Secure Software Design

Secure Software Design

Secure software design is becoming a challenge for numerous organizations due to the constant expansion of the threat environment. 

Secure Design Steps

Here are ten security design steps that you can follow to build the safest software. These will help you protect your software from cyber-attacks. 

  1. Including security from the start.

    Before your developers even write a single line of code, you should plan on how to integrate security in every phase of your software development life cycle. you can utilize the power of automation to test and monitor potential vulnerabilities from the first day.

  2. Enforcing a secure software development policy.

    Since this policy is a guideline that prepares your team, processes, and technology for secure software development, you need to enforce it to ensure compliance. A secure software development policy governs the rules to minimize any risks to your software.

  3. Employing a secure software development framework.

    Following a framework like NIST SSDF can add structure and consistency during production by improving your team’s adherence to best practices for secure software development.

  4. Designing software to meet security requirements.

    You can train your developers to write code that aligns with your pre-defined security requirements. With these parameters in mind, you can create a system that ensures that your third-party vendors follow suit, as they can provide an easy pathway for an attack.

  5. Protecting code integrity.

    Keeping your source code in secure repositories will only allow authorized access and prevent tampering. To preserve your data integrity, you need to regulate all interactions with the code, monitor changes strictly, and oversee code signing processes.

  6. Conducting frequent reviews and tests.

    Ideally, you should break away from the traditional approach of testing the code at the end of the software development life cycle. Instead,  you should conduct regular reviews and automated testing to examine code for floors as it moves through the development phases. If you catch vulnerabilities, you will save money and prevent team frustration.

  7. Mitigating vulnerabilities immediately.

    Vulnerabilities are a part of software development; you need to be ready as a team and plan to resolve these incidents as they occur in real-time. Immediately identifying and responding to these vulnerabilities will shorten the exploitation window.

  8. Configuring default security settings.

    After release, there is a possibility that your users may remain vulnerable due to their lack of knowledge regarding your software functions. So, you need to keep your users in mind and create software that protects them even if they are unaware.

  9. Using checklists.

    An action checklist can help your team track and monitor secure software development. you can hold weekly or monthly meetings to see if the team is following the necessary security policies and procedures or not.

  10. Remaining agile and proactive.

    As an organization, you should study these vulnerabilities and improve your development skills by learning the underlying causes, identifying patterns, avoiding repetition, and updating your software development life cycle while improving your knowledge.

Special Design Issues

During the design phase, development teams can run into numerous issues and challenges because the organization requires them to: 

  1. Work within accelerated turnarounds
  2. Balance their ability to think with performance
  3. Stay relevant to the concept 
  4. Incorporate technological change 
  5. Do a great job
  6. Follow design prerequisites 
  7. Think with a holistic perspective 
  8. Be unique
  9. Have multiple skills 
  10. Include human experience 
  11. Encourage new recruits to inspire them 
  12. Keep an eye on other design disciplines


Developing software that is both efficient and secure is increasingly challenging because of the constant increase in threats. That’s why we compiled this list of steps you can use to build a safe software. Our website also has many articles on software design processes like changelogs and static analysis, which you can use to ensure a smooth and secure software design.

Secure Software Development

Secure Software Development

Software development is time-consuming and requires thousands of working hours before the final product is released to the intended customers. One way to ensure your software’s integrity is to include security during development. Organizations must opt for a cost-effective, secure software design that complies with security regulations defined by international standards regulators. 

Importance of Secure Software Design

Developers use secure software development as a methodology to create software by incorporating security into every phase of the Software Development Life Cycle. The idea is to bake security into the code from its inception instead of fixing it after the quality assurance department uncovers product flaws. 

Traditionally, developers view security as an obstacle that distracts them from innovation and creativity by creating delays in delivering the product to the intended market. In reality, this mindset hurts their company’s profit margin as it costs extensively to fix bugs during implementation or testing. 

Building an application with a security mindset makes it easier to identify and fix the same bug during the design phase. Therefore, security deserves to be in a preeminent position during software engineering, but most organizations fail to incorporate security in their SDLC and struggle to compete with others.

At its core, secure software design stresses the need to test early. Organizations must consider this philosophy when actively conducting status and dynamic security testing throughout the development process. A secure software development approach requires the development team to document security requirements as well as the functional requirements of their projects. 

DevOps teams also need to conduct risk analysis during the design phase of the development lifecycle because it can help them identify potential environmental threats. If your organization plans to offer secure software for its users, you must lay the foundation for success by preparing your team, procedures, and technology to put security first.

Understanding a secure software development policy 

Organizations build a secure software development policy as guidelines that define the practices and procedures. Development teams must follow this policy to decrease the risk of vulnerabilities during development. A secure software development policy should also contain precise instructions on how the team needs to view, assess, and demonstrate security throughout the SDLC. Projects also need to keep the policy in mind during risk management. 

A secure software development policy is essential to keep your development costs to a minimum as it establishes the rules your teams need to follow. Your employees must have a clear understanding of their duties while receiving thorough training and undergoing strict screening to ensure compliance. 

Segregating duties ensures that a single person does not have control or knowledge of the entire project because testing protocols need to assess the contribution of all team members to ensure compliance with standards. A secure software development policy must outline the necessary processes to protect software as the separation of development, testing, and operational environments breed autonomy, prevent test biases and unauthorized changing of source code. 

Access control is another essential part of a secure software development policy that ensures employees only have access to data that is relevant to their job description. Your policy needs a version control clause because it helps track all sources and timestamps whenever a team member alters the code.

The Main Stages of Secure Development

The National Institute of Standards and Technology built a framework that organizes secure software development into four stages: 

  1. Preparing the organization: The people, processes, and technology that make up the organization need to be prepared for secure software development at the managerial level for every project.
  2. Protecting the software: Every software component needs to be protected from tampering and unauthorized access.
  3. Producing well-secure software: The organization must incorporate security in every stage of the development life cycle to ensure the software has minimal vulnerabilities in releases.
  4. Responding to vulnerabilities: Teams must identify vulnerabilities in their software and proceed with an appropriate response to address them and prevent similar instances from occurring in the future.


Secure software development allows you to incorporate safety and security during the developing process, ensuring its integrity. This is a cost-effective and secure solution, that has many benefits, as we have discussed above. If you need more help on how to go about it, we have many articles on secure programming, such as good coding practices, software analysis, and more.