Cybersecurity in the Software Development Lifecycle
7 minute(s) read
Published on: Sep 14, 2022
Updated on: Sep 14, 2022
Cybersecurity in the SDLC: Everything You Need to Know
Security is an essential element of applications that contain at least some user data. This can be as simple as protecting your database from dangerous entities or as tricky as preventing attacks on your platform.
Security is applied at every stage of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). This factor should be the focus of your developers when they implement your wishes for your software. In this article, we'll look at ways to create a secure SDLC that will allow you to identify vulnerabilities before these surface problems in production. This does not mean that you should forget about traditional security checks. We aim to enable you to create secure apps from the beginning.
What is SDLC?
You may have already seen that SDLC stands for Software Development Lifecycle, but what does that mean? The system consists of several stages or phases that any software goes through. For a better understanding, we turned to elearning software development, masters of the digital world, and they gave a simple explanation: SDLC act as a detailed plan showing how to develop software, maintain it, change it, improve it.
This acronym is often associated with development methodologies. The following models are currently in use:
- Waterfall - easy to implement, suitable for short projects with zero risk and fixed requirements.
- V-shaped - based on the waterfall and implies quality control at each stage.
- Evolutionary prototyping model - at the passage of each stage, the necessary improvements to the project immediately occur based on customer feedback.
- Iterative and incremental - the solution is developed by the modules during the implementation of a series of cycles.
- Spiral - used for complex, large projects with frequent releases, suitable for software with unclear requirements.
As you can see, all models are diverse. Therefore, you should make a choice based on the scale of the project, the nature of the requirements for the finished product, the stability of the technologies used.
Why is SDLC Security Important?
The answer to this question will be simple but clear: SDLC security is essential because the reputation and security of the app itself are at stake. Today, releasing an app into the wild and fixing bugs on the go is no longer relevant. Developers should anticipate any complexities, defects, and potential security issues at every stage of app development.
Suppose you are e-learning software programming- you should understand that any user can access your source code. Therefore, you should try to code your app with potential vulnerabilities in mind. Thus, having a reliable and secure SDLC process will allow you to provide better protection against hacker intrusions.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Ensure a Secure Software Development Lifecycle
Each stage of the SDLC should improve the security of the app. Although the processes may differ from SDLC stage to stage, they share one goal. Secure Software Development Lifecycle must be a top priority for the entire team. Each process must be performed responsibly, as the transition to the next stage occurs only when current problems are fixed. Let's look at the secure software programming life cycle on the already familiar e-learning software.
Set Clear Requirements
This stage involves collecting requirements for features from various stakeholders. Let's say you're doing educational software programming, and you're in the process of creating a membership renewal feature. Your task is to highlight two factors: functional requirements and security considerations.
- Functional requirement example: a customer needs to verify that their data is up to date before renewing their membership in the app.
- An example of security considerations: you must make it so that the client can only see their account details, not all users.
This step involves transforming the requirements into a clear plan - you design a picture of what it should look like in the app. Since our guide relies on the experience of educational software development companies, we have found that the functional requirements usually describe what should happen, while the security requirements usually focus on what should not.
- An example of functional design: the page should extract the client's nickname, current email, phone number, and address from the CLIENTS_INFO table in the database and display it on the screen.
- An example of a security issue: you must ensure that the user has access to the account before retrieving information from the database. If the user cannot access the account, you must redirect him to the login page.
When it comes time to turn ideas into reality, the main problem is ensuring that the code is written correctly from a security point of view. There are effective tips for secure coding and corresponding systems that check that the established standards are followed correctly. These code checks can be either manual or automated. For example, experts use static application security testing (SAST).
However, as eLearning software companies and most other large firms point out, app developers can't be concerned with code alone since most apps aren't written from scratch. Often, experts rely on existing functionality, usually provided by free and open-source components. This allows them to provide great app features faster and take the company to the top. Over 80% of apps are made up of these open-source components. These elements are usually verified using software composition analysis (SCA) tools.
When an educational software programming company launches an app review, the platform goes through a multi-stage review. This approach allows the experts to ensure that they have correctly considered and implemented all the requirements. For this step, you can use the automated security test. If the application fails the test, this indicates that some processes are not performed correctly, and the application will not be able to work to its fullest.
Don't Forget Support
If you think you can relax after the app's release and never return to it, then this is not so. Some vulnerabilities slip through even with the most rigorous testing - they can resurface long after release. These bugs can be in hand-written code but are the most common in open-source core components. As the e-learning software programming company notes, these bugs increase the number of "zero days" - in other words, these are unknown vulnerabilities that pop up suddenly.
In this case, these errors should be fixed by the development team. Most likely, experts will rewrite many functions of the app. Remember that mistakes can occur not only because of problems in the code. Vulnerabilities can come from ethical hackers or the users themselves. Therefore, you should check every source carefully to fix bugs in future releases.
Today, traditional tools for testing application vulnerabilities are no longer enough to ensure high security. Types of attacks are actively developing, and the only solution is to use smart technologies, one of which is SSDLC. At every stage of development, you will be aware of potential problems and find ways to prevent them. This improves your image and saves money since fixing errors in advance is always more profitable than solving problems on the fly. If you want to delve deeper into the topic, we recommend visiting techtarget.com and nytimes.com.Website SEO analysis services