First, why do we need an S-SDLC or even an SDLC?
The answers to these two questions are straightforward. In today’s world, applications are an integral and essential part of our daily lives and every company business.
From mobile apps to web applications, we rely on these to perform various tasks daily. However, with the rise of cybercrime, the security of these applications has become a significant concern to companies and, ultimately, everyone. Here is where the Secure Software Development Lifecycle (S-SDLC) comes into play.
We need to understand that the S-SDLC is a process that ensures the security of applications throughout their development lifecycle.
The S-SDLC includes the traditional phases of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) but with an increased emphasis on security. In this article, we’ll explain all these phases.
The phases of the S-SDLC
The first phase of the S-SDLC is the Requirements phase. This phase’s first goal involves identifying the application’s scope and security requirements. Please, emphasize security requirements!
The second phase of the S-SDLC is the Design phase. This phase involves creating a detailed application design, including the architecture, data flow, and user interface. During this phase, the project team should consider the security requirements identified in the Requirements phase and ensure that the design incorporates appropriate security measures.
We must remember that it is in this phase that we do threat modeling. During this phase, the project team should consider the potential security risks and develop a plan to mitigate those risks. This could involve identifying potential threats, such as hackers or malware or other threat scenarios, and implementing security controls to prevent these threats.
The third phase of the S-SDLC is the Development or implementation phase. Remember that we execute security tests like code review and DAST in this phase.
This phase involves writing code and developing the application. During this phase, the project team should follow secure coding practices to ensure that the software is free from vulnerabilities. A good practice is to study and understand OWASP Guides and Spreadsheets.
Testing the application
The fourth phase of the S-SDLC is the Testing phase. This phase involves testing the application to ensure that it functions correctly and is secure, emphasizing being secure to us. During this phase, the project team should conduct various tests, including functional testing, performance testing, and security testing like a SAST test. Security testing should include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and others.
In the test phase, we can use the requirements identified on threat modeling to be a base for tests based on requirements.
The fifth phase of the S-SDLC is the Deployment phase. This phase involves deploying the application to production environments.
During this phase, the project team should ensure that the software is deployed securely and that appropriate security controls are in place. This could involve implementing secure configurations, monitoring systems for suspicious activity, or ensuring that access controls are in place to restrict access to sensitive data. Here in the blog, we have articles about how to secure the Ci/CD pipeline.
The final phase of the S-SDLC is the Maintenance phase. This phase involves maintaining the software application after it has been deployed. During this phase, the project team should continue to monitor the application for security vulnerabilities and implement patches and updates as necessary.
This could involve conducting regular security audits or implementing a bug bounty program to encourage security researchers to identify and report any vulnerabilities.
Prioritize Application Security!
Overall, the S-SDLC is a comprehensive approach to software development that prioritizes security at every stage of the development process. By integrating security into the SDLC, organizations can reduce the risk of security breaches and protect their applications from cyber threats. However, implementing an S-SDLC requires a significant investment of time and resources and may require additional training for developers and other project team members.
To successfully implement an S-SDLC, organizations should prioritize application security throughout the entire organization. This could involve developing a security culture, enforcing security policies and procedures, and investing in security training for all employees. Additionally, organizations should consider using Security Champion to support these cultural changes.
In conclusion, applications have become essential to our lives, and their security is critical. The S-SDLC can provide this to companies with internal or external teams creating the applications.
Implement a complete AppSec program
At Conviso, we help companies from different sectors to implement secure development programs. For this mission, we have created Conviso Platform. Created by Devs for Devs, our platform is composed by five products that work throughout the secure development cycle, playing fundamental and complementary roles in this mission.
Get in touch with our experts and find out how Conviso Platform can transform your company’s AppSec routine.