Securely Sprinting: 6 Vital Steps for Agile Software Development

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I’ve seen the increase in cyber attacks targeting Agile Software Development teams. It’s becoming more and more critical for organizations to prioritize security when releasing software in today’s digital age. That’s why I want to share with you my 6 vital steps for securely sprinting through Agile software development.

It’s natural to want to move fast and get your newest features out to the world as quickly as possible. But, as we know, with speed comes the risk of overlooking potential vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s crucial to build security into your software development process from the start.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my top tips on how to securely sprint through Agile software development. By implementing these steps, you’ll be able to minimize the risk of your software being compromised, keep your users’ sensitive information secure, and maintain the trust of your customers and stakeholders.

Let’s get started on securing your software development process.

What are the 6 essential steps to integrate security in Agile software development?

Securing Agile software development is an arduous task but not an impossible one. In today’s digital era, cybersecurity is highly critical, and Agile has become an excellent choice for software development. Therefore, integrating security into Agile software development should be a priority. In this regard, there are six essential steps that you should consider to ensure software security.

  • Include security acceptance criteria in user stories: It’s crucial to add security criteria into user stories and acceptance criteria during Agile development processes. The acceptance criteria should be specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant as this can help the developers to write code that meets security requirements.
  • Conduct various tests to ensure security during the product review: Security testing should be a part of the various tests run during product reviews. The aim is to ensure that the software or products meet the security requirements as specified in the security acceptance criteria.
  • Create appropriate codes for OWASP Proactive Controls: Secure coding practices must be put in place, such as the OWASP Proactive Controls (PC) that provide guidelines on best coding practices in Agile software development.
  • Weaponize Threat Modeling: The threat modeling technique should be used to identify potential security threats. It is a critical process that allows development teams to identify threats and to put in place countermeasures before attackers exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Use Agile Retrospectives: Agile retrospective is an excellent way to continuously improve the development process. During these sessions, the team can identify security challenges faced during development and find efficient solutions.
  • Undertake Continuous Security checks: Continuous security checks should be put in place throughout the development process. These checks can be executed through automated methods and manual reviews, and they should be performed on a regular basis to ensure the software is secure.
  • In conclusion, integrating security into Agile software development should not be ignored or treated as an afterthought. The above six essential steps will help you seamlessly integrate security with Agile software development while ensuring that software security remains a top priority.


    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Conduct a security risk analysis to identify potential vulnerabilities and risks in your software development process.
    2. Implement best practices for secure coding, such as using input validation and encryption techniques.
    3. Prioritize security in the product backlog and make it an integral part of the development process.
    4. Conduct frequent security testing, including penetration testing and vulnerability scanning.
    5. Incorporate security reviews into each sprint and continuously update your security measures throughout the development process.

    Integrating Security in Agile Development

    Unlike traditional software development methods, Agile development requires a different approach to security integration. In Agile development, security is not a separate phase or an afterthought but an integral part of the development process. Therefore, it is essential to integrate security from the initial stages of development. Here are the six essential steps to integrate security in Agile software development.

    Including Security Acceptance Criteria in User Stories

    User stories are brief, informal descriptions of software features that are designed to capture end-users’ requirements. To integrate security into Agile development, security acceptance criteria should be included in the user stories. Security acceptance criteria are statements that define the minimum security requirements that every user story must fulfill before being accepted. By including security acceptance criteria in user stories, the development team ensures that security requirements are met from the beginning.

    Stakeholder-Driven Security Testing

    Stakeholders play a crucial role in ensuring the security of the software during the product review. They can conduct various tests such as penetration testing, code reviews, threat modeling, and vulnerability assessments. These tests help to identify and mitigate security risks before the software is released. To promote stakeholder-driven security testing, it is essential to involve them in the development process. This collaboration can help ensure that security is a top priority for all stakeholders.

    Key points:

    • Involving stakeholders in the development process promotes security testing.
    • Conducting various tests, including penetration testing, code reviews, threat modeling, and vulnerability assessments, can help identify and mitigate security risks.

    Implementing OWASP Proactive Controls

    OWASP Proactive Controls is a collection of security-related best practices designed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) to promote secure coding practices. In Agile development, implementing these controls can help reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and exploits. OWASP Proactive Controls provide a checklist of security controls, each with a detailed description of how it helps in securing the application.

    Key points:

    • Implementing OWASP Proactive Controls in the development process can help reduce the risk of vulnerabilities.
    • The checklist provides a detailed description of how to secure the application.

    Employing Agile Retrospectives for Security Improvement

    Agile retrospectives are meetings that are held at the end of every sprint to reflect on the development process and identify areas for improvement. These retrospectives can be used to include security issues and identify areas where security improvements can be made. To promote security improvement, it is essential to include the security team in the retrospective process. By doing so, it allows for feedback and areas of improvement to be identified through the retrospectives.

    Key points:

    • Agile retrospectives can be used to identify areas for improvement in the development process.
    • Proactively including the security team in these meetings will help identify security issues to be addressed.

    Collaboration between Development and Security Teams for Code Review

    Code review is an essential process of Agile development. It helps to identify vulnerabilities, reduce technical debt, and enhance the software’s overall quality. Collaboration between the development and security teams is crucial in ensuring that security is considered during the code review. Including security experts in the code review process helps identify security vulnerabilities and ensure that security standards are met.

    Key points:

    • Collaborating between the development and security team can help identify new vulnerabilities during the code review process.
    • Including the security team in the code review process can help ensure that security standards are met.

    Prioritizing Security in the Agile Development Process

    Integrating security in Agile development requires treating it as a priority. Therefore, security should be incorporated into all aspects of the development process, from design to deployment. By prioritizing security, the development team ensures that the software is secure and meets compliance standards, reducing the risk of security breaches.

    Key points:

    • Developers should consider security when designing, developing, testing, and deploying software.
    • By prioritizing security, the development team ensures that the software meets compliance standards and the company’s security requirements.

    In conclusion, integrating security in Agile development requires a comprehensive approach that ensures that security is a priority from the beginning. By including security acceptance criteria in user stories and collaborating between development and security teams from design to deployment, software can be secure, reducing the risk of security breaches. Stakeholder-driven security testing, implementing OWASP Proactive Controls, and prioritizing security in the Agile development process will ensure that software is secure and compliant with industry standards.