Integrating Security Across SDLC phases

Today, Hackers are continuously looking for any vulnerability, flaw or weakness in an application that could be exploited to compromise the security of it. This exponential increase in a number of security attacks and vulnerabilities has ensured security assurance is taken as one of the primary requirements in an organization.

Integrating security into the development of an application or software is necessary to decrease its risk of susceptibility to attacks and exploits. Traditional methods of security testing were performed on a finished product. However, with the rise in the intensity and the number of attack vectors, it has become necessary for organizations to include it as a part of every phase of an SDLC.

The following graph depicts the cost of addressing security at different stages of the software development lifecycle:

Different stages

Software Development Lifecycle is a process which defines the various steps involved in the development of a software. It is adopted as a standard procedure by organizations to meet the industry requirements and deliver high-quality and secure software. The aim behind having a well-defined procedure is to meet the customer expectations within the specified timelines and cost estimates.

Looking at the different aspects of it including threat modeling, analysis, secure design and secure coding practices, Secure SDLC can be an intimidating task. There are various models of SDLC, like Agile, Waterfall, V-shaped, iterative and more, are defined and developed according to the industry requirements. However, the flow of a typical SDLC consists of 7 stages. Let’s discuss these phases in brief and explore H2S security key in each phase:

Secure SDLC: Phases – End-To-End Information Security Services

Secure Sdlc

1. Security Training & Awareness

“There is only one way to keep your product plans safe and that is by having a Trained, Aware and a Conscientious Workforce” 

This is the first step towards Secure SDLC, where we build security aware workforce. It is very important for an organization to educate its workforce about security concepts, possible threats and attack scenarios so that they will be able to define and evaluate security risk and definitions. Training and Awareness programs need to be organized to learn about security assurance and methodologies, security policy, procedure and best practices. Being trained and certified in terms of secure software development would support to enhance and self-assess their own skill sets.  

2. Building Security Requirements

“Without Software Requirements, Software will Fail.
Without Secure Software Requirement, Organizations will.”

Establishing correct security requirements is often a hard-learned lesson, but is very important for software development in order to avoid any confusions later. It includes:

  • Gathering Security Requirements
  • Ensuring Security Baseline
  • Building Security Checklist
  • Defining Security Gates
  • Setting Risk Definition
  • Referring Security Maturity Models
  • Implying Compliances & Regulations

3. Secure By Design

“Treat Security As An Integral Part Of Overall System Design”

        - NIST SP 800-27: Engineering Principles for Information Technology Security

Using the prepared requirement document, product architectures are designed. From security prospect, it should be designed to combat any possible security threat. Processes like, Threat modeling will help you to analyze attack surfaces and possible threat scenarios in existing product design.

The indispensable actions at this phase include:

actions at SSDLC phase include

4. Secure Implementation & Coding

In the development stage, where security control implementation takes place, usage of secure coding practices is equally important. Ensuring security in code review process and analyzing standard checkpoints generally occurred at this stage to ensure it has the features and functions securely specified. At this, it is important to imply the secure coding practices like CERT Secure Coding Standard and OWASP Secure Coding Practices. Furthermore, there is essential to perform security code/peer review, which can be done by manual review and dynamic & static code analysis. Evaluating the code against the CWE Top25 Programming Error can influence to a great extent during implementing safeguards & countermeasures. 

5. Security Verification / Testing

In the testing stage, the developed product is evaluated to handle possible security attacks and vulnerabilities or security defects. A dynamic analysis of the product should be done by testing its security components to detect the loopholes. Different security testing tools, techniques, and methodologies are required to verify security of the product. The most common approaches that we recommend are:

  • Risk Based Approach
  • GREY Box Approach 
  • Testing Across SDLC 
  • Dedicated Testing LAB 
  • Optimized as per Industry and Business Policies 
  • Integrated Vulnerability Analysis

6. Security Review & Response Plan

Even after so many precautions and testing, unexpected errors may crop up in the product. To reduce the later risk, Security engineers may have to build a Final Security Review Plan. This plan includes tasks like:  

Organizations should have dedicated, skilled staff who should be responsible for Deployment and Procurement Risk. The review tasks that they are going to perform in this phase include Compliance Check, Configuration Check, Threat Modeling, Audit Policies, Processes, Standards & Procedures, & Customizable as per Business Requirements Detailed Reporting.

7. Security Escalation & Maintenance

Every software needs regular maintenance to keep up to date with new technologies and tools and emerging attacks. Organizations should have a maintenance plan ready to provide customers after service help. Security maintenance includes three main actions to perform. They are: 

3rd Party Library Updates

The above-mentioned process defines that by integrating security at every phase of the development process is essential for developing secure software and will further reduce overall Security Control Implementation cost, Handle Active and Passive Losses, etc. Apart from this, educating your workforce on security awareness, secure coding best practices, and available frameworks will help you to avoid risk at the very first place.

Hack2Secure understands the need of security in an Application Development Process and has come up with a unique Secure SDLC program and developed its security services across it. For more details on Secure SDLC Services, Click Here 

We also provide Workshop and Certification program on Secure Software Development Lifecycle based on globally recognized Industry Security Standards and best practices from NIST, OWASP, CERT, PCI-DSS, etc. This program assists an individual with enormous opportunities to learn about SDLC, and will give you hands-on exposure and relevant Case Studies to assist in integrating Security at every phase of Web Application Development Lifecycle.

For more Details on Secure SDLC Workshop, Click Here 

Secure Web Application Development Life Cycle Practitioner (SWADLP) Certification program is delivered and proctored globally via Pearson Vue world’s largest online Testing Organization, to evaluate the individual's implementation level skills in security practices required to ensure Secure Application Development. It will ensure candidate's awareness of Application Security Challenges, Threats, Standards, Best Practices and Assurance Methodologies along with hands-on implementation level knowledge and skill-sets.
For more Details on Secure Web Application Development Lifecycle Practitioner (SWADLP) Certification, Click Here 

Hack2Secure provides the overall solutions to organizations that will be helpful for you to develop a secure, flawless and threat free Application, and make your product differentiated from others. An organization needs to understand that securing your SDLC is a continuous process and not a one-time job. It will help them to pay attention to every single detail and perform in a structured manner so as to minimize threats or entry points for an attacker.

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