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New Research Paper: Secure Agile Development

By Adrian Lane

Security teams are tightly focused on bringing security to applications, and meeting compliance requirements in the delivery of applications and services. On the other hand job #1 for software developers is to deliver code faster and more efficiently, with security a distant second. Security professionals and developers often share responsibility for security, but finding the best way to embed security into the software development lifecycle (SDLC) is not an easy challenge.

Agile frameworks have become the new foundation for code development, with an internal focus on ruthlessly rooting out tools and techniques that don’t fit this type of development. This means secure development practices, just like every other facet of development, must fit within the Agile framework – not the other way around. This paper offers an outline for security folks to understand development teams’ priorities and methodologies, and practical ways to work together within the Agile methodology. Here is an excerpt:

Over the past 15 years, the way we develop software has changed completely. Development processes evolved from Waterfall, to rapid development, to extreme programing, to Agile, to Agile with Scrum, to our current darling: DevOps. Each evolutionary step was taken to build better software by improving the software building process. And each step embraced changes in tools, languages, and systems to encourage increasingly agile processes, while discouraging slower and more cumbersome processes.

The fast flux of development evolution gradually deprecated everything that impeded agility … including security. Agile had an uneasy relationship with security because its facets which promoted better software development (in general) broke existing techniques for building security into code. Agile frameworks are the new foundation for code development, with an internal focus on ruthlessly rooting out tools and techniques that don’t fit the model. So secure development practices, just like every other facet of development, must fit within the Agile framework – not the other way around.

We are also proud that Veracode has asked to license this content; without support like this we could not bring this quality research to you free of charge without registration. As with all our research, if you have questions or comments we encourage you to comment on the blog so open discussion can help the community.

For a copy of the research download the PDF, or get a copy from our research library page on Secure Agile Development.

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