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How to Integrate Role-Based Developer Training into Your AppSec Program

How to Integrate Role-Based Developer Training into Your AppSec Program

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As a security awareness training program administrator, you have a lot on your plate. You're running a robust program, you are working on building a more secure culture across your organization, and now you're being asked to roll out more specific role-based training for security-critical roles such as developers.  

This makes sense, seeing that regulations like PCI, SOC 2, and NIST require secure coding training, CMMC requires role-based training, and there is increasing regulatory pressure on organizations and development teams. 

In this article, we'll talk about role-based training and how to use those principles for developer training and AppSec programs. 


Where To Start When Training Developers 

When tasked with training developers, many start with awareness of the OWASP Top 10, which is a great place to start considering that none of the top 50 undergraduate computer science programs in the U.S. require a course in code or application security. 

Although the OWASP Top 10 provides a general idea, it is merely an overview. While OWASP Top 10 training can educate your development team about the most common vulnerabilities, it does not equip them with the skills to write secure or address problematic code. 


Moving Past OWASP Top 10 Training 

To ensure secure applications, completing an OWASP Top 10 course for compliance is not enough. Security teams must equip their developers to tackle present and future threats. Foundational knowledge helps maintain focus and create a more robust security culture throughout the organization. 

Recognizing flaws is essential in application security awareness, but education involves comprehending their impact and how to fix them. Program admins should prioritize educating other teams on development processes and the reasons behind them. 


What is Role-Specific Training for Developers? 

Role-based training involves specialized training for specific job roles and foundational training for all. This recognizes that each role has distinct responsibilities and risks. 

But what does this mean? 

Simply put, role-based training drives focus on providing the right training to the right people at the right time because not all application security training topics are suitable for all employees within the SDLC.  

For example, training on creating secure passwords is foundational for your whole organization because everyone has to create and use passwords. While compliance training, such as PCI-DSS, may only need to be provided to people who handle cardholder data or manage the systems that store or process cardholder data. 


Benefits of Role-Based Training for Developers 

It may seem easier to roll out all of the necessary training to everyone in your organization, but there are benefits to utilizing a role-based training strategy: 

  • Cuts Down on Training Time – When learners only train on content that is directly applicable to their role, it saves time on training and allows them more time to apply what they learned to their daily duties. 
  • Increase Engagement – When training content is applicable to job duties, learners are more engaged and interested in learning 
  • More Accurate Reporting – Learners that are completing training that does not apply to their role may not perform as well with assessments; role-based training gives the program admin more accurate reporting that indicates how learning will be applied within the organization 

Training that is tailored to specific roles can lead to a greater return on investment. By matching the appropriate skills with the appropriate personnel, less time is wasted, and the impact is maximized. 


Integrate Role-Based Developer Training into Your AppSec Program with Security Journey 

Security Journey's AppSec Education Platform boasts content for everyone within the SDLC. But we know that not all of our content is suitable for all learners within the SDLC – which is where role-based training helps. 

Read More: Benefits of Progressive Learning Paths for AppSec Education 

One key feature of role-based training is Security Journey's Learning Paths. These paths allow admins to combine training content across modalities and assign them to learners to work through. These paths can be based on the following: 

  • The Learner's Role – ex) Developer or Non-Developer 
  • The Learner's Programming Language – ex) C#, Python, Azure, Java, etc. 
  • Organization's Technologies – ex) Google Cloud Platform, Blockchain, etc. 
  • Essential Topics – ex) OWASP Top 10, PCI, Cryptography, etc. 

Unsure of where you can start? Don't worry; security Journey AppSec experts have already created pre-built progressive learning paths for you to start with! Use these pre-built paths as is, or customize them to fit your team's needs.   


Taking Your Role to the Next Level 

Proper workplace training is turning a new leaf; we are moving away from completing basic requirements to providing engaging educational content based on adult learning science principles.   

Security Journey is dedicated to creating effective AppSec education, leading to higher retention rates and measurable business results. Try Our Training for free today to test our content out yourself.