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11/25/2009
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Stay On Top of Source Code Security Flaws

Fortify's 360 Server helps developers track flaws and fixes in applications.

Source code analysis, a fundamental part of a complete application security process, helps IT find flaws and vulnerabilities in application code that could be exploited by attackers. A critical component of source code analysis is tracking and remediating the flaws and vulnerabilities uncovered.

Fortify's 360 Server is a repository for all the results and remediation activities that accompany an analysis of source code. While 360 Server doesn't itself perform source code analysis, it does accept uploads from other Fortify products in the 360 suite that do. Organizations can also take advantage of the product's service-oriented architecture to integrate with third-party code analysis software.

A common starting point in Server 360 is a new project, such as one or more applications being assessed. Once a project is created, security and compliance staff use the project area to view actual source code issues through a mock integrated development environment to understand exactly what issues are outstanding. Reviewers can mark issues as an exemption, a false positive, exploitable, or one of several other options.

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Surprisingly, there isn't a method to mark an issue as resolved and provide supporting documentation or a link to an updated analysis report. A "comments" section is available for staff members, and this could be used to note that an issue has been resolved, but an explicit mechanism would be more useful. Once project requirements are signed off, the project is closed. There is no formal method of closing the project, but the status of the project is automatically updated to show all requirements have been accepted. From this point on, the project resides online. Because all activities within the project are tracked and logged, a full audit trail exists if needed for future reviews.

The Fortify 360 Server is the next logical step for organizations that have implemented application security code review, have structured remediation processes in place, and are looking to increase the efficiency of the process. It's particularly useful for those with other Fortify products in-house.

Adam Ely is an information security consultant.

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