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Adopting Secure SDLC Practice for Agile

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Adopting Secure SDLC Practice for Agile

The ability to shift security left in the SDLC and bake security into software from the beginning is more important than ever.

· Security Zone ·
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Secure Software Development Lifecycle (Secure SDLC) is a very crucial topic amongst organizations these days. Companies are adopting security as a part of their development process to reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and threats and the cost of damage repair.

There are different SDLC methodologies available to guide you through different projects.

  1. Waterfall Model
  2. Agile Model
  3. V-Shaped Model
  4. Iterative Model
  5. Spiral Model
  6. Big Bang Model

The Agile Method is considered to be one of the most realistic development approaches. It is known for its rapid delivery of products, flexibility, and adaptability. Agile methodology breaks the product into builds and works in Sprints. Agile software development defines a set of principles where self-organizing, cross-functional teams work together toward a requirement and finding solutions. Unlike other methodologies, security requirements in this method are driven by frequency and not phase.

Challenges of Integrating Security Into Agile Development Methodologies

There are several challenges that teams have to face when integrating security into Agile methodologies:

  • Time period: The short time provided for each Sprint (typically about one week) is sometimes not enough to complete the necessary tests.

  • Lack of knowledge: Not all team members are security aware, hence their lack of security knowledge could cause them to ignore security problems.

  • Testing Scope: Threat modeling is the biggest security challenge in Agle development. Teams have to ensure that threat modeling is performed and do the necessary testing to ensure that all necessary points are checked.

Secure SDLC in Agile

The activities/requirements involved in a Secure SDLC that are required to be performed in Agile development are categorized in three levels and defined by the frequency of completion.

  1. Every Sprint (Most Critical): These consist of essential security practices that should be performed in every release. Every requirement in each Sprint must be completed before its release. This includes security practices like running static code analysis, adhering to different secure coding practices, performing code reviews, and creating threat models for all new features. Each product will be made in a different way and, for each product, developers will have to keep these best practices in mind.

  2. One Time (Non-Repeating): This category consists of foundational security practices that just need to be performed once in the development process. There are certain tasks that you need to be able to perform at the start of a new project with Secure SDLC Agile development or when you start using an SDLC Agile development cycle in an existing project. These tasks include one time practices like establishing requirements, designing requirements, carrying out risk assessments, analyzing attack surfaces, and maintaining design response plans.

  3. Bucket (All others): This phase consists of important security practices, performed on a regular basis which can be spread across multiple Sprints during a project's lifetime. These are the ongoing requirements that cannot be ignored. These include practices like scope definition (which may vary every Sprint), dynamic analysis, attack surface review, fuzzing, and random testing.

For the application of security practices in the Agile method of working, there are certain tasks for developers to remember, like educating the team about security and using automated tools to quicken the process. Threat modeling must be used as a baseline for the product and code review practices.

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