Secure Development Philosophy
Our path to better software.
Our path to better software.
In the beginning the waterfall was a fixed, sequential software development model based on an earlier legacy of production design, test and development. It took decades for waterfall development approaches to give way to the need for agility. This brought about the transition to DevOps, combining software development and operations into one ongoing process.
But even agility and DevOps soon hit a snag. In the past, security was something of an afterthought in software development, factored into the testing phase. Security tended to be bolted on as an afterthought, increasing development costs and worse, introducing vulnerabilities. Today, this area causes a lot of confusion in teams from the early stages of the development process, and not everyone knows how to approach it.
DevSecOps, puts security at the forefront of the DevOps process. A fundamental principle of DevSecOps is that security is shifted left into the process. It becomes an integral part of the development and operation cycle. When it is, software can be built with greater agility, delivered faster, and most importantly, safer and more secure.
Developers and their managers struggle with the presence of vulnerabilities during software delivery. Maintaining code security under time pressure and without the right skills is difficult.
Unlike DevOps, which is mostly reactive, the DevSecOps role also comes with proactive tasks.
Whatever you are looking for our team can help you achieve your goals and meet your expectations.
Conduct a thorough security assessment and create a customized plan to align with your business goals.
Implement advanced security measures at every stage of the development process.
Adhere to industry-standard security practices and conduct thorough testing and quality assurance checks.
Quickly identify and address any vulnerabilities, develop a remediation plan and work effectively to address the issue.
Gain perspective how DevSecOps overlay classic DevOps model – feel the added value and craft it upon the project needs.
Integrating security goals into the requirements phase involves identifying security risks and vulnerabilities, translating them into specific security requirements, and incorporating them into the project plan. This integration can be achieved by leveraging e.g. the CIA triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability), which is a widely recognized framework for information security. These requirements are reviewed and refined throughout the development process and tested to ensure they address the identified risks. This approach results in more secure and resilient products.
One curious thing about integrating security goals into requirements is that it can sometimes lead to tension between different stakeholders. This is because security goals often require trade-offs with other goals, such as usability, functionality, or time-to-market.
For example, a security goal of „strong encryption for data at rest” might require additional hardware or processing power, which could increase costs or delay the release of a product. On the other hand, a goal of „easy-to-use interface” might conflict with a security goal of „strong password requirements” that make it harder for users to access the system.
These trade-offs can be difficult to manage, and often require careful negotiation and compromise between different stakeholders, such as developers, designers, security experts, and business managers. However, when done effectively, integrating security goals into requirements can help ensure that security is prioritized throughout the development process, leading to a more secure and resilient product in the end.
The risk assessment and profiles phase involves identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing potential risks to an organization’s assets. Risks are evaluated using qualitative or quantitative methods, prioritized, and detailed risk profiles are created. The resulting risk management plan outlines actions to mitigate risks and includes ongoing risk monitoring and evaluation.
One curious aspect of risk assessment and profiles is the role of human behavior in determining the level of risk associated with a particular activity or situation. While it is important to consider technical factors such as the likelihood of a security breach or system failure, human behavior can play a significant role in increasing or decreasing risk.
For example, a company may have strong technical safeguards in place to protect sensitive data, but if employees are not properly trained in data security best practices or are careless with their passwords, the risk of a data breach increases. Alternatively, if employees are highly trained and vigilant in their security practices, the risk of a data breach decreases.
This highlights the importance of considering both technical and human factors when conducting risk assessments and developing risk profiles. It also underscores the need for comprehensive training and education programs to promote good security practices and mitigate the risk of human error.
The Secure Architecture Risk Analysis (SARA) phase involves evaluating the security risks associated with an information system’s architecture. This is done by identifying and analyzing threats and vulnerabilities, prioritizing risks, developing risk mitigation strategies, and monitoring the system. The SARA phase is important for identifying and addressing security risks early in the development process to create more secure and resilient systems.
One interesting aspect of Secure Architecture Risk Analysis (SARA) is the use of attack trees to model potential threats and vulnerabilities. Attack trees are graphical tools that help to visualize the various steps and stages that an attacker might use to exploit a system’s vulnerabilities. By breaking down the attack into smaller steps and analyzing each step in detail, attack trees can help to identify potential weaknesses in a system’s security architecture and suggest potential countermeasures to mitigate the risks.
Another interesting aspect of SARA is the use of automated tools to identify vulnerabilities and assess risks. These tools can help to streamline the risk analysis process, reduce the likelihood of human error, and improve the accuracy of risk assessments. However, it’s important to note that automated tools should not be relied upon exclusively and should be used in conjunction with expert analysis to ensure that all potential risks are identified and addressed.
Finally, SARA is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. As new threats and vulnerabilities emerge, or as the system’s architecture evolves, the risks must be re-evaluated and new risk mitigation strategies developed. This requires a commitment to continuous monitoring and assessment of the system’s security architecture to ensure that it remains resilient against evolving threats.
The Secure Third-Party/Open-Source Components Selected phase involves selecting and evaluating third-party or open-source components for use in a software system. This is done by identifying the components, evaluating them for security risks, prioritizing the risks, and developing a plan for mitigating them. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of security vulnerabilities and improve the overall security of the software system.
One interesting aspect of the Secure Third-Party/Open-Source Components Selected phase is the use of software composition analysis (SCA) tools. SCA tools can help to automate the process of identifying and evaluating third-party or open-source components by scanning their source code and identifying any known vulnerabilities or licensing issues. This can save developers a significant amount of time and effort while improving the accuracy and thoroughness of the evaluation process.
Another interesting aspect is the growing trend towards using open-source components in software development. While open-source components can offer many benefits, such as lower costs and greater flexibility, they can also introduce significant security risks if not properly vetted. As a result, many organizations are investing in tools and processes to improve the security of open-source components and mitigate the risks associated with their use.
Finally, the Secure Third-Party/Open-Source Components Selected phase is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. As new components are identified or as the security landscape evolves, the evaluation and risk mitigation process must be repeated to ensure that the software system remains secure. This requires a commitment to continuous monitoring and assessment of the components used in the system to ensure that they remain secure and compliant with relevant security standards and regulations.
The Secure Coding Adherence phase involves establishing secure coding standards and best practices, training developers on them, reviewing code for adherence to the standards, and ongoing monitoring and assessment to ensure that the code remains secure. The goal is to reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and ensure that the software system is as secure as possible.
One interesting aspect of the Secure Coding Adherence phase is the use of static code analysis tools. These tools can automatically analyze code for potential security vulnerabilities and deviations from secure coding standards, which can help to identify issues early in the development process. Some of these tools can even suggest code changes to remediate the issues.
Another interesting aspect is the importance of security training for developers. While secure coding standards and tools are important, it is ultimately up to the developers to implement them properly. By providing regular training on secure coding practices, organizations can help to ensure that their developers are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to write secure code.
Finally, the Secure Coding Adherence phase highlights the importance of integrating security throughout the entire software development life cycle. By addressing security early in the development process and continually monitoring and assessing code for adherence to security standards, organizations can help to reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and ensure that their software systems are as secure as possible.
Here are some examples of Secure Code Adherence Frameworks
The SAST/IAST phase involves using automated tools to scan the application’s code and test it for potential security vulnerabilities. SAST tools analyze the application’s source code to identify potential security issues, while IAST tools dynamically test the running application to identify vulnerabilities in real-time. SAST/IAST tools generate reports of potential vulnerabilities, which developers then review and address. These tools proactively identify flaws early in the development process, but they have limitations, so it’s important to supplement automated testing with manual code review and other security testing methodologies.
One interesting aspect of using SAST/IAST tools in the software development process is the ability to customize the scanning rules to fit the specific needs of the application. For example, some SAST/IAST tools allow developers to define their own rules based on the application’s programming language, framework, or industry-specific security standards.
This customization can help to increase the accuracy of the scans, as the rules can be tailored to the specific vulnerabilities and threats that are most relevant to the application. It also allows developers to focus on the most critical issues, rather than sifting through a large number of false positives.
Another interesting development in this area is the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of SAST/IAST tools. These technologies can help to identify patterns and anomalies in the code that may indicate potential vulnerabilities or security risks.
Overall, the use of SAST/IAST tools is an important part of the software development process, as it allows developers to proactively identify and address potential security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. The ability to customize the scanning rules and leverage emerging technologies such as machine learning only enhances the effectiveness of these tools in ensuring the security of software applications.
The Dynamic Testing, A&P phase involves subjecting the application to various dynamic testing techniques, such as penetration testing, fuzz testing, and vulnerability scanning, to identify potential security weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The developers then remediate these issues to ensure the security of the application. This phase is critical to ensuring the security of the application and should be conducted regularly.
Dynamic testing is a software testing technique that involves running the software and observing its behavior in real-time. During dynamic testing, different types of inputs are provided to the software to test its various functionalities, and the output is compared with the expected results to identify any discrepancies.
One curious aspect of dynamic testing is that it is typically performed during the A&P (Analysis and Planning) phase of the software development life cycle. This is because dynamic testing requires a working software product to be tested, and the A&P phase is when the software is being designed and developed.
During the A&P phase, the software developers and testers work together to plan the testing strategy for the software. This involves identifying the features and functionalities that need to be tested, selecting the appropriate testing tools and techniques, and creating test cases and scenarios.
By performing dynamic testing during the A&P phase, software development teams can identify and address any issues early in the development cycle, before the software is released to customers. This helps to reduce the risk of costly software failures and ensures that the software meets the user’s requirements and expectations.
The secure configuration standards applied phase involves implementing and maintaining security controls to protect an organization’s IT infrastructure from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. It includes identifying security requirements, selecting appropriate security controls, configuring them properly, monitoring and testing regularly, and maintaining and updating them.
One curious aspect of secure configuration standards applied is that it often involves implementing „hardening” measures, which are designed to reduce the attack surface of the IT infrastructure by limiting unnecessary features, services, and protocols.
For example, an organization might implement a practice known as „least privilege,” which involves granting users and processes only the minimum privileges necessary to perform their tasks. This helps to prevent attackers from gaining access to sensitive information or systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in unnecessarily permissive configurations.
Another curious aspect is that secure configuration standards applied can have a significant impact on system performance. By limiting features and services, the IT infrastructure may become more streamlined and efficient, but it can also result in decreased functionality and user experience.
Therefore, a balance must be struck between security and usability to ensure that the organization’s IT infrastructure remains secure while still meeting the needs of its users. This requires careful planning, testing, and monitoring to ensure that the security controls are effective and do not unduly impact system performance or usability.
The Secure Compliance Threshold Assessed phase involves assessing an organization’s security controls against established compliance standards, identifying any areas of non-compliance, and implementing remedial actions to bring the organization into compliance. It includes identifying compliance standards, assessing security controls, identifying non-compliance, implementing remedial actions, and ongoing monitoring and reporting to ensure ongoing compliance.
One curious aspect of the Secure Compliance Threshold Assessed phase is that compliance standards can vary widely depending on the industry and region in which the organization operates. For example, organizations in the healthcare industry may be subject to compliance standards such as HIPAA, while those in the financial industry may need to adhere to PCI-DSS or SOX.
Another curious aspect is that compliance assessments can sometimes uncover unexpected security risks or vulnerabilities that were not previously known. This can be both good and bad news – while it allows organizations to address these issues and improve their overall security posture, it can also reveal gaps in security that could have been exploited by attackers.
Finally, another interesting aspect is that achieving compliance is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process. Compliance standards can change over time, and organizations must continually monitor and update their security controls to ensure ongoing compliance. This requires a proactive approach to security and a commitment to ongoing improvement and adaptation to new threats and risks.
The Continuous Monitoring phase in SDLC involves ongoing monitoring of applications, systems, and networks to detect security threats, vulnerabilities, and anomalies. It includes implementing monitoring controls, collecting and analyzing data, responding to security incidents, and documenting and reporting the results. The goal is to ensure the security and integrity of the organization’s software applications.
One curious aspect of the Continuous Monitoring phase is that it involves the use of advanced technologies and techniques, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to detect security threats and anomalies. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns that may be difficult or impossible for human analysts to detect.
Another interesting aspect is that Continuous Monitoring is not just a one-time activity but an ongoing process that must be integrated into the organization’s overall security strategy. This requires a shift in mindset from reactive to proactive security, where organizations continuously monitor their applications, systems, and networks for potential threats and vulnerabilities and take appropriate actions to mitigate them.
Furthermore, Continuous Monitoring can also help organizations comply with regulatory requirements and standards, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and NIST. These standards often require ongoing monitoring of systems and networks to ensure compliance and to detect and respond to security incidents promptly.
Finally, Continuous Monitoring can also provide valuable insights into an organization’s overall security posture, highlighting areas where security controls may need to be improved or adjusted. This can help organizations make more informed decisions about their security investments and prioritize security initiatives based on their risk profiles.
The Advanced Threat Analytics phase in SDLC involves using advanced technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to detect and respond to advanced security threats. It includes data collection, threat detection and analysis, incident response, and post-incident analysis. This phase is important for organizations that are highly targeted by advanced and persistent threats and helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.
One interesting aspect of the Advanced Threat Analytics phase is that it requires organizations to take a proactive approach to security. Instead of relying on traditional security controls, such as firewalls and antivirus software, organizations must leverage advanced threat detection technologies to detect and respond to advanced threats.
Another curious aspect is that advanced threat analytics is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and analysis of security data. This requires organizations to invest in skilled security professionals and advanced security technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Moreover, the Advanced Threat Analytics phase also involves analyzing the behavior of insiders within an organization who may pose a threat to the security of sensitive information. It helps organizations to identify potential insider threats and take appropriate actions to mitigate the risk.
Another curious aspect of this phase is that it is becoming increasingly important for organizations as the threat landscape continues to evolve. Attackers are becoming more sophisticated, and traditional security controls are no longer sufficient to protect against advanced threats. By leveraging advanced threat analytics, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and protect themselves from even the most sophisticated threats.
Finally, the Advanced Threat Analytics phase also requires organizations to be transparent about their security practices and to share threat intelligence with other organizations in their industry. This collaboration can help to identify emerging threats and develop effective strategies to mitigate them.