5 essential ways to improve SDLC Security – CRN

5 essential ways to improve SDLC Security – CRN

Written by: Dotan Nahum

Vulnerabilities in third-party application platforms and libraries have drawn increasing attention to application security in recent years, putting pressure on DevOps computers to detect and resolve vulnerabilities in their software development lifecycle. (SDLC).

Take the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), which tracks and logs all significant vulnerabilities posted and revealed by software vendors. It has found a growing trend in the number of vulnerabilities identified over the past five years, with a staggering 20,136 vulnerabilities recorded in 2021 alone (an increase of 9.7% over the previous year).

Meanwhile, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states that of all the vulnerabilities that have been reported over time, the threat actors are currently exploiting 504.

So what does all this mean for developers and how can we improve SDLC security in the future? Let’s start with the basics:

What is SDLC?

Development teams adopt a form of SDLC to structure their process and achieve high quality results consistently. In this sense, an SDLC is nothing more than a framework that defines the process of creating an application. It spans the entire application lifecycle, from scheduling to deactivation.

Different SDLC models have emerged from the traditional cascade model, with the most robust CI / CD models and the agile models having the best popularity today. But their goal is usually similar: to enable the production of high-quality, low-cost software as quickly as possible.

How does secure SDLC (SSDLC) work?

A secure software development lifecycle (SSDLC) introduces the security component to the lifecycle, providing a framework for developers to ensure that security is a consideration at every stage of software development, rather than a reflection. rear. This approach prevents vulnerabilities from arising later in the production environment, thus reducing the costs of correcting them.

The example of a secure software development lifecycle defines the minimum security controls that help protect the software at each stage of development. Each stage will require specialized security testing tools and methodologies and will continue to run through all stages of each software release.

Good practices for improving SDLC security

Safe SDLC practices aim to address shared security issues, such as:

1. Fixing recurring vulnerabilities that would be costly to fix once the software is deployed

2. Security issues that lie within the design and architecture

3. Solve security issues within components integrated into a much larger system

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some best practices for improving security in SDLC:

Embrace a change of mindset

The mindset of change on the left aims to bring safety practices that have traditionally been completed at a later stage in the life cycle, such as test components, to earlier stages of development. In other words, we’ve evolved from DevOps to DevOpsSec, to DevSecOps, moving “Sec” to the left. But doing the talk requires a little more than that. To fully embrace the change mentality on the left, try:

1. Build a team that has knowledgeable members from different domains within the SDLC

2. Encourage collaboration between the different teams in the organization to take into account a more holistic view of security and what it means for your particular business

3. Improve processes continuously, keeping in mind that threats are always evolving and so are your security priorities and tactics.

Use common sense threat modeling

Threat modeling is a process of studying the design of systems, how they work, and how data flows within and between all system components during the earliest possible stage of SDLC, with the goal of identifying all possible avenues of exploitation. Threat modeling ensures that the design and development of the architecture can take into account all identified security flaws.

But threat modeling often takes a considerable amount of time to complete, as it requires a human touch to determine all possible avenues of attack. In turn, threat modeling can become a bottleneck for the development process when most components of the SDLC are automated and each stage is expected to be completed quickly, with new releases each two or four weeks. Therefore, it is advisable to make use of common sense threat modeling. While it’s good to list all possible avenues of attack, be careful to go down a rabbit hole that can hinder production instead of supporting and securing it.

Take advantage of the open source tools that developers prioritize

Taking advantage of open source tools is the easiest way to reduce costs and make sure you don’t compromise on security. But what’s the use of a cheap tool if developers don’t really want to use it?

Teller is a fantastic secret productivity manager for developers, which supports native cloud applications and various cloud vendors for inspiration. Makes it quick, easy, and secure to mix and match vaults and other keystores and use secrets while coding, testing, and creating applications.

Another notable open source tool for your security toolbox is tfsec: a static scan code scanner that can identify potential security issues in your Terraform code templates.

Check for vulnerabilities created by third-party components early on

Third-party components are quick and easy options for developers to add additional functionality to their applications without developing the full feature.

While these components can be inexpensive, they come at a price: they can indirectly introduce vulnerabilities into the application. Therefore, it is best to check these components for vulnerabilities from the beginning of your security assessments and then consistently.

In other words: scan everything! Scan code, settings, binaries, or any other material in your code base for visible and hidden problems in sight. Need help with this? Our scanning technology is independent of the programming language and supports over 500 different stacks.

Look for incorrect settings in all software layers

Most security misconfiguration tools available on the market today tend to focus on scanning for misconfigurations within the software infrastructure, but they do not cover the misconfigurations present in the data layer and the of application framework. Our DeepConfig solution is here to fill that gap. Provides end-to-end software coverage, including layers of infrastructure, data, and application framework. This tool looks for possible configuration errors in known solutions such as:

1. Infrastructure and data layer: Elastic, MySQL, Redis, Memcache, etc.

2. Application cache layer: Rails, Django and more.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the security of an SDLC will depend on the performance, motivation, skills, and tools available to your DevOps team. And let’s face it – DevOps teams are in a big dilemma, having to work at an ever-faster, often exaggerated pace, and also having to deal with security and compliance issues that can cause performance to lag behind. It’s a challenging loop. That’s why we take developers ’priorities into account when creating security solutions to help them stay in control and keep their organization safe. We respect your IC, ensuring that a medium-sized repository only takes a few seconds to scan to CloudGuard Spectral. Check it out.

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