Secure Software Development – The Lifecycle and Beyond
Software security is crucial to the software development and app development process. The threat posed by nefarious parties increases in volume and complexity every year. As software moves to the cloud, and with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IOT) the threat also increases. So, security activities needs to be baked into the development process to ensure that security is prioritised from day one. Sometimes, it’s as simple as securing a database from attacks or as hard as using fraud processing on qualified leads before putting them in the platform.
Web application security and that for software applies for each stage of the software development lifecycle, and it is easy to be caught unaware. If you’re worried about choosing the right requirements, you need ChampSoft. We have various ways to create your secure SDLC to help you catch requirement issues before they become huge security problems for production.
ChampSoft build security into each software development project that we undertake. Security is not an afterthought. The mindset of our developers is to adopt a security-first, zero-threat approach, and optimise the security requirements of your project. This mindset has always been with ChampSoft; we have many years of experience of applying security awareness to our development process.
Additionally, we are accredited by ISO, having successfully achieved and recertified ISO9001:2015. This means that our processes and quality management systems have met rigorous external accreditation for secure development.
If you’re ready to adopt an approach that results in more secure software and focus on software development in all its forms, please contact us today. Otherwise, continue reading about how we can assist.
What Is a Secure Software Development Life Cycle?
Secure SDLC is a collection of practices focused on helping you add security to your standard software development life cycle and ensuring that the outcome is secure software that you can trust. Each phase requires a dedicated effort when creating a secure SDLC process. This includes gathering security requirements, maintenance, and deployment.
Overall, secure SDLC requires the development team and project managers to have a mind shift to focus on software security at each phase and holistically, instead of only thinking of functionality. The modular approach that ChampSoft take to software development facilitates this.
With a dedicated effort, the security issues are addressed within the SDLC pipeline before deployment and production. That reduces the risk of locating security vulnerabilities in the app and minimizes the impacts when they are noticed.
The goal of a secure SDLC isn’t to completely eradicate security checks (penetration tests) but to include security, coding testing, code review and quality assurance within the scope of the developer’s responsibilities so that they’re empowered to build secure software or a secure app from the beginning.
Why Is Software Security so Important?
We realize that it might be a challenge for some to understand the software development life cycle and why security is crucial. However, application security is important. You can’t release any product into the market and then address bugs with patches. Developers must be aware of the potential security risks for each step of the process. In a sense, they must integrate security into the SDLC in different ways.
Anyone can, in effect, gain unauthorized access to the source code, so it’s crucial to code with secure development in mind. Therefore, having a secure process in place is critical, and we can help you do this!
Need more info? Arrange a Chat
The software development lifecycle describes how the software applications are built and often contains these phases:
- Project Planning
- Project Management
- Development Process
In a sense, the Waterfall model is the earliest of the methodologies and laid the groundwork for the phases. It was developed in 1970 and is similar to today’s options. However, there have been changes in the software engineering practices to redefine how the software is created.
It’s crucial to work with a company like ChampSoft because we have taken the initial practices and transformed them so that they take less time to release. Companies that move from Waterfall tend to use an agile software development methodology, which was published in 2001.
Advocates of agile development are all for splitting up huge releases into mini-releases. That way, each one can be done in a two- or three-week ‘sprint’. They use automation to verify and build. That way, companies can get things completed faster, and we feel it’s the best way to work when secure software is a necessity.
Secure Software Development Life Cycle Processes
When you implement software development lifecycle security, it informs all aspects of your software development process. The mindset must be focused on a secure delivery, which raises issues during the requirement and development phases when they’re discovered.
We feel that this is more secure and more efficient than waiting for security issues to happen in a deployed application, and will reduce relative cost. In a sense, the secure software development life cycle process incorporates security as the component for each phase.
It means you are building secure software from conception.
Building security into each phase of the software development lifecycle is something that everyone is on board with at ChampSoft. From there, the security considerations vary a lot based on the phase.
Phases of Secure Software Development Life Cycle
Each phase must contribute to the overall security of the application. This happens differently for every phase of the software development life cycle with a critical note: Secure development must be at the forefront of the team.
We like to use this example for a secure software development life cycle, where the team is creating a membership portal:
In the early phase, requirements for the new features are collected from stakeholders. We can help you determine any functional requirements or security considerations gathered for the new release.
This phase turns the in-scope requirements into a plan of what the application should look like. Here, the functional requirements describe what must happen, but the security requirements focus on what should not happen.
When it’s time to implement your design by taking it from the design phase and turning it into reality, the concern shifts to ensure that the code follows coding guidelines and is well-written from a security perspective. There must be established secure coding practices, test cases and code reviews to double-check that everything is followed to the letter. Such code reviews can be automated with the appropriate security testing technologies that we have available.
During the verification stage, applications go through a testing cycle to prove that they meet the original requirements and design. This testing phase is also the place to talk about automated security testing through many technologies.
The application isn’t deployed until it passes the tests. This phase tends to use automated tools such as CD/CI pipelines to control release and verification.
Options during this phase include automated tests, automated execution of the application, and more.
Maintenance and Evolution
Our work isn’t complete when the application gets released. ChampSoft helps you focus on secure development and the security requirements needed to keep the app safe and free from hackers.
However, there may still be vulnerabilities that slip through the cracks after the application gets released. They are unlikely to be in the code; we find that they’re often in open-source components that end up compromising the application.
In a sense, you see more zero-day attacks that get discovered during production by the maintainers.
Such vulnerabilities must be patched by the development team. This process could require a significant rewrite of the functionality. Usually, vulnerabilities here come from other sources. Though you must plan for them in your existing processes, the first step is to fix them now and write guides for future releases.
Benefits of Secure Software Development Life Cycles
Secure SDLC is a great example of the shift-left initiative. This refers to integrating the security checks into the software development as soon as possible.
Doing that helps the team plan releases and catch/address problems more easily before they affect the timeline. Overall, secure SDLC keeps your release on track.
With that, the development team leads the security efforts, which helps issues get fixed by the people who wrote the code instead of hiring someone else later.
ChampSoft is all for using one team for software development from start to finish and can help you with your secure software requirements.
Why Choose ChampSoft
When it comes to the software development lifecycle, there are many things to consider. The goal is to prevent security attacks and use the right security requirements to deliver secure software.
We understand that we may be working with your data whilst building your software, so it is important that you are confident in the security of our approach during build.
We have an excellent security posture, due to the strength of our cyber-security software and our years of experience. We have all of the main security architecture elements in place that you would expect, including email, next-generation firewalls and User, Data and Endpoint solutions. These are all governed by our cyber security strategy which is owned internally by our Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
In developing our cohesive Cyber Security strategy, we don’t simply respond to immediate issues; rather we look at our organisation as a whole entity and make appropriate strategic security-related decisions. We are used to dealing with immense amounts of sensitive data because of our historical strength in the health markets.
We understand that ongoing professional development of our team is critical to maintaining this posture and providing secure software solutions to our customers. Remember – the ‘C’ in our Champsoft values stands for Continuous Improvement, and the ‘T’ stands for Training. The training of our team members means that we will be attuned to potential vulnerabilities.
Our software developers can handle your security assurance activities and focus solely on secure development of your apps and desktop applications. Whether you run an official government organization or gov websites, or an eCommerce shop, secure software development is crucial.
Everyone is likely to have security vulnerabilities at times, but it’s easier to lower the security risks when the right security practices are used to develop software. Please call us today to help with your app security, secure development and secure software needs.