Applications have become as complex as ever, and with the constant evolution and advancement of applications, cyber threats have become of the biggest risks that organizations today face – and as most of the past cyber attacks on organizations teach us, those risks can be absolutely disastrous. Therefore, along with the increased business risks and concerns correlating with insecure software, the attention from organizations is significantly more focused on building securely.
However, as time (and major hacks) will prove, many organizations don’t properly budget application security solutions and teams and developers throughout time have not been tasked properly with ensuring security through their code.
The improvement of our security process is no longer optional, and one of the most important steps you can take towards improving your application security is by following and implementing a Secure SDLC.
The SLDC is a fundamental process featuring a set of steps which form the model for a development lifecycle. The SDLC process consists of steps in which software is designed, developed, tested, and deployed, helping form the way apps are built and the framework defining the way tasks are performed during each step. Building apps requires this structure, but in light of the changing cyber world, security should and must be integrated throughout that very structure.
A secure SDLC model includes the full development lifecycle structure as it’s known with added security wayposts throughout the process and security elements added to every SDLC step. By including security throughout your SDLC, you ensure that deployed apps are built with security in mind and are already secured upon release as part of your agile process thus ensuring the development of quality software.
A secure SDLC contains the addition of Risk Assessment, Threat Modeling, Design Review, Static Analysis, Security Testing and Code Review, and Security Assessment and Secure Configuration. A great part of having a strong and secure SDLC is that its’ framework is adaptable to fit a changing application or organization and can last years.
Even though the secure SDLC process is longer than a traditional SDLC, developing with security deeply integrated with the software’s lifecycle today is the best way to prevent cyber attacks to hit you tomorrow (and beyond).
Secure Development Education is Key
A secure SDLC won’t happen overnight – it’s a task which requires time to fully integrate into your existing development cycle. Another requirement is education. Security is a common concern among the IT community as a whole though but, in many cases, developers may not realize nor contemplate the importance and impact of security in software development; and the reason to why may lay with that the importance of security may not be understood by the organization as a whole.
Everyone who interacts with code in any way should be considered a partner in security, whether they’re a programmer or a pen-tester. Guide all involved team members on their roles as part of a secure SDLC so that they can best understand their responsibilities and successfully implement security in your software.
Read how you can raise the security awareness of developers here
Mobilize Your Developers with the Best Solution and Techniques
Teach developers to think like hackers. It is crucial that developers will understand the fundamental details and mindset of hackers; how they work, what parts of your software they may be after, and how they operate.
Start by evaluating your existing security process and solutions and see what needs to be improved in order to help developers and security teams do the best job possible. Aim to arm the teams involved with the right information and best security solutions so that they can put their security education to use by understanding security flaws and run appropriate security tests against the software.
The right security solution should be easy to use and should fit into your organization’s current secure SDLC.
Check out our list of top vulnerable sites where you (along your developers!) can legally practice your hacking here
Define When to Break
No software is flaw-free, however, not every flaw or vulnerability should mark a reason to stop the development process.
Prior to beginning the vital scan of your code, you will define the policy which defines when to break the build. At this time, defining the policy comes from gaining a deep knowledge and understanding of the different vulnerabilities and security flaws in the cyber worlds along with additional understanding of how different hacks and breaches occur through each vulnerability and how it can be patched in the most efficient way.
During the scan, vulnerabilities and flaws will come to light, and while part of the vulnerabilities will be marked as low-severity, the vulnerabilities marked as medium and high-severity are those which require the attention and the likely pause in the development process in order to patch and secure the build with a better solution.
Learn how LivePerson implemented a secure SDLC here