Whitepaper: The Business Value of Secure Software

Are You Building Secure Software — Effectively? 

Improve revenue growth, raise margins, enhance customer satisfaction, and simplify regulatory compliance by strengthening your software security.

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Download our whitepaper to find out how your organization can reduce the time and effort required to build and maintain secure software.

Building secure software makes business sense. As hackers increasingly target the application layer, organizations need to respond appropriately.

Your organization can improve software security to improve revenue growth as a competitive advantage and raise margins by lowering maintenance expenses. Even more, you can improve customer satisfaction with fewer security patches and updates, and simplify regulatory compliance.

Key takeaways:

  • Meet the challenge of complying with the myriad of regulatory standards.
  • Identify system vulnerabilities using a combination of techniques.
  • Learn the advantages of using SAST over other techniques.
  • Get insight into evaluating and using SAST successfully.

Software security is a board-level issue. Adversaries used to focus on hacking networks. Now they target applications. Why?

Because software organizations continue to focus on features and functionality. Errors in the design and execution of software can result in vulnerabilities that are easy to access and simple to exploit using attacks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

Unfortunately, many organizations continue to view security as it was many years ago: a challenge of perimeter defense. 

Adversaries are more skilled than ever. Criminal organizations are well funded and the market demand for financial data, health information, and consumers’ personal information are high.

Industrial espionage is an ongoing concern. Most concerning for organizations with valuable intellectual property (IP) are attacks from nation-states seeking to steal design information and trade secrets. State-sponsored attacks and organized crime groups are real and make for interesting headlines.

It's challenging for software development teams to comply with the myriad of regulatory standards.

Some are very prescriptive like the PCI-DSS for software processing credit card information and the UL-2900 standard recently adopted by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for network-connected medical devices. They require that organizations test for specific types of vulnerabilities such as those enumerated in the CWE Top 25 and CWE On the Cusp weaknesses and the OWASP Top 10. HIPAA is less prescriptive, while others provide no guidance at all.

While differences exist between the various standards, the underlying requirements are the same. Organizations must have visibility of the risks they face and a plan to address those risks.

There are several techniques teams can use to identify vulnerabilities in systems. Smart organizations will use a combination of each of them: static analysis, dynamic analysis, source composition analysis, vulnerability scanners, and penetration testing.

Because code refactoring becomes more complicated as an application nears release, the cost of remediating vulnerabilities increases dramatically as the software development lifecycle (SDLC) progresses. The goal of security testing should be to shift left in the SDLC  to identify and remedy vulnerabilities as early as possible.

While each testing methodology has strengths, many organizations overly focus on DAST and penetration testing. However, there are several advantages to using SAST over other testing techniques:

  • Code coverage
  • Root cause analysis
  • Skills improvement
  • Operational efficiency

SAST is the most comprehensive of the testing methodologies. But it can present challenges to security teams:

  • Delaying deployment of SAST.
  • Deferring use in Agile environments.
  • Noisy results.

There are solutions to these challenges so that software teams can embrace software security from the requirements stage of the SDLC onward to build secure software.

The first step in evaluating any tool is to understand your internal environment – from existing tools to skill sets and workflows. Some specific things to take into account? Your organization’s development methodology, the team’s rule configuration, and more.

About Parasoft

Parasoft’s software testing solutions support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way. Parasoft's unique analytics platform aggregates data from across all testing practices, providing insights up and down the testing pyramid to enable organizations to succeed in today's most strategic development initiatives, including Agile/DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the complexities of IoT. Parasoft’s automated software testing innovations fuel software development organizations, helping teams reduce the time, cost, and effort of delivering high-quality software to the market.