Home > Articles > Security > Network Security

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

1.7 Managing Secure Software Development

The previous section put forth useful arguments and identified emerging evidence for the value of detecting software security defects as early in the SDLC as possible. We now turn our attention to some of the key project management and software engineering practices to aid in accomplishing this goal. These are introduced here and covered in greater detail in subsequent chapters of this book.

1.7.1 Which Security Strategy Questions Should I Ask?

Achieving an adequate level of software security means more than complying with regulations or implementing commonly accepted best practices. You and your organization must determine your own definition of "adequate." The range of actions you must take to reduce software security risk to an acceptable level depends on what the product, service, or system you are building needs to protect and what it needs to prevent and manage.

Consider the following questions from an enterprise perspective. Answers to these questions aid in understanding security risks to achieving project goals and objectives.

  • What is the value we must protect?
  • To sustain this value, which assets must be protected? Why must they be protected? What happens if they're not protected?
  • What potential adverse conditions and consequences must be prevented and managed? At what cost? How much disruption can we stand before we take action?
  • How do we determine and effectively manage residual risk (the risk remaining after mitigation actions are taken)?
  • How do we integrate our answers to these questions into an effective, implementable, enforceable security strategy and plan?

Clearly, an organization cannot protect and prevent everything. Interaction with key stakeholders is essential to determine the project's risk tolerance and its resilience if the risk is realized. In effect, security in the context of risk management involves determining what could go wrong, how likely such events are to occur, what impact they will have if they do occur, and which actions might mitigate or minimize both the likelihood and the impact of each event to an acceptable level.

The answers to these questions can help you determine how much to invest, where to invest, and how fast to invest in an effort to mitigate software security risk. In the absence of answers to these questions (and a process for periodically reviewing and updating them), you (and your business leaders) will find it difficult to define and deploy an effective security strategy and, therefore, may be unable to effectively govern and manage enterprise, information, and software security.8

The next section presents a practical way to incorporate a reasoned security strategy into your development process. The framework described is a condensed version of the Cigital Risk Management Framework, a mature process that has been applied in the field for almost ten years. It is designed to manage software-induced business risks. Through the application of five simple activities (further detailed in Section 7.4.2), analysts can use their own technical expertise, relevant tools, and technologies to carry out a reasonable risk management approach.

1.7.2 A Risk Management Framework for Software Security9

A necessary part of any approach to ensuring adequate software security is the definition and use of a continuous risk management process. Software security risk includes risks found in the outputs and results produced by each life-cycle phase during assurance activities, risks introduced by insufficient processes, and personnel-related risks. The risk management framework (RMF) introduced here and expanded in Chapter 7 can be used to implement a high-level, consistent, iterative risk analysis that is deeply integrated throughout the SDLC.

Figure 1-5 shows the RMF as a closed-loop process with five activity stages. Throughout the application of the RMF, measurement and reporting activities occur. These activities focus on tracking, displaying, and understanding progress regarding software risk.

Figure 1-5

Figure 1-5 A software security risk management framework

1.7.3 Software Security Practices in the Development Life Cycle

Managers and software engineers should treat all software faults and weaknesses as potentially exploitable. Reducing exploitable weaknesses begins with the specification of software security requirements, along with considering requirements that may have been overlooked (see Chapter 3, Requirements Engineering for Secure Software). Software that includes security requirements (such as security constraints on process behaviors and the handling of inputs, and resistance to and tolerance of intentional failures) is more likely to be engineered to remain dependable and secure in the face of an attack. In addition, exercising misuse/abuse cases that anticipate abnormal and unexpected behavior can aid in gaining a better understanding of how to create secure and reliable software (see Section 3.2).

Developing software from the beginning with security in mind is more effective by orders of magnitude than trying to validate, through testing and verification, that the software is secure. For example, attempting to demonstrate that an implemented system will never accept an unsafe input (that is, proving a negative) is impossible. You can prove, however, using approaches such as formal methods and function abstraction, that the software you are designing will never accept an unsafe input. In addition, it is easier to design and implement the system so that input validation routines check every input that the software receives against a set of predefined constraints. Testing the input validation function to demonstrate that it is consistently invoked and correctly performed every time input enters the system is then included in the system's functional testing.

Analysis and modeling can serve to better protect your software against the more subtle, complex attack patterns involving externally forced sequences of interactions among components or processes that were never intended to interact during normal software execution. Analysis and modeling can help you determine how to strengthen the security of the software's interfaces with external entities and increase its tolerance of all faults. Methods in support of analysis and modeling during each life-cycle phase such as attack patterns, misuse and abuse cases, and architectural risk analysis are described in subsequent chapters of this book.

If your development organization's time and resource constraints prevent secure development practices from being applied to the entire software system, you can use the results of a business-driven risk assessment (as introduced earlier in this chapter and further detailed in Section 7.4.2) to determine which software components should be given highest priority.

A security-enhanced life-cycle process should (at least to some extent) compensate for security inadequacies in the software's requirements by adding risk-driven practices and checks for the adequacy of those practices during all software life-cycle phases. Figure 1-6 depicts one example of how to incorporate security into the SDLC using the concept of touchpoints [McGraw 2006; Taylor 2005]. Software security best practices (touchpoints shown as arrows) are applied to a set of software artifacts (the boxes) that are created during the software development process. The intent of this particular approach is that it is process neutral and, therefore, can be used with a wide range of software development processes (e.g., waterfall, agile, spiral, Capability Maturity Model Integration [CMMI]).

Figure 1-6

Figure 1-6 Software development life cycle with defined security touchpoints [McGraw 2006]

Security controls in the software's life cycle should not be limited to the requirements, design, code, and test phases. It is important to continue performing code reviews, security tests, strict configuration control, and quality assurance during deployment and operations to ensure that updates and patches do not add security weaknesses or malicious logic to production software.10 Additional considerations for project managers, including the effect of software security requirements on project scope, project plans, estimating resources, and product and process measures, are detailed in Chapter 7.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020