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Secure Coding Practices in Software Development

Secure coding

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In 2020, MetaCompliance released our series of Secure Coding titles based on the OWASP Top 10.

OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) is a non-profit foundation that works to improve the security of software.

Their Top 10 is a standard awareness document which represents a broad consensus about the most critical security risks to web applications.

Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) 

In 2021, OWASP released their updated Top 10 list of threats. This current list is based on an expanded number of Common Weakness Enumerators (CWE’s), which are part of a system for categorising software weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

The main difference this time around is that OWASP has created their list from a root-cause perspective, as opposed to a combination of root-cause and symptom. This means that some topics which found their own place in the 2017 Top 10 have now been integrated into other overarching threats, whilst still remaining relevant as an issue for developers. For example, Cross-Site Scripting now finds itself as a symptom of SQL Injection and not a separate threat.

The 2021 Top 10 also defines the need for a fundamental shift in how software is designed, and as a result, Insecure Design now finds itself as a main threat in the list. This new addition to the Top 10 takes into account the increasing risks to application security by ensuring that solid advice exists for integrating security concepts at each stage of the Software Development Lifecycle.

Secure Coding eLearning Series 

Similar to our previous iteration, our Secure Coding series seeks to distil the information collated by OWASP into a format which can be easily digested by anyone who needs to be aware of application security issues.

This time around, we’ve done something radically different with the content. Each topic in the Top 10 has its own dedicated module which covers:

  • Defining the threat
  • Understanding how to identify the threat
  • How to check your application for vulnerabilities
  • Mitigating the risk from the identified threat

For each topic, there is a robust assessment which takes into account the importance of the risk to your organisation, by rigorously examining your learner’s knowledge of the Top 10 threat.

The topics covered are:

  • What is Secure Coding?
  • Broken Access Control
  • Cryptographic Failures
  • SQL Injection
  • Insecure Design
  • Security Misconfiguration
  • Vulnerable and Outdated Components
  • Identification and Authentication Failures
  • Software and Data Integrity Failures
  • Security Logging and Monitoring Failures
  • Server-Side Request Forgery

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