How to Prevent Cybersecurity Threats with Secure Code
The largest cyberattack in history will happen within the next six months, according to Chief Analyst Stephen McBride. This is particularly troubling as organizations were already being bombarded by cybersecurity threats; every 39 seconds, according to a study conducted by the University of Maryland.
As cybersecurity threats will continue to be a concern for every software development industry, it is essential that you take the appropriate steps to ensure that your code is secure. This includes understanding what are the most common cybersecurity threats, adopting secure coding best practices, enforcing secure coding standards, and using SAST tools — such as Klocwork.
3 Best Practices to Prevent Cybersecurity Threats
Secure software development best practices are essential for every industry, as they help to ensure that your code is protected against vulnerabilities. While there are many secure software development practices that are beneficial, here are the three that we recommended that you have as part of your process.
1. Establish software design requirements to help your team to better address and eliminate security weaknesses in your code. Some software development requirements that you may want to include in your process:
- Ensure that the requirements are consistent in format, style, and are grouped together in a logical order to help ensure that your developers are easily able to understand the expectations and goals of the project.
- Confirm that each requirement is verifiable through testing, inspection, analysis, or demonstration to help ensure that it has been successfully completed.
- Document the progress of each requirement to keep track of when it has been tested, what coding errors were identified, and what steps were taken to address those vulnerabilities.
- Perform regular manual and peer code reviews to identify any coding errors, inconsistencies, or vulnerabilities.
- Use secure multicore designs to better prevent unexpected interactions between threads and processes.
An easy way to implement and enforce this best practice is through the use of a tool like Helix ALM that that can perform issues management with end-to-end traceability. In addition, it can easily integrate with Klocwork to provide you with a scalable DevOps solution.
2. Develop software based on secure coding standards, such as CERT, CWE or DISA STIG. Using secure coding standards, you are better able to prevent, detect, and eliminate security vulnerabilities by creating secure systems from the ground up. In addition, by using a secure coding standard, you are able to ensure that:
- The quality of your code is consistent throughout the project — regardless of who has written it.
- Coding errors can be easily addressed early in the development cycle.
- Code reviews and other maintenance operations are easy and efficient.
3. Test your code as early and as often as possible to find security weaknesses early in development. You should keep these best practices in mind:
- SAST tools — like Klocwork – can be run easily and automatically making them relatively low cost.
- Conduct both manual and automated regular code reviews.
- Perform fuzz tests to detect potential coding vulnerabilities, and make revisions to appropriately address them.
- Conduct a penetration test to evaluate how the software would handle a cyberattack. Based upon the results, fix any vulnerabilities.
- Track and manage defects to ensure the code is clean and safeguarded from vulnerabilities. This can be easily done with a tool like Helix ALM.
How SAST Tools can Help Prevent Cybersecurity Threats
1. Automated vulnerability detection, which examines your code continually throughout the development process. What’s more, SAST tools are able to provide an in-depth analysis to better identify security vulnerabilities in your source code.
2 Generally, SAST tools test all of the code, including the error handling routines or rarely executed parts, where vulnerabilities are often found. Providing a nice balance to more typical functional-based dynamic testing techniques.
3. Ease of integration into your existing SDCL/DevOps/DevSecOps process. Ensuring that your process is only enhanced and not negatively impacted.
Why Klocwork Is the Ideal SAST Tool to Prevent Cybersecurity Threats
Klocwork is the most accurate and trusted static analyzer for C, C++, C#, and Java. With its Differential Analysis, connected desktop, and support for CI/CD pipelines, Klocwork is the ideal SAST tool to help ensure that your development teams are creating secure code from the ground up.
In addition, Klocwork provides you with the following benefits:
- Enforcing industry and coding standards, including CWE and CERT, DISA STIG, and OWASP.
- Providing detailed management and security standard compliance reports across projects and across product versions.