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Thursday, September 25, 2008

ISC)2: (ISC)2 Launches Security Certification To Reduce Application Vulnerabilities

The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) aims to stem the proliferation of security vulnerabilities resulting from insufficient development processes by establishing best practices and validating an individual’s competency in addressing security issues throughout the software lifecycle (SLC).  Code-language neutral, it will be applicable to anyone involved in the SLC, including analysts, developers, software engineers, software architects, project managers, software quality assurance testers and programmers.  Over 70 percent of security vulnerabilities exist at the application layer*, presenting a significant, immediate threat to users worldwide.  All too often, security is bolted on at the end of the SLC as a response to a threat or after an exposure,” said Howard A. Schmidt, CISSP, (ISC)” board member and newly appointed president of the Information Security Forum (ISF).

“The time to act is now, because new applications that lack basic security controls are being developed every day, and thousands of existing vulnerabilities are being ignored….The CSSLP will be a key component in better critical infrastructure protection, reduced risk of software malpractice suits and stricter adherence to industry and government regulations.”

A wide range of respected organisations have expressed their support for the CSSLP, including: BASDA, Cisco, ISSA, Frost and Sullivan, Microsoft, SANS, SRA International, Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFEcode), Symantec and Xerox. Several of these organisations are sending their qualified software staff through the education and examination process.

Subject areas covered by the CSSLP exam will include the software lifecycle, vulnerabilities, risk, information security fundamentals and compliance.  Candidates must demonstrate four years of professional experience in the SLC process or three years of experience and a bachelor’s degree (or regional equivalent) in an IT discipline.

Colley added, “The CSSLP ensures that our first line of defense in this war - people - have the tools and knowledge to implement and enforce security throughoutthe software lifecycle.”

The first CSSLP exam is scheduled for the end of June in 2009.  They will become the first CSSLP holders and be asked to contribute to the exam development process and assist in other program development tasks.  Applications for the CSSLP experience assessment will be accepted from Sept. 25, 2008 through March 31, 2009, with the first education seminars slated for Q1 2009.

“As the recognised voice of the business software industry in the UK, BASDA is fully supportive of(ISC)2 in developing standards for software development that ultimately benefit business software users in providing more secure systems.”  Said Jairo Rojas, Director General, BASDA (Business Application Software Developers’ Association).  “To better protect customers from evolving threats, the software community must come together and incorporate security earlier in the software development lifecycle,” said Steven B. Lipner, senior director of security engineering strategy at Microsoft.  “Microsoft strongly supports industry efforts to train and certify developers in security, especially those in organizations with limited resources.

Along with executive commitment, tooling, and state-of-the-art processes, certification and training are critical parts of secure development… Today’s emerging threats include several security risks which exploit the flaws and limitations of the application code for many technology products and services that businesses and individuals have come to rely on in their day-to-day lives… Earning the CSSLP certification is the first step in ensuring that personnel are aptly qualified and will help address the ever-growing need for secure software.”

CSSLP practices are expected to result in lower production costs, fewer delays, better critical infrastructure protection, reduced risk of software malpractice suits, and stricter adherence to industry and government regulations.

Posted on 09/25