Today’s threat landscape demands network & application resiliency. Let us tune your process to TDI’s strong culture, focused on seamlessly integrating secure engineering best practices into the SDLC.

There is no such thing as absolute protection to an organization’s IT environment or your organizational assets. Even the most secure system configurations can be circumvented in environments that are poorly designed. Without a carefully planned and properly implemented systems architecture, attackers can bypass system security controls, maneuvering through your network to gain access to target assets.

That’s the bad news.

In short, there is no silver bullet or panacea available to perfect the “art” of cybersecurity engineering; rather, it requires a methodology and a process to be successful. Various authorities, including Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute, agree the software process model dramatically improves productivity, effectiveness, and overall return on investment. Advancements in software engineering development have come about mainly from the introduction of the software process model, or software lifecycle. Cybersecurity engineers, following in the wake of software engineers, are scrambling to find their own silver bullet to provide solutions in the IT security world. Much like software engineers of old, who mistakenly felt that reusable software and object-oriented design were universal solutions, cybersecurity engineers often use firewalls, PKI, biometrics, and intrusion detection as universal remedies. They are not.

TDI can offer your organization its expertise so it becomes apparent that cybersecurity engineering, as applied to systems, network, and software design and architecture, ultimately requires a process to be effective and complete. Without this process, typically applied security solutions are simply patches on the armor of a secure network and not a true defense. TDI can help you understand the difference and implement a process to address the gap

As it pertains to software development and its place in the greater IT architecture of your organization, TDI’s Solution Division believes application security holds an equal or greater degree of importance as compared with all other elements within the development lifecycles. Whether developing a solution for internal use, product for sale, or a service and solution on behalf of a client, TDI is committed to meeting the high bar set for application security. TDI’s products and solutions integrate with a variety of open source code, third party products, and client customized extensions. Because of this, product development execution has been broken down into four critical areas so focus is never lost on applying solid application security standards at all points along the product development curve: Core Development Process, Engineering Framework Design, Continuous Integration and Deployment of Security Improvements, Testing and Attack Surface Vulnerability Assessments.

Core Development Process

TDI’s core development process provides for consistent management, technical oversight, and accountability across a project’s development timeline. It is important that all our teams incorporate this process, as it is the foundation for the other 3 areas of execution. The core development process employs a governance focused on protection of assets, establishment of security and product check-points, enforcement of security and quality plans, and automated product testing. Teams at TDI are responsible for maintaining a high standard for data protection and classification. This ensures proprietary information assets and practices within the development environment are maintained effectively while isolated from non-team actors. The core development process also focuses on making sure projects prepare a quality plan that describes in detail how engineering will meet corporate standards. This plan becomes the benchmark by which quality assessments are measured before product release.

A team’s core development process frames the overall steps for building secure solutions that can be delivered to our clients. This structured outline fosters correct domain decisions and engineering choices at the start, middle, and end of a product’s development and maintenance. This step in our process also leads to choices to be made when building the team’s secure engineering framework.

Secure Engineering Framework

A secure engineering framework is a guideline that helps teams stay on track for delivering security metrics in their quality plan. TDI believes that many cybersecurity exposures occur because software organizations are sometimes unaware of the root cause for these exposures or their impact. When the importance of software security is ignored, it becomes an afterthought and loses its place in the product development lifecycle. Security awareness is something we believe is essential for all stakeholders on a project, and awareness comes through education. TDI focuses on empowering team leaders to evaluate the security awareness of a project team so that a learning plan can be developed as part of the secure engineering framework. This learning plan gives product development teams the best chance at mitigating knowledge gaps, and optimizing for security metric success.

Development of a secure engineering framework also consists of modeling and discussing a simple predictive threat index. This discussion and model helps allow teams to develop a shared understanding of the relative business value for all information within the domain space of the software design. By building out this domain knowledge, development groups identify risks or attacks against the domain/application before a lot of it has even been built. This allows for decisions to be made in the early stages on how the continuous integration and deployment of a product can be achieved while also accounting for identified risks. Some threats should be addressed in the internal design of the component, product or solution; however, some threats can be addressed by proper configuration and integration of security checks along the release pipeline. These integrations might require additional components or management processes to adequately control risks and we will ensure you have them.

Continuous Integration and Deployment of Security Improvements

TDI believes cybersecurity is always changing and so the landscape of risks threats and vulnerabilities is something that should be adapted to as well. Having a strict development process and secure engineering framework is nice, but a commitment to continuous security improvement is what keeps products secure over time. Teams at TDI are focused on continually improving the security and posture of all our offerings and can ensure your organization does the same. By reviewing code and features throughout the lifecycle of development for these improvements, you can be assured you are implementing and improving security of their product over time.

We develop cybersecurity quality and risk acceptance goals during the original design and framing portion of a product’s development to help guide the creation of key performance indicators.

Establishing key performance indicators for security involves reporting on the metric of code as a percentage of the code base that has been subject to code review, or reporting on the amount of documentation with respect to all security features which have been read or implemented by the team. We also encourage collaboration and reporting on these metrics as a part of integration and deployment operations. Depth of testing, defect remediation, assurance testing, pair programming, and security regression testing are all areas project leaders focus on to develop trend lines of team advancement or identify team blockers. An assessment on the achievements of a development team regarding security metrics is critical to the practice of developing software. By meeting goals that increase with each release with a focus on continually improving security, you can rest assured security improvements gradually occur over time.

Testing and Attack Surface Vulnerability Assessments

Creating a security testing plan is an integral part of designing a vulnerability assessment against an application. TDI uses a host of tools during the software design and development process to automate this task. This allows for more focus on the actual development of features that undergo the automated rigor of the security framework. We choose from a host of source code analysis tools to best meet the engineering goals of a given project. Tools like this include source code security analyzers, bytecode security analyzers, dynamic analysis tooling, and runtime integration level analysis tools. We recognize the importance of, and ensure we develop, documentation during this phase in line with established testing criteria. We use metrics from the tooling in the documentation to keep the design of the projects evaluation domain consistent. Keeping a shared language of metrics across the whole project is critical to our being able to identify vulnerabilities fast, document correct feature implementation, and understand changes made by other team members quickly.

Establishing correct security processes along any product development curve is critical to TDI’s mission in becoming one of the most recognized producers of cybersecurity solutions in the industry. By following a direction of continuous improvement, implementation and security review, development teams at TDI can work to improve the security posture and characteristics of both internal and external tooling. Let us bring our internal methodologies, applied to organizations around the world, into your environment.

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