Continuous Software Security Maturity Model


The main purpose and contribution of this Orange Paper is to propose a Continuous Software Security Maturity Model to mitigate application security risks, early and best. Companies are producing software faster than ever before, because the time to market is crucial for survival. In today’s world software applications, speed means business. Traditional measures of software security often do not catch up with the current pace of software delivery. Security needs to be built into the software even before the code is written, rather than being bolted-on after the software is developed, or ripped apart by people with bad intentions.

This paper discusses a five level Software Security Maturity Model, that is a mixture of people, practices, and tools that enable applications and the data they process to be executed in a secure manner. While business focusses on sustainable delivery, cyber criminals are focussed on finding flaws and exploiting them to their advantage. Protecting applications on the internet is a twenty-four seven job. Everything that is connected to the internet is a target of cyber-attacks these days. It is no revelation that cyber-attacks, data fraud or theft are among the top ten risks organizations are worried about.

The impact of a security incident can only be measured in terms of loss of assets, loss of reputation and share, negative impact on revenue, disruption of operations, or even bankruptcy. Cyber-attacks have become so advanced that they are able to include every kind of organization from any kind of industry. Software Development organizations concentrate primarily on functionality and speed. Security unfortunately is not a core competence of many software developers. This means that software, upon completion, contains many vulnerabilities that pose threats representing realworld risks. In 2016, attacks via web applications were over 82% of all data breaches.

There was a time when a simple firewall and anti-malware solution was enough to keep applications safe on the internet. Nowadays that is not enough to keep your assets safe.

Protection often starts by securing the infrastructure first, however vulnerable software leaves alternative doors open for cyber-attacks on critical data and systems.

Although breaches and security incidents have become an inseparable part of today’s business, the good news is that many of them occur because of commonly exploitable simple software design flaws and coding errors. Solving this calls for a unified approach collating and innovating on the industries best practices, to software security at a strategic level, to manage, implement and measure the progress of the Continuous Software Security journey. A combination of static, dynamic, and hybrid application scanning tools combined with developer training, standards, and security intelligence helps improving security in the software development lifecycle.

Download the whitepaper here.

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