The Financial Risks of Software Bugs

It’s easy to overlook the occasional software bugs and glitches, but some of the most negligible software errors could result in substantial financial costs if left unfixed. Case in point, a software bug in self-driving cars made them automatically brake after falsely detecting emergencies. This caused close to 12,000 units to get recalled in 2021 due to threatening safety issues.

Aside from safety concerns, software bugs can also cause significant financial risks, often without businesses realizing it. This is why there is such a demand for those who specialize in information systems. A demand that is being met at higher education institutions. Many top universities have opened up the field to create a wider pool of experts through online management information systems courses. These courses teach professionals to design, build, and manage different systems. Understanding not only how to design and build software but also manage and maintain them is crucial and can save you from unnecessary trouble in the future, such as these financial risks:

Safety hazards

Self-driving cars are not the only vehicles prone to dangerous software bugs. In 2021, a high-speed passenger ferry system manufacturer’s software caused a memory card failure after generating an unprecedented number of error messages. This seemingly minor bug caused the loss of the display monitor, primary propulsion, and steering control, resulting in a grounding that involved one minor injury and $2.5 million in damages to the ferry. In response to the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board emphasized the importance of practical company training, specifically for loss of control procedures and emergency backup systems.

Rounding errors

In a previous post, we wrote about a tax preparation so
ftware with a simple error in which it rounded off the
purchase price and sale price before calculating the capital gains. While it may seem like a minor software error, a bug like this in tax-related software may cause the underreporting or even over reporting of taxes. This may lead to legal problems in the future, not to mention tax losses on the government’s end. And while some software bugs may cost the businesses behind them, they are likely to affect end-users, much like the software bugs that cause errors in self-driving and automated vehicles.

Security problems

The latest macOS update recently came with a bug that caused problems for users relying on third-party security programs, such as malware scanners and other monitoring tools. The new macOS 13 Ventura update introduced a flaw that disables required third-party software access for security tools to complete their scans. As security monitoring tools require system visibility — known as full disk access — to detect malicious activity and do general scans, the macOS software update has disabled various third-party security software from performing their tasks and keeping users’ systems safe. This is cause for concern because systems that are vulnerable to outside attacks and possible data breaches can cost users valuable information and even financial risk if the information ends up in the wrong hands. While Apple has since said they would resolve the issue in the next macOS update, they couldn’t specify when that would be.

Ultimately, software bugs and glitches may seem minor and can easily be overlooked at first, but without trained IT teams making sure they fix and patch them, they may lead to more severe issues down the line. When ignored for a long enough time, problems could lead to security, physical safety, and significant financial concerns. To protect your business from these hazards, contact Open ReFactory today to learn how we can help keep you safe and build software you can trust.

Content intended only for the use of By Yvonne Carter.

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