top 10 embedded controls to create data barriers from all angles. For any devs working on platforms handling private user data, attention to layered security is must. HiBob provides an inside look at an HR-focused setup that goes to great lengths to put protection first.

Securing Data When Moving and at Rest

Since solutions like HiBob's handle such sensitive information, locking down both data flows and storage stands paramount. As such, they leverage the latest encryption standards and access control protections.

When it comes to transit, the system utilizes industry standard HTTPS/TLS 1.2+ for end-to-end encryption between client browsers and APIs. This prevents snoops from reading payload packets should they intercept connections on the wire. Trusted certificates underpin secure handshakes so users can confirm they're communicating with legitimate servers, not imposters.

For at rest protections, HiBob turned to 256-bit AES encryption - one of the strongest symmetric algorithms currently trusted. They manage access controls and keys in AWS' Key Management Service (KMS) allowing granular permissions and robust auditing trails. Two tiers of encryption happen: once at the raw database level for any persisted data, then again at the application layer for particularly sensitive fields like personal details and salaries before committing them to storage.

This defense-in-depth approach works to minimize exposure even in the case of unauthorized database access. The encrypted data remains useless without highly guarded KMS keys to decrypt.

Maximizing Platform Availability

Beyond securing data, SaaS operations require maximizing service resilience even when facing worst case outages. HiBob deploys extensive redundancy and disaster recovery across geographic AWS regions to facilitate always-on availability.

Multi-region infrastructure distribution plus automatic failover prevents localized disruptions from interrupting end-user usage and data flow. Isolated disaster recovery systems in Frankfurt synchronize changes from primary environments as a backup assurance ready to scale on demand if catastrophe struck production data centers.

Regular DR testing exercises ensure provisions necessary for scale still function if called upon. Through such expansive measures increasing tolerance for failures, HiBob maximizes application availability - ready to route usage around almost any disruption.

Secure Application Development

When building the software powering platforms handling sensitive data, HiBob bakes security in from the start:

  • Developer Training- All engineers complete mandatory annual education highlighting OWASP Top 10 risks, common attack types, and appropriate mitigations to apply in code. Lessons learned during these refreshers directly inform subsequent development efforts.

  • Environment Segmentation - Development, testing, staging and production environments remain entirely isolated from one another throughout the SDLC. No actual customer data ever reaches non-production instances.

  • Embedded Framework Protections - HiBob's platforms leverage modern web development frameworks which have out-of-the-box protections against SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and other OWASP Top 10 application risks embedded within request handling, templates and more.

  • Continuous Scanning- Static code analysis during builds plus dynamic scans against running applications test both source code and execution behavior for flaws. Tight CI/CD integration bakes security checks into the pipeline early and often.

  • External Pen Testing- Annual exhaustive application penetration tests bring in outside expertise to simulate real attacks against production systems. This validation identifies any gaps missed internally.

  • Bug Bounties- Ongoing rewarded bounties through BugCrowd incorporate external talent testing resilience. Discovered vulnerabilities get reported/fixed quickly by design.

Defense In Depth Protecting Platform and Data

Ultimately, HiBob’s security architecture and development prevents compromise through defense-in-depth protections spanning infrastructure, software, processes, and teams.

Encryption secures assets while redundancy maintains availability even under duress. Across the board, embracing industry leading practices plus continuous enhancement training sharpens skills for navigating emerging threats over time. With data protection a central pillar to the HR platform, every element designed facilitates guarding sensitive information securely now and into the future.

Top comments (0)