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What Is Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC)

  • 29 Apr 2024
  • 4 min read


In the United States alone, the software and IT services sector comprises over 585,000 companies. However, many companies are still not serious when it comes to security. They see it as a roadblock that slows down development and hampers innovation. 

Insecure software is, in truth, similar to a ticking time bomb. You need to incorporate security into your development process from the get-go. That way, you can deliver top-notch products that customers can trust, without sacrificing speed or agility. 

Let’s discuss the critical role of security integration in the SDLC and its implications for modern business practices.

What is the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC)?

The Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) serves as a structured framework for the creation, deployment, and upkeep of software. This framework organizes tasks or activities into six to eight phases, aiming to enhance software quality by emphasizing the process. 

Picture this: you're starting a new software project. Instead of just diving in headfirst and worrying about security later, you're thinking about it right from the get-go. That's the essence of SSDLC.

It enables measurement, analysis, and the identification of areas for improvement, all while monitoring progress and managing costs effectively.

These are all the phases of the SDLC:

  • Plan: This is where you figure out what you want the software to do and why you're making it in the first place.
  • Requirements: Once you know the goals, you outline primary functions the software needs to perform.
  • Design: Here's where you start sketching out the blueprint. You decide on factors like how the software will look, what platforms it'll run on, and how users will interact with it.
  • Build: Time to roll up your sleeves and start building the software based on the framework. Document: In this phase, you create guides and instructions to help them understand how it works.
  • Test: Before you unleash your software on the world, put it through rigorous testing to catch any bugs or glitches.
  • Deploy and Maintain: Deploying your software makes it accessible to users, but maintenance ensures its ongoing smooth operation by addressing bugs and making updates.

Why Is SSDLC Important?

SSDLC is a game-changer for organizations aiming to strengthen their software against cyber threats and protect sensitive data. In today's age, where software is a source of confidential information, security is important. Neglecting security during development opens the door to potential attacks, posing risks to both individuals and organizations.

By embracing SSDLC, organizations embed security considerations at every stage of the development journey, enabling the early identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities.

Moreover, adopting SSDLC cultivates a reputation for delivering secure software, earning the trust of users and stakeholders alike. Sticking to SSDLC protocols facilitates compliance with industry regulations and standards mandating secure software development practices.

How Does SSDLC Work?

Making your Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) secure means adding security measures at every step of the process. To do this, you've got DevSecOps and automation in your corner. DevSecOps makes sure security isn't an afterthought—it's built in from the start. Automation tools act as security guards, constantly checking for vulnerabilities and fixing them.

However, it is important to remember that ensuring a secure SDLC isn't a one-time thing. You have to keep updating your tools, fine-tuning your processes, and staying on top of the latest threats. It's an ongoing commitment to keeping your software safe and sound.


How Does SSDLC Relate to DevOps and Agile?


SDLC, Agile, and DevOps are all interconnected in the world of software development. SDLC provides the overarching framework, laying out the stages of development. Agile emphasizes flexibility and collaboration, breaking development into sprints. DevOps streamlines the process by breaking down barriers between teams and automating tasks. Together, they form a cohesive approach to efficient and high-quality software development.

6 Benefits of SSDLC


1. Risk Reduction: Integrating security throughout the development process minimizes the likelihood of data breaches and system vulnerabilities.

2. Enhanced Trust: Secure SDLC instills confidence in customers by demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding their sensitive information.

3. Cost Savings: Identifying and addressing security issues earlier in the process is more economical than dealing with them post-deployment.

4. Proactive Security: Secure SDLC allows for the proactive identification and mitigation of potential threats, rather than reacting to them after the fact.

5. Compliance Assurance: Adhering to Secure SDLC ensures compliance with industry regulations and standards, providing peace of mind for regulatory requirements.

6. Reputation Building: By prioritizing security in software development, organizations cultivate a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness, bolstering their brand image.

Best Practices to Secure the SDLC


Keep Security Everywhere: Make sure security is part of every step in your software development process. Whether you're brainstorming ideas or deploying updates, always think about security.


Watch Out for Threats: Take time to figure out what threats could target your software. Think about things like hackers trying to steal data or disrupt your service. By understanding where the risks are, you can better protect against them. Remember that threats can also come from within the organization. 


Code with Security in Mind: Teach your developers how to write code that's secure from the start. That means things like making sure data is checked before it's used, setting up secure ways for users to log in, and handling errors properly. The better your code, the harder it is for hackers to find a way in.


Test Regularly for Security: Regularly test your software for security weaknesses. Use tools to automatically check for common problems, like vulnerabilities in the code or configuration errors. But don't stop there—have real people review the code too. They can catch things that the tools might miss and provide valuable insights.


Stay Up-to-Date with Patches: Make sure all your software components are up-to-date with the latest security patches. This means keeping an eye on updates for everything from your operating system to the libraries and frameworks your software relies on. By staying current, you can close up any holes that hackers could exploit.


Implement ZTNA: Only let people and devices access your software if you're sure they should be there. This is where Zero Trust principles come in. It means verifying the identity of everyone and everything that tries to access your software, even if they're already inside your network. That way, you can make sure that only the right people get in, keeping your software safe from unauthorized access.

How Do You Get Started?

To get started with securing your SDLC, first, assess where you stand—are there any glaring security gaps? Then, educate your team on security best practices. Invest in tools like PureDome to automate security checks and streamline processes. Set clear security policies and procedures, and keep an eye on things—security is an ongoing journey, so stay vigilant and adapt as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why is security important in SDLC?

Security is crucial in SDLC because it helps protect sensitive data and prevents unauthorized access, reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.

How can DevSecOps improve SDLC?

DevSecOps integrates security practices into the software development process from the outset, ensuring that security is prioritized at every stage, leading to more robust and secure software.

What are some common security challenges in SDLC?

Common security challenges in SDLC include inadequate threat modeling, insecure coding practices, insufficient testing for vulnerabilities, and patch management issues.