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Create a Security-First Mindset Across the Full SDLC Team

DLC on application security principles and strategies

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When you think about how to reduce application security risks, training your development team on secure coding strategies is the first thing that comes to mind. And for good reason. Security-minded development teams are a proven way to build a solid foundation for delivering safer applications.

But what about the other roles that influence the software development life cycle? Product and project managers, UX designers, QA, DevOps, and DevSecOps all have a hand in influencing a new app before it goes out the door. So it only makes sense that they, too, understand and apply application security principles in their daily work.

Yet many non-development professionals don’t possess the knowledge or skills to effectively do this. The reasons are varied. Many transition to tech from other industries. Others are already in tech, but were never taught the importance of application security. 

The issue isn’t only with non-developers in the SDLC, of course. Developers face a knowledge gap, too. A recent Forrester report noted that of the 40 university computer science programs it surveyed across the U.S. none made courses in secure coding or secure application design mandatory. 

So what is the solution?

To create truly secure apps, it takes a complete team of security-minded professionals. This only happens when there is a concerted effort to train developers and everyone else in the SDLC on application security principles and strategies. 

Only then can you develop a security-first mindset across your organization – a mindset that puts application security front and center each and every day. A mindset that ensures the applications you deliver are as secure as possible and protected against vulnerabilities and threats. A mindset that hits your bottom line in a positive way.

Myriad options exist to train developers, and we are proud of our robust training platforms that provide hands-on secure coding training in both offensive and defensive strategies. But training developers is only half the equation. We went ahead and solved the other half, too. We built a solution that trains everyone involved in the application development process. 

As a whole, the Security Journey belt-based learning system offers five paths that build upon each other, from two foundational paths (White and Yellow, ideal for non-developers in the SDLC) to three advanced developer-focused paths (Green, Brown, Black).

Just like their developer counterparts, non-developer SDLC professionals can hone their application security knowledge with a variety of Security Journey lessons and exercises – all designed to be taken by anyone, no matter their technical background. 

Our White Belt arms all learners with the vocabulary and security concepts they need to improve communication and start adopting a security-first mindset. From learning the language of application security to understanding the threat landscape to identifying common breaches and vulnerabilities, everyone who completes this learning path comes away with the knowledge they need to effectively communicate about security principles.

Our Yellow Belt, also designed for developers and non-developers alike, dives deeper into basic security topics, like threat modeling, the OWASP Top 10 List, and SQL Injections. Learners develop an understanding of the role of application testing in AppSec, how to apply secure coding concepts to DevOps and agile methodologies, understanding major vulnerabilities and threats, and more. 

Completing both White and Yellow Belts gives learners, regardless of their coding knowledge, the basic security concepts and skills they need to contribute to building safer, more secure applications. These lessons are the most effective way to build a security-first mindset across your organization.

From there, offering advanced application security training to development teams positions them to create and implement solid security-focused processes, like building a library of well-vetted open source code packages.

When you offer proven and effective application security training to everyone, like the kind of content Security Journey offers, your entire SDLC acquires a security-first mindset.

Organizations that embrace a security-first mindset across all teams and departments involved in the SDLC, consistently deliver safer applications. And safer apps mean a healthier bottom line. That’s something everyone can get behind.

Application Security Podcast