7 Top Practices for Software Development Security


Software development has become the lifeline of many businesses looking to make big waves in technology. The software development life cycle is a mix of many processes that deliver software to the end user. Since the rapid growth of internet services and all of its associated technologies, cybercrime has also increased. The software development life cycle has to build security into this process to better understand the flow of these cyber-related vulnerabilities.

The level of growth in the software development industry can be seen from the fact that there were 27 Billion downloads done from Google’s Play store. At the same time, enterprise spending on software reached a mammoth 856 Billion USD. Such a level of spending attracts a lot of attention from criminals and thus requires excellent security planning to thwart these threats. New technologies and tools, such as Container Image Scanning by JFrog, are just one of the many technologies at the forefront of fighting against these newfound vulnerabilities.

Developers can also follow some guidelines to ensure security is airtight in the software development cycle. Here are some of the most useful tips for excellent software development security:

1.     Secure Coding Practices

The best way to ensure the integrity of the software development life cycle is to employ secure coding practices. Avoiding vulnerable constructs and hard-coded passwords in the software is one way to enhance security. Other measures include verified and secure frameworks, including trusted libraries for coding. Developers are also enhancing security by using methodologies such as input validation, buffer overflow attack, and password hashing.

2.     Threat Modeling

Identifying risks and potential threats to the integrity of the software is known as threat modeling. An extension of the risk modeling principle, threat modeling involves careful management and identification of risks, vulnerabilities, and possible threats to the system by external and internal elements. Internal elements include threats due to bad coding and insecure practices, while external hacking attempts and data breaches are external threats.

Finding such threats and vulnerabilities is the first step towards fixing any issues with the software development life cycle and its security capabilities.

3.     Secure Design Principles

Building security into the software design yields far greater results than post-production measures. Principles including separation of duties, least privilege, and defense in depth add layers to the security of software design. It ensures that safety and security go alongside software development rather than becoming a last-ditch salvo.

4.     Regular Training of Developers

One of the best ways to instill a culture of security into software development is to go right to the source and train the developers about the importance of security. Such training can teach developers about the risks and vulnerabilities that plague the development process and how to arm themselves to fight such threats. While most developers would already be aware of most risks, such training acts as a refresher course for professionals who can better implement the security scenarios taught in practice.

5.     Security Testing

Testing the ability of your software against external threats is called security testing. There are many forms of security testing. The two most common are penetration testing and vulnerability scanning. Vulnerability scanning is an automated process that checks for any risks to the system and the devices connected to such a system. Meanwhile, penetration testing digs a little deeper into testing what these vulnerabilities are and how they could impact the system. Penetration testing is performed by an individual that tries to brute force into the system and look for ways to enter the system, mimicking attempts by hackers.

6.     Secure Deployment Principles

The deployment of the software is another phase that hackers could easily target. To ensure security at deployment, developers must follow secure deployment, which involves setting up security controls and secure communication. Such efforts will protect the system from expected risks and threats as they limit the chances of interference from outside. Access control allows only authorized personnel access to the system, thereby ensuring minimal chances of outside tampering.

7.     Building the Culture of Security

Ensuring that software development is done safely and securely is a complex process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As companies move towards DevOps to produce high-quality software quickly, embracing the needed security functionality is important. DevSecOps is the solution to this problem as it provides the additional layer of security embedded into the already agile system of DevOps. It acts as the missing key but complements the earlier processes by ensuring secure practices throughout the development and deployment of software.

In essence, embracing security principles throughout the software development life cycle is vital. It ensures that user data is secure and safe from external threats while maintaining the integrity of the software developer. The trust from customers lets businesses evolve and produce more top-quality products.