Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

11/30/2010
10:29 PM
50%
50%

Expert: BSIMM Can Help Enterprises Build Secure App Development Processes

A look at the BSIMM framework, and how it has helped 30 companies to write safer code

[Excerpted from "Use BSIMM To Develop Safe Applications," a new commentary posted this week on Dark Reading's Vulnerability Management Tech Center.

Quick quiz: What do wireless devices, cell phones, PDAs, browsers, operating systems, servers, routers, personal computers, Web applications, public key infrastructure systems and firewalls have in common?

Give up? The answer is: software.

In the modern world, software is everywhere. It is software that allows our complex dynamic systems to function. It is software that has transformed our communications devices into digital computers. It is software that we count on to run our businesses.

Given these facts, where would you attack a modern system in order to compromise its integrity for nefarious gain? Same answer, of course: software.

We have been getting better at building secure software over the past past five years. But the problem of insecure software seems to be as big as ever. Why? More code.

Though we have fewer bugs per square inch, we have many more square miles of code. More code equals more bugs and flaws, and more bugs and flaws equals more security problems.

Probably the trickiest aspect of software security has to do with measurement. Everyone would love to have a magic security-o-meter that we could wave over software to determine whether it is secure. Unfortunately, the problem of directly measuring security is technically unsolvable, because software behavior is subject to such huge contextual effects, such as software environment, what kind of network the software is on, whether the software is easy to procure and whether it lives behind a firewall.

What we can do, however, is measure the software process and inspection of software artifacts created throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). We may get a better idea about the security properties of a piece of software by understanding how it was built, what kinds of security activities were carried out while it was built, and the results of various technical measurements of multiple development artifacts.

In this report, we will show how to use such an approach, the Building Security in Maturity Model (BSIMM), to measure your software security program against best practices of leading global organizations and build a more secure SDLC.

BSIMM (pronounced "bee-sim"), created by Cigital principal Sammy Migues, Fortify chief scientist Brian Chess and me, tackles this problem head-on. It is an observation-based scientif-ic model directly describing the collective software security activities of initiatives at 30 leading organizations.

BSIMM (actually BSIMM2, which expanded the model from nine to the current 30 leading organizations) can be used as a measuring stick for software security. A direct comparison of your organization’s practices using BSIMM is an excellent tool for devising a software security strategy. It may also be useful in understanding how your software vendors stack up in terms of IT security.

In contrast to prescriptive, "faith-based" approaches to software security, the BSIMM is directly descriptive. That is, it does not tell you what you should do; it tells you what leading organizations are actually doing. As a descriptive model, BSIMM has accumulated a number of observed facts.

To find out more about how BSIMM works, how it can help guide secure software development, and how to implement it in your enterprise, Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Browsers to Enforce Shorter Certificate Life Spans: What Businesses Should Know
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17366
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
An issue was discovered in NLnet Labs Routinator 0.1.0 through 0.7.1. It allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions or to cause a denial of service on dependent routing systems by strategically withholding RPKI Route Origin Authorisation ".roa" files or X509 Certificate...
CVE-2020-9036
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Jeedom through 4.0.38 allows XSS.
CVE-2020-15127
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Contour ( Ingress controller for Kubernetes) before version 1.7.0, a bad actor can shut down all instances of Envoy, essentially killing the entire ingress data plane. GET requests to /shutdown on port 8090 of the Envoy pod initiate Envoy's shutdown procedure. The shutdown procedure includes flip...
CVE-2020-15132
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Sulu before versions 1.6.35, 2.0.10, and 2.1.1, when the "Forget password" feature on the login screen is used, Sulu asks the user for a username or email address. If the given string is not found, a response with a `400` error code is returned, along with a error message saying that th...
CVE-2020-7298
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Unexpected behavior violation in McAfee Total Protection (MTP) prior to 16.0.R26 allows local users to turn off real time scanning via a specially crafted object making a specific function call.