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Your Guide to Building the Ideal Secure Coding Training Program

Your Guide to Building the Ideal Secure Coding Training Program

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Navigating the world of application security can be complex and challenging. That's why we have gathered some key insights from our customers and experts at Security Journey to create a guide to help you get started with your secure coding training program.  

Remember that every organization is different, and you can adapt these recommendations to meet your specific needs. This article will talk you through the key steps of building the ideal secure coding training program, for more detailed advice, you can download the guide here. 


Start By Planning Your Secure Coding Training Program 

Focusing on one or two program goals can help you measure key performance indicators and better determine the success of your program.   

We usually see three main program goals from our clients: 

  1. Meeting Regulatory Compliance - such as PCI-DSS, OWASP, White House Executive Order, or others. 
  2. Creating a Proactive Program - supporting a cultural shift towards security-mindedness. 
  3. Recovering from an Incident or Vulnerability - as part of a response and to improve security moving forward. 

Consider the learners and their job functions by asking questions such as who you are training and their workloads. Understanding these details will help determine the appropriate training content for the roles of the learners you are educating. 

Read The Article: Just-In-Time vs Proactive Secure Code Training: Which One Should You Choose? 


Pulling Secure Coding Baseline Data   

If you don’t collect data before starting your secure coding training program, you won’t be able to measure the success of your program accurately. 

Key Metrics to Collect: 

  • Total Vulnerabilities  
  • Critical and High Vulnerabilities  
  • Types of Security Tickets 
  • Number of Security Tickets  
  • Remediation Time on Security Tickets  
  • Severity of Tickets (Critical vs Low) 
  • Cost to Remediate Vulnerabilities 

By harnessing these internal data sources, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your application's security posture. 


Internal Communications for Your Secure Coding Training Program 

Open and thorough communications will help you achieve internal buy-in for your new program and keep your learners engaged throughout the training process.   

  • Deliver an executive presentation to the Leadership Team to ensure cross-team support for your new program across your business 
  • Share a summary of the executive presentation at your company town hall meeting to shine a light on the initiative and help learners feel more engaged 
  • Announce the training program in a live discussion with learners to explain topics such as program expectations, growth opportunities, and next steps 
  • Write email and Slack notifications about congratulatory messages, announcements of learner accomplishments, new assignments, and upcoming deadlines 

When you’re ready to start your secure coding training program, start with a fun kick-off event to spark interest, identify potential champions, and leave everyone buzzing about security. 


Selecting Your Training Paths  

Security Journey offers a wide array of training content for everyone within your SDLC. You can find content based on language, topic, role, compliance, and more through video and hands-on lesson modalities. 

With Security Journey’s Recommended Learning Paths (Compliance-Based, Role-Based, Topic-Based), admins can easily assign the right content to learners by pinpointing the most applicable content. 

Ready to see examples of multi-year training programs? Download the Seven Step Gude here. 


Incorporating Tournaments Within Your Secure Coding Training Program 

We recommend running tournaments at least every 6 months to keep your learners engaged. You can use tournaments for many functions, including: 

  • To kick off a new program 
  • To assess learners’ knowledge 
  • To help learners apply their knowledge 
  • In support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 

Helpful Blog Post: Driving Engagement with Secure Coding Training Tournaments: 3 Tips for Success 


Secure Coding Security Champions 

A Security Champion helps raise awareness and promote security best practices within their team or organization. They don't necessarily need to be security experts themselves, but they play a crucial role in bridging the gap between security professionals and development teams.   

But keep in mind that Security Champions need to be engaged in different ways, such as: 

  • Offering advanced training opportunities 
  • Assigning specialty-curated champion learning paths  
  • Giving them the freedom to tailor their learning experience 

Helpful Podcast: The Recipe for Success with Security Champions Programs 


Measuring Your Secure Coding Training Program 

Accurately measuring the success of your program is crucial to its long-term success. Admins should be able to track critical metrics easily through advanced reporting features on the secure coding training platform.  

To evaluate the program's overall impact every 6 months, compare this data to your initial baseline measurements. This analysis will highlight trends, inform necessary adjustments, and demonstrate the program's value to stakeholders. 

Want to learn more about the key metrics to a successful, secure coding training program? Download the Seven Step Guide here. 


So, where do you go from here?  

Now that you have a solid understanding of the key elements of an ideal secure coding training program, it's time to start putting those insights into action. Establish clear goals, tailor your training to your team's needs, and consistently measure progress.  

With the right approach, you can empower your developers to write more secure code and create a robust application security program. 

Remember, building a security-focused culture within your organization takes time and sustained effort. If you'd like a more in-depth roadmap, download our guide today.