5 Critical Phases in the Software Development Life Cycle
Companies should consider security issues in every phase of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Programmers should be aware of the primary application vulnerabilities and the hardware and software required making these applications more secure. The five main areas that are critical in terms of the software development life cycle are the analysis phase, coding, testing, implementation and maintenance.
It is important for companies to integrate security into the design of a program from its initial concept to its ongoing maintenance. This includes firewalls, preventing known vulnerabilities, secure coding, and stakeholder awareness of security issues and how to avoid them. In the analysis phase of the SDLC, companies can review security measures and create a security policy to make sure that everyone within the organization knows how to address any issues if they are uncovered during consecutive phases of the life cycle.
Secure coding policies should be created and followed to help eliminate many of the common vulnerabilities that are inherently present in web applications. These practices should include, but not be limited to, data validation coding, prevention, auditing, and handling of errors and exceptions. By closing off these common avenues for hackers to enter the system and obtain corporate data, coders are saving the company time and money.
During this phase of the life cycle process, companies have a chance to find any errors, inconsistencies, and vulnerabilities in the software. The organization should have a series of testing procedures and documentation in place so that everyone involved in the project will know their responsibilities, errors are properly documented, and all issues are prioritized and resolved before the software is implemented.
This is when the real testing begins. If the organization has integrated security policies during the other life cycle phases, the vulnerability of the software should be minimal at this phase. However, hackers are consistently improving their techniques and their methods and it is possible that they will find an issue that the company missed. Utilizing a security application tool at this phase as a final check can help catch any possible issues before they are discovered by people with less noble intentions.
It is important not to be complacent during the maintenance phase of the process. Even if strict security measures are enacted during development, analysis, coding and testing, errors and vulnerabilities can still occur. With the major web application vulnerabilities, such as security misconfiguration, invalidated redirects and forwards, unrestricted URL access and direct object references, outside parties can leverage application issues to obtain restricted data. Vigilance is an important part of maintenance and making sure that a software program protects company and customer data.
More companies understand the necessity of security procedures throughout the software development life cycle. By initiating preventative measures, management is able to decrease project development and maintenance costs while increasing the effectiveness of the software program. For any new projects on the table, companies need to determine how they can create and implement security measures to increase ROI.
Author Bio –
Fergal Glynn is the Director of Product Marketing at Veracode, an award-winning application security company specializing in secure SDLC and other security breaches with effective risk assessment tools