As a leader in its field, Playtech continuously acquires new companies and integrates new technologies into its platform. As a result, the company has a diverse code base consisting of millions Lines of Code (LoC) across a wide range of products. With over 1,000 developers in its R&D team and practically all major coding languages being used by its developers (e.g .NET, Java, Python, Perl, C++, HTML5, Objective C) the task of performing code analysis has become a challenge.
Playtech places a lot of emphasis on application security. The company implements a structured Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) methodology, whereby software security is taken into consideration in every step of the SDLC – namely –during the requirements, design, implementation, development & QA phases. Playtech has been using automated code analysis from the very early days of the company with security bugs being given equal importance and treatment as any other bug.
Due to the complex software development environment Playtech operates, an automatic Static Application Security Testing (SAST) solution must be used during the development phase to scan the entire code base. The tool must be flexible enough to enable Playtech to enforce its security policy and various regulatory requirements.
Each scan consists of a minimum of hundreds of thousands LoC and “results accuracy” and “scan time performance” are key considerations so the critical development work is not interrupted.
Playtech developed its own application security standard which is an extension of the OWASP Top 10 & SANS 25 standards. The company is also certified to ISO 27001 & PCI DSS standards and complies with hundreds of rigorous regulations set by the countries it operates in which audit Playtech frequently.
Playtech has numerous code analysis solutions in place and is familiar with the capabilities of the solutions in the marketplace. The biggest disadvantage of other tools was the requirement to scan compiled code. Playtech wanted a solution that was capable of running the scans during the development lifecycle in order to achieve a true SDL and none of the other solutions supported that. The ability to easily customize the rule sets to enforce Playtech’s security policy was another thing that proved difficult with other solutions and was a non-issue using Checkmarx’s open query language.
The selection of Checkmarx
The security team at Playtech loves Checkmarx because of the flexibility and independence it provides them to do their job. Being a small security team within such a large company, the task of staying up to date with the ever growing code base is a great challenge. Using compilation based SAST tools required achieving a build and compilation errors in the process of achieving a build consumed a lot of precious time of the security team and often required assistance from the R&D team.
Checkmarx automatically charts the data flow in the application and suggests the optimal remediation points, which significantly reduces the mitigation efforts of the R&D. In addition, the ability to write custom queries for the Playtech’s various purposes (no necessarily all security related) is priceless.
Another excellent byproduct of implementing a true SDL is that the developers are automatically trained in writing secure code because they get immediate feedback detailing the security vulnerabilities found in their code. The developers say they find it is more effective than any other training they’ve done.
Playtech started small. Their objective was to start scanning a few smaller projects using Checkmarx. Running on a few projects for a few months, Playtech saw the outcome was successful. Both the security team and the developers are finding the solution useful and easy to use so the implementation was expanded to larger projects. At the moment Checkmarx scans more than 90% of the projects and keeps growing. Every developer has the IDE plugin suitable for them (Visual Studio, Eclipse) and are a lot more cooperative because they get the security findings while everything is still fresh in their mind. It’s very easy to use. Even new developers don’t need any training. It’s all in their IDE which they are used to anyway. Every medium / high severity bug is automatically entered into JIRA bug tracking.
Playtech (www.playtech.com) is the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming software supplier. Playtech offers cutting-edge, value added solutions to the industry’s leading operators. Since Playtech’s inception in 1999, its approach has been centered on the continual development of best-of-breed gaming products and content, and its success built upon strong partnerships. Playtech has over 2,500 employees. Learn more