Training Tips to Help Developers Snag Security Gold

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-08-29
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Training Tips to Help Developers Snag Security Gold
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    Training Tips to Help Developers Snag Security Gold

    The 2016 Summer Olympics has spurred businesses to up their game, especially when it comes to security. Here are some ways developers can take home the gold.
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    2 - Analyze and Understand Application Vulnerabilities
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    Analyze and Understand Application Vulnerabilities

    An athlete wouldn't attempt a course or routine without assessing potential risks first. So companies at the very least need to make sure threat modeling involves decomposing the application to understand the application and how it interacts with outside entities, determine risks accordingly, deem mitigation strategies and implement countermeasures.
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    3 - Open Source Can Pose a Threat
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    Open Source Can Pose a Threat

    When it comes down to game time, athletes can only depend on themselves and can't assume anything outside of what they know. In the same way, organizations should treat open-source and third-party components with the same eye toward security as they do with their own products.
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    4 - Keep Your Frameworks Up to Date
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    Keep Your Frameworks Up to Date

    There is always room for improvement, so scrutinize your on-the-shelf frameworks. Create a list of guiding security principles for new projects. Create and maintain a list of recommended software frameworks and components that your security team and developers can and should use.
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    5 - Start With Security for a Smoother Build
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    Start With Security for a Smoother Build

    An Olympian athlete wouldn't wait until the day of competition to assess any potential issues that could arise as he or she competes. For companies, it should be the same mentality when identifying both generic bugs and security bugs to eliminate vulnerabilities. The sooner they get fixed in the development process, the better to avoid additional issues—not to mention it's less expensive to fix earlier in the cycle.
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    6 - Keep Communication Open Through a Collaboration Platform
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    Keep Communication Open Through a Collaboration Platform

    Create a platform where developers and the security team can get advice, ask questions and share security-related information, similar to how a coach serves as a sounding board and critical element to an athlete's success.
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    7 - Measure Progress With Benchmarks
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    Measure Progress With Benchmarks

    Strive toward your personal best and achieve certain benchmarks within various stages of development. Benchmark locations can be during the coding or build processes, within the source code repositories and throughout the QA process.
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    8 - Server-Level Code Verification Ensures Integrity
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    Server-Level Code Verification Ensures Integrity

    Don't assume the input is ever varied or has not been manipulated. Keeping business logic code verification on the server allows you to ensure the proper input sanitation without the concern of input manipulation. In much the same way, many athletes track their performance to uncover the factors behind their success and failures.
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    9 - Make App Security a Matter of Black and White(listing)
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    Make App Security a Matter of Black and White(listing)

    Use whitelist validation on user input, denying the requests your application allows. By describing the data that is allowed to be input into the application, you greatly sift out malicious input intent on abusing the app.
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    10 - Prepared Statements: Not Just for Public Relations
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    Prepared Statements: Not Just for Public Relations

    Once an athlete is caught making a certain facial expression or utters a particular statement, there isn't anything he or she can do to take it back—former U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney can tell you that firsthand. Ensure that an adversary cannot change a query's intent, thus reducing the risk of an SQL injection, by using prepared statements.
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    11 - Don't Be Afraid to Break Your Build
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    Don't Be Afraid to Break Your Build

    If a test comes back with major issues, it's time to break the build and make sure those vulnerabilities are fixed before the next step. In the same way, Olympic athletes address flaws in their performance prior to competing. Don't wait until 2020 to test out these tips—stay ahead of the competition and make your next move the most secure one yet.
 

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro caught the collective attention of the world, which watched as best-in-class athletes from countries from around the world competed for the coveted medals and honor for their countries. For those competing, the road to this year's Summer Olympics was paved with trial and error, grueling training processes and a desire to be the best. In the enterprise space, companies are competing in their own "Business Olympics" daily as they look to stand apart in their respective space and beat out the competition. One critical element of success for every organization is security and ensuring its employees, customers and partners that its sensitive and that proprietary information is safe and secure. So developers, listen up! It's never too early to start training if you're going for the gold in security in 2020. Based on conversations with executives at Checkmarx, this eWEEK slide show offers 10 training tips that you'll want to keep in your back pocket.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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