We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

No one currently working in IT can escape the carnage wreaked by hackers, as their exploits are increasingly designed to target specific vulnerabilities in the software applications that run our businesses. For that reason, attention is progressively more focused on the application development community; the industry is asking itself how it can build more secure software.

Those leading the charge have found the key is to select a few practical activities that can be as simple as a series of small tasks at each step in the software development lifecycle. However, even this approach is easier said than done; the inertia against change can be so great that it is easy to become paralyzed, which prevents security from being addressed sufficiently at any step-not in design, development, testing, nor production.



This document proposes seven practical steps that development groups can employ today to deliver more secure software. Although not a silver bullet, they will generate measurable results in the near term. The key is to start now.

Step1: Quickly evaluate the current state of software security and create a plan for dealing with it throughout the development lifecycle
This step does not need to be a comprehensive, multi-month effort; the best way to start is by simply creating lists of activities currently undertaken those you'd like to implement.

A plan-no matter how brief or short-term-is critical for getting buy-in within the organization, and should address three elements:

  • the infrastructure that surrounds each development project,
  • specific security activities each project team chooses to undertake, and
  • how found vulnerabilities will be managed.

Step 2: Specify the risks and threats to the software so they can be eliminated before they are introduced
Security is all about risk mitigation. Software applications that store customers' private information are more sensitive than an internal application for scheduling conference rooms, so it's a good idea to determine the risk associated with a piece of software and the threats to its safety.

Risk analysis can be found in commercial solutions and standards-based approaches. Although varied in their implementation, these types of approaches involve a significant investment of time. A simpler technique, threat analysis, helps avoid security mistakes in the design and focuses code reviews and testing on the most vulnerable components of the application. Threat analysis can be divided into two phases:

  1. Identify the assets of an application that must be protected and evaluate which are most important. This task can be tricky as the nature of assets varies from application to application. Examples include records of private information (e.g. credit card numbers), resources an organization provides to others (e-mail), as well as intangible resources (a company's reputation).
  2. Understand the application itself and the dangers it faces from attackers. Organizations should develop a high-level model of the application's components and dataflow paths, map its attack surface and identify interfaces that accept input from users or interact with other systems. Teams should note any points on the attack surface that allow an exploit to compromise the integrity, availability or confidentiality of an asset. Finally, rank the threats based on importance of the asset affected and the likelihood of exploit.

-1-

1  2  3  4  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More