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Most of the businesses today have one question in common – How to manage the S-SDLC process? Companies are not certain how to integrate security in their software and are confused about the impact of the S-SDLC process in cost and schedule of their work flow. But, S-SDLC is not any process to avoid, with reasons like high costs or long duration for implementation. Further, neglecting S-SDLC process due to tight deadlines can lead to worse situations, impacting your business to a great extent, along with a headline in the Wall Street Journal.

 

Secure Software development Life cycle (S-SDLC):

 

S-SDLC is the most critical process in every business to maintain reputation and bottom line. Especially considering the cases of massive recall, loss of sensitive data of customers, millions in lost revenue, as a result of security breach or software malfunction, integrating security into every step of system development process is highly important. The multistep process of the S-SDLC starts with the initiation of the software project to the final steps of the project, including the maintenance and disposal of the system.

 

S-SDLC process consists of 6 different phases – Project Initiation, Design Analysis (Functional Design), System Design Requirements / Specifications, Programming and Testing, Installation and Maintenance and Destruction. S-SDLC stresses on integrating security into every phase of SDLC to ensure a secure product. Each phase in the S-SDLC has its own deliverables that feed into the next phase.

 

  • Project Initiation: In this phase, the design team looks into preliminary risk assessment for several risk areas such as criticality of the system and sensitivity of information collected, and assigns different risk values – high, medium, and low in each risk area.

 

  • Design Analysis: Designers will have to look into 2 security activities in this place – to perform a more detailed risk assessment for the overall project, and select security controls to mitigate the risks identified in the assessment.

 

  • System Design Requirements/Specifications: The actual security controls specific for the Functional Design, will be designed in this phase, by implementing security in every step, to reduce threats against confidentiality and integrity. The security controls will be applied across the processes – Input, Information Processing, and Output.

 

  • Programming and Testing: Programmers start coding the detailed design specifications. In this phase, the program codes will be audited to ensure implementation of secure programming practices. The programmers will test the codes to ensure security controls designed, and if the needed level of protection is provided.

 

  • Installation and Maintenance: Before the software enters production mode, the operational management checks the testing results of all the security controls and checks if the risks of running the software have been addressed. ‌In case of any change proposed, it must be carefully implemented and analyzed for security impacts.

 

  • Destruction: The last but most important security activity to be taken care of in this phase of S-SDLC is to make sure that any kind of sensitive information is properly handled.

 

Difficulties in Implementing S-SDLC:

 

In most, if not, many cases if the security requirements are identified correctly and if proper security controls are implemented to meet the requirements, the result is generally a secure software application. But, in some cases security requirements will not be taken into consideration, while developing applications to meet budget, time constraints and even resources.

 

Misaligned priorities, misaligned process and misaligned tools are some of the challenges in implementing in S-SDLC process. Poor decisions in design, lack of security training and knowledge about the current security risks, are other difficulties in implementing S-SDLC process.

 

However, with expert assistance, it’s easy to overcome the difficulties and implement a proper S-SDLC process in software applications. Pixint has a vast experience in S-SDLC in serving companies around the world.

 

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