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SAFECode Launches Software Security Training Program For Enterprises

Free curriculum will help businesses build software security training programs in-house, SAFECode says
The Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode) today will publish the first modules in a free program of software security training that enterprises can implement themselves.

SAFECode, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving software security, said the new program is designed to help in-house software developers learn security principles and methods and write more secure applications.

While many enterprises do some security training for developers, there is a "lack of consistency and harmonization" among them, says Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity director and now executive director of SAFECode. "We're seeing the same vulnerabilities in software that we've seen over and over again," he notes. "We need programs that are more consistent and measurable."

Recent studies from Cenzic, Coverity, (ISC)2, Veracode, and WhiteHat Security all indicate that the rate of security vulnerabilities remains extremely high. The Cenzic study indicates that 99 percent of tested applications contain vulnerabilities. All of the studies indicate that the majority of flaws found in software are known issues, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

SAFECode's initial set of courses released today cover introductory-level topics and are based on training materials donated to the organization by Adobe after successful use in its software security program. A team of technical contributors from the SAFECode members' companies reviewed and supplemented the course materials to ensure broad applicability across diverse development environments.

The new program is designed primarily for internal use by enterprises and will not compete with certification programs such as the CSSLP program offered by (ISC)2, Schmidt says.

Additional courses are being reviewed now and will be added to the site on an ongoing basis. SAFECode hopes to create a diverse catalog of security engineering training courses for all expertise levels as a community resource, the organization says. Comments on the course materials are encouraged.

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