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Software Development

Secure Software Development Practices

Application security can make or break all companies these days. So how can you better protect your product? The answer to this question is more important than ever. When a company ignores security issues, it puts them at risk. Large amounts of sensitive data are stored in business applications, and this data may be stolen at any time. Businesses that do not invest less in security are liable for financial loss and poor reputation.

In addition, governments are now enacting legislation and enforcing data protection measures. For example, the GDPR of the European Union requires organizations to incorporate data protection protocols in the early stages of development. Ignoring these requirements could lead to serious penalties.

When end users lose money, they do not care if the cause lies in the concept of the application or security breach. Building secure applications is as important as writing quality algorithms. For the winners, the less expensive security upgrades provide a limit on the competitors.

Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

There is a ready-made solution that provides a systematic approach to application security – a secure life cycle (SDL). It is a set of development strategies to strengthen security and compliance. For maximum benefit, these processes should be integrated into all stages of software development and maintenance.

The most important reasons for adopting SDL processes are:

  • High security. In SDL, continuous injury monitoring results in better application quality and reduced business risk.
  • Cost reduction. In SDL, early recognition of errors greatly reduces the effort required to find them and to correct them.
  • Compliance and control. The SDL promotes an honest attitude toward safety laws and regulations. Neglect can result in fines and penalties, even if no sensitive data is lost.

SDL also offers a variety of sidebar benefits, such as:

  • Development teams receive ongoing training in secure coding practices.
  • The safety measures are very consistent across all parties.
  • Customers trust you very much because they see that special attention is given to their safety.
  • Internal security improves when SDL is used on internal software tools.

Best SDL Practices

Before we discuss how to add SDL practices to software development, let’s consider typical development workflows. 

The simplest waterfall workflow is linear, with one stage coming after the other:

The agile workflow, by contrast, goes through many cycles, each of which contains the same set of stages:

Many steps that strengthen app security work best in certain categories. Therefore, it is important to plan. Safe upgrades are helpful here — they tell you what to do and when. In the following sections, we provide an overview of these stages of software development and relevant SDL recommendations.

Concept and planning

The purpose of this section is to define the concept of a system and to evaluate its effectiveness. This includes building a project plan, documenting project needs, and allocating human resources.

The SDL procedures recommended for this section include:

  • SDL discovery

The acquisition of SDL begins with defining security objectives and compliance with your project. Then select the SDL method and write a detailed plan for the appropriate SDL functions. This ensures that your team will deal with security issues as soon as possible.

  • Safety requirements

Prepare a list of security requirements for your project. Remember to include both technical and regulatory requirements. Having this list helps to easily identify and correct areas that may not be compliant with your project.

  • Security awareness training

Training sessions provide important security information ranging from basic threat awareness to in-depth knowledge about secure development. Basic security training establishes the concept of safety for all project participants. Advanced courses teach design principles that are secure to key project participants.

Adopting these processes enhances the success of project planning and is key to compliance with applications and safety standards. This section also provides the necessary human resources with expertise in application security.

Architecture and design

The purpose of this section is to design a product that meets the requirements. This includes modelling the application structure and conditions of its use, as well as selecting third-party components that can accelerate development. The result of this section is design text.

The SDL procedures recommended for this section include:

  • Threatening modelling

Threatening modelling involves identifying potential attack situations and adding appropriate countermeasures to the application design. Modelling identifies potential threats ahead of time, thereby reducing associated costs, and also lays the groundwork for future response plans.

  • Secure design

The design document and the following updates are verified according to security requirements. Pre-design updates help identify features that have been identified for safety risks before they are used.

  • Tracking third-party software

Dangers on the part of external companies can weaken the entire system, making it necessary to monitor their safety and use patches when needed. Regular testing of third-party software helps identify areas threatened by vulnerable components and fills gaps.

Accepting these procedures shows weakness before they enter the operating system. Compliance monitoring reduces security risks and reduces the risk of exposure to third party components.


This is the stage where the application is made. This includes compiling application code, modifying it, and producing stable structures that are worth testing.

The SDL procedures recommended for this section include:

  • Secure encoding

The guidelines and checklist remind program planners of common mistakes that should be avoided, such as keeping passwords unencrypted. Enforcing secure encoding principles eliminates many insignificant risks and frees up time for other important tasks.

  • Fixed scanning

Static Application Scanner (SAST) scanner updates the newly written code and detects potential weaknesses without using the application. Daily use of static scanning tools exposes errors before entering the application build.

  • Code review

Although automatic scanning saves a lot of effort, manual manual updates are still needed to build secure applications. Timely updates help engineers identify and fix potential problems before focusing on other tasks.

Adopting these processes reduces the number of security issues. Combining automatic scanning with manual updates provides the best results.

Testing and bug fixing

The purpose of this section is to identify and correct system errors. This includes performing automatic and manual tests, diagnosing problems, and fixing them.

The SDL procedures recommended for this section include:

  • Powerful scanning

Powerful application scanner tools (DAST) expose the risk by imitating criminal attacks during operation. To reduce false positives, you can use the integrated method (IAST). This method is compatible with start-up scanning by monitoring the extracted code and the flow of application data. In addition to detecting common hazards, dynamic scanning identifies configuration errors that affect security.

  • Fuzzing

Testing Fuzz involves generating random input based on custom patterns and testing whether the app can manage inputs correctly. Automatic fuzzing tools improve protection against attacks using inappropriate input, such as SQL injection.

  • Login test

It is a good idea to invite a team of foreign companies and security experts to simulate a possible attack. External experts rely on their knowledge and intelligence to reproduce attack situations that may be ignored by your team.

Accepting these procedures also reduces the number of safety issues. Combined with the functions from the previous sections, this provides a decent protection from a variety of known threats.

Release and Maintenance

At this stage the app becomes live, with most scenarios operating in various locations. Eventually new versions and patches are available, and some customers choose to upgrade, while others decide to keep the older versions.

The SDL procedures recommended for this section include:

  • Environmental management

The real attackers exploit the mistakes of site preparation and vulnerability. Security monitoring should cover the entire system, not just the application. Such monitoring improves the overall security of your application.

  • Incident response system

The incident response plan clearly outlines the procedures your incident team should follow to deal with any possible security breaches. Prompt implementation of an accounting system is essential in resolving and correcting security breaches.

  • Ongoing safety testing

Precautionary tests should be repeated as new types of risks are identified at a higher rate. Regular testing protects your app from recently detected risks.

Embracing these processes helps respond to emerging threats quickly and effectively.

End of life

“End of life” is a point where the software is no longer supported by its developer. Apps that store sensitive data may be subject to certain end-of-life rules.

The SDL activities recommended for this section include:

  • Data storage

Governments define retention policies for certain types of data. Double checking your company’s final policies for compliance with legal requirements reduces the risk of unforeseen penalties.

  • Disposal of data

At the end of the application life, all sensitive data stored on it should be thoroughly cleaned. Examples of such data are encryption keys and personal information. Proper disposal of data at the end of life keeps such information confidential and prevents data breach.

By adopting these processes, engineers ensure sufficient time to develop policies that comply with government regulations.

Protecting your business from the ever-present dangers of cybercrime might seem overwhelming, especially if the organization’s operations need attention. Fortunately, it is now easier to maintain the security of your application with Kanoo Elite professional solutions and services, which provides the most secure solutions with server security features. Kanoo Elite gives you a high level of security, which allows you to focus on your business, helping you protect your organization no matter what server you use.

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