4 Best Practices for Security Testing in Your SDLC

Published Mar 20, 2019

kiuwan teamWRITTEN BY THE KIUWAN TEAM
Experienced developers, cyber-security experts, ALM consultants, DevOps gurus and some other dangerous species.

A secure development lifecycle ensures that end users of products and applications have a fulfilling experience. The only way to guarantee safe software pipelines is having security as a top priority and not an afterthought when developing applications. It is also wise to have a standard approach to security to deliver on customers’ expectations. The SDLC should have easy-to-follow security phases that place security at the front and center of all activities.

Defining and standardizing SDLC gives the security team an easy time when it comes to integrating security into the whole process. Security best practices and solutions should be packaged for easy implementation since the software development lifecycle has several other phases that need attention. Once developers have a deep knowledge and understanding of all that needs to build security into products and applications, the implementation becomes straightforward.

1. Working with a standardized approach to security

Viruses and malware usually persist when there isn’t a standard approach to security products and applications. Sometimes developers follow the same SDLC pattern even when security issues may arise because they have no way of identifying the location of vulnerabilities. This, in turn, results in a lot of time and resources spent on trying to patch up a security vulnerability way into the development cycle.

Identifying a problem at release or after the development of a product or application makes mitigation a challenge. Trying to fix security weakness beyond the reasonable time frame is expensive and time-consuming. Besides, there is no guarantee that the vulnerability will be appropriately mitigated. Customers need to be assured that the applications and products they use are 100% secure.

A product that does not guarantee impenetrable security software is a terrible one from a security perspective. Security parties across companies and organizations need to adopt a standard approach to security and make it the number one priority during development. Security tools like Kiuwan ensure that the security team has an easy time integrating security into SDLC.

2. Setting aside enough resources

Even though applications are more complex due to technological advancements, cyber attackers have also adapted complex attack techniques. Working with a healthy budget allows you to arm the security team with all the tools and information they require to guarantee the security of applications. Properly budgeting application security solutions are the key to secure SDLC.

A flexible solution can be used on changing applications without worrying about vulnerabilities arising due to the shortcomings of the security solution. Cyber threats can be disastrous when they are not mitigated in good time. Setting aside enough resources during the development of products saves you from spending lots of money trying to rectify the damage caused by a cyber attack.

Aside from security breaches, other concerns correlate with the security of the software. Since security is one of the pillars of quality, shortcomings cut across all sectors of the product or application. For traditional software development lifecycle, all developers will need to consider is requirements to develop the application or product, the design, the development process, testing and finally, deployment. For a secure SDLC however, you’ll need to look into;

  • Risk assessment
  • Threat modeling and design reviews
  • Static analysis
  • Security testing and code review
  • Security assessment and secure configuration

Even though it is clear that a secure SDLC is longer and requires more from developers, the effort is worth it. The structure of products and applications should always integrate security. Having an easy to understand framework that defines how software development should be done, prevents developers from deploying products that have vulnerabilities.

3. Education

Education is key for the secure development of software. Due to the ever-changing technology, developers and security teams need to be updated on current security threats. A developer should be in a position to think like a hacker to eliminate vulnerabilities that attackers are likely to target. A secure SDLC cannot be achieved overnight since developers have a lot of learning to do before they can successfully integrate security into SDLC.

Putting in place dependable security measures can only be possible when the IT community fully embraces security for software. Contemplating the importance and impact of security on software development is something that should concern the whole organization. Everyone who interacts with the codes of the software being developed should be knowledgeable about security.

Programmers and developers should fully understand the role they play in ensuring an application is secure and functional. The performance of any given application greatly depends on how secure the software development lifecycle was. Successful implementation of software security can only be guaranteed when enough awareness is raised about cyber attacks and how to avoid them.

4. Mobilization of the best security solutions

When developers are in a position to think like hackers, they can determine what part of the software needs to be secured most. Knowing how to develop software to steer clear of vulnerabilities allows developers to implement the best security solutions. Existing security solutions need to be evaluated frequently to ensure they encapsulate all threats possible. Arming developers and the security team with the right information puts them in a position to better understand security flaws and work on them in good time.

Every software has one flaw or another, but not all vulnerabilities are reason enough to halt the development process. Code scans are vital because they enable developers to determine the severity of the vulnerability. Having a policy that determines when to halt during SDLC as a result of a vulnerability streamlines the whole process. Developers can work much faster when they have the next line of action for any inconsistencies. This does not mean that some vulnerabilities are too small to be corrected. All security threats and vulnerabilities should be addressed. Whether a security weakness is termed as mildly, moderately or extremely severe, it should be addressed and mitigated before application deployment.

In Conclusion

Security is one of the pillars of quality for all software applications and products. Security testing in the software development lifecycle ensures that applications are launched void of security weaknesses hackers can take advantage of. If you would like to secure your applications contact the experts at Kiuwan.