It can be tough creating and implementing a secure application development process. There are so many project-specific vulnerabilities and requirements that it’s hard to make sure you’re covering everything at the outset. From there, it’s even harder to manage a full development team and make sure everyone is following the proper procedures and coding securely. The consequences of security oversights can pop up at any point during the development process and cause unwanted delays. Worse yet, they can leave vulnerabilities in finished applications that need to be fixed lest they be exploited.
We reached out to developers to find out about their top application security pain points — or, the places where their secure development process is most prone to slipups, delays, and oversights.
Too much time spent on determining which requirements apply to a project
Where to even start? Each project has unique requirements, and if you try to piece them together yourself or go on previous experience, you’re likely waste time and still end up missing something anyway.
SD Elements lets developers start with a simple but thorough questionnaire about their application and returning a comprehensive set of threats that they will have to account for. It also provides profiles for types of applications, like “Java EE Web Application,” which can help speed up the process and are useful for nontechnical members of the team at the outset.
Lack of organization and requirements management
Your team might know which threats apply to a project, but keeping them organized and actually managing requirements is a more complicated matter. This is why SD Elements adds the applicable security requirements to your existing Application Lifecycle Management tools. Administrators can also add project-specific data, requirements, and tasks through a rules editor to match when tasks should appear inside a project, and they can also add new requirements as they come up. All of this allows requirements management to become an organic part of your team’s development process rather than a tedious additional process prone to oversights and lack of organization.
The seamless integration of requirements management into your Application Lifecycle Management tools also means that SD Elements can work with any development framework or style, including agile.
Developers are unaware of how to code securely
No one expects every developer to be up to speed on secure coding, but the demands of a project might make learning difficult. To ease the process, SD Elements provides code samples showing developers how to implement security requirements in a wide variety of languages and frameworks so developers can learn by example. For those looking to move quickly, the platform can also provide succinct guidance on individual tasks as they are prioritized within the project.
Developers wanting to learn more can use the intuitive embedded training platform, which will link to relevant modules like OWASP Top 10. This combined with the features above means SD Elements users can learn secure coding with both efficiency and depth.
Failed compliance audits
Failed audits can cause major delays and even result in fines if not identified and fixed. The best solution is to understand what compliances are needed from the start and how to integrate them into an application during coding. After SD Elements helps you identify which ones are applicable, including any new initiatives, it distills the compliance standards into development requirements that can then be fed into your development process.
Compliance becomes another organic part of development, instead of an outside concern or last minute emergency.
SAST/DAST tools giving unmanageable results
The best way to avoid getting unwieldy scanner results is to apply security standards as you code. Doing your best and checking later can mean going back and spending countless hours fixing code. The ability for SD Elements to integrate security requirements into all aspects of the development process helps developers create a firm foundation that can more easily stand up to scanning later.
On top of that, SD Elements integrates directly with your SAST/DAST tools, so scanner results don’t have to be an unwelcome surprise.
Delayed release cycles caused by discovering numerous vulnerabilities
This is ultimately what application security management comes down to: streamlining your development process so you can put out secure software according to your release cycles. If you company is committed to security, it will wait until it has the right end product, and this can mean long delays if it lacks a secure development process.
There’s no question software has to be secure. It’s just a matter of how painful the development process is to get there. SD Elements can take a tedious, confusing, painful process and make it easy and simple.
If you’re experiencing any of the issues above with your secure software development practices, Contact Us to find out how we can help you sleep at night.