A software security program consists of security policies, tools, and procedures aimed to protect sensitive data, detect vulnerabilities, and take relevant action as needed. Enterprises, organizations, and industries need comprehensive cybersecurity strategies to defend business data against cybercriminals.
Designing a good software security program takes a team of IT experts, considering data system value, threats, risk tolerance, regulatory obligations, industry standards, and budget. It entails various stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC). But how do you create a software security program that would remain reliable amidst significant cybersecurity threats?
Learn more about the step-by-step process of creating a software security program by reading below.
- Planning And Discovery Stage
The planning and discovery stage is the first step in creating a successful software security program, which involves identifying and understanding the things you need to protect. This stage includes risk assessment, gap analysis, and security testing. All of these things are important in understanding the next steps, allocating accurate resources, and budgeting.
Take a look at the important aspects of planning and discovery in software security program development:
- Security Awareness Training
In any organization, people are the most crucial aspect when it comes to safeguarding security. So, the best way to avoid a data breach is interactive training, where people are taught to become more aware of the warning signs of a breach and avoid seemingly harmless habits, such as opening emails from unverified sources that can open doors to devastating data breaches.
- Developer Security Training
While developers are technically knowledgeable and well-trained, building security programs or defenses against threats involves continuous learning. Remember, security coding is not intuitive, one has to learn it.
- Network Inventory Discovery
Establish an inventory of your hardware and software programs. Then, scan your devices and networks to feed into the security program you’ll be creating.
- Card Data Discovery
Ensure that the payment card data is located where it should be by scanning storage, servers, and other devices, checking both authorized and unauthorized locations.
- Implementing Agile Software Security Program Development
Creating a software program includes certain aspects such as outlining the software architecture, platforms, security, user interface, and communication. Given the specific software program requirements and programming languages, software developers write the software program according to coding standards and conduct unit testing. And there are marked changes in the developing phase nowadays with the emergence of agile technology.
Software programs aren’t merely designed by setting rules and testing outcomes after everything has been coded and ready to launch. In agile, you set your goals, determine priorities, and keep working on each goal before going to the next until you produce the desired results. Today, agile software development solutions are most sought after because of these outcomes.
Before agile technology was discovered, software developers used traditional security tools to determine flaws, build features, and improve program functionality. In this digital era, fuzzing plays a crucial role in successful software security program development.
Fuzzing refers to a dynamic security testing technique, enabling software developers to automatically and continuously assess and analyze the ever-evolving web browser, which includes supply chain dependencies.
Here are the benefits of fuzzing and other agile techniques and solutions in the software development cycle (SDL):
- Greater Reliability: With agile solutions, fuzzing adds value, automatically building a reliable test and evaluation suite.
- Beyond Vulnerability Detection: Fuzzing helps dev teams find vulnerabilities and improve the system or product quality.
- Accurate And Better Results: Prevent new threats from infiltrating the system through continuous testing using agile techniques, such as DevSecOps, which is geared towards obtaining accurate and better results than traditional software security program development.
Find out here the complete info about the components of a successful DevSecOps program agile solution.
- Prioritizing Regulatory Compliance
Compliance with state laws and regulations is good for any business. By being a law-abiding business, obtaining certifications will be a lot easier and cheaper over time.
However, data regulations have grown more extensive. Stakeholders and development teams don’t only need to comply with ‘old regulations’ such as the Health Information Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), but also with the new data protection regulations.
It means that regulatory compliance is no longer a matter of regional, national, or global scope. New compliance regulations apply regardless of the organization’s geographical location. And simply ticking a checkbox is not enough in complying with these regulations. It’s crucial to go beyond regulatory compliance to attain greater security by:
- Security Control Identification: Determine the required security controls across different regulations, such as installing a web application firewall (WAF). Build a security strategy and create a great starting point to map your strategy based on the requirements of specific regulations.
- Looking At The Big Picture: Implementing a compliance-focused approach makes it more difficult to comply with security regulations. Take it one step a time and look at the big picture to dramatically improve your ability to meet or even exceed regulatory compliance.
- Identify Common Requirements: Regulatory requirements can be broad and complex. Thus, identifying common compliance requirements is paramount to meet them. Once you have identified the common requirements, adding internal policies becomes easier.
4. Testing And Deployment
Once you have created a software security program, the next steps include testing and deployment, in which the software undergoes a series of tests before it’s launched and then made available to the user.
Deployment can be complex because of several systems that can be applied by the software database. Also, upgrades take a lot of time and effort. At this point, you have reached the end of the software development life cycle. But don’t forget that the DevOps could result in rapid development, more frequent deployments, and other trends, so keep up with DevOps predictions to leverage and realign your software security program development practices.
Creating a software security program takes careful planning, discovery, and agile implementation. Gone are the days when developers needed to set and stick to pre-determined rules. Today, developers are being trained to adapt to rapid changes, acting upon the changing security needs and requirements of an organization.