When working on a project, it’s apparent that you want it to be a safe and reliable product that clients would love to use with no doubt or hesitation. You also what it to ensure that it is completed on time, within budget, and to the stakeholders’ satisfaction. Therefore it is essential to focus on all aspects of software security and implement them in each stage of project development.
To connect those two goals, you should learn more about security assessments, penetration testing, and a process that ties them together. This is where the Security in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) comes in. SDLC provides a structured framework for developing software that considers security throughout the entire development process and improves system performance and efficiency. In this article, I will explore the essentials of safety in the life cycle and SDLC and how it can be used to create secure software.
What is SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)?
Managing new projects, you could have stumbled upon this weird-looking acronym that may have reminded you of something but not yet lightened your mind. Let me explain to you.
SDLC is short for Software Development Life Cycle. It is a structured process software developers use to plan, design, build, test, and deploy high-quality software. The components of traditional software, development cycle, software life cycle, model, or SDLC include:
- requirements gathering
- maintenance (explained later on)
By following a standardized approach to software development system testing, SDLC can help minimize errors and defects, reduce the development life cycle costs and timelines for complex projects, and ensure that the final product is high quality.
Why is SDLC important?
SDLC is a framework or programming language that guides the team and development of software from initial planning to final phases – deployment, and maintenance. The importance of SDLC in a software development process lies in ensuring that system architecture analysis and system design and phase of the software is developed systematically, planned, and well-organized. It gives or provides a structured approach to the development process that helps to minimize issues and improve the quality of the final product. It also helps to ensure that the software is delivered on time and within budget (and every client likes it, right?). By following SDLC, organizations can reduce the risk of project failure and improve the success rate of potential projects.
How does SDLC work?
Well, since you know this process’s importance, you may wonder who does it work then. The SDLC is process software developers use to create, maintain, and update software applications. The SDLC methodology outlines a software project’s stages, from concept to completed product. It typically comprises six phases: Planning, Requirements gathering, Design, Implementation, Testing, and Deployment. These phases are followed in this exact order. Each step builds upon the previous one. The final, seventh phase – Maintenance – is an ongoing process after software deployment.
The 7 Phases Of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)
To better illustrate why the order of those phases is that important to maintain, I will expand on each section in more depth. As you read, you will better notice the principle of this method and its functionality.
- Planning: The first stage involves defining the goals, overview, and objectives of the software development project, determining the project’s feasibility, and identifying any potential problematic cases and risks.
- Requirements Gathering: In this stage, the requirements for the software are identified, analyzed, and documented. This involves gathering input from all necessary stakeholders, determining user needs and expectations, and defining the software’s features and functionality.
- Design: Once the requirements have been established, the next stage involves designing the software architecture, data models, user interface and mockups, and other components. This stage consists of identifying the system’s different modules and features and defining how they will interact with each other.
- Implementation: In this stage, the team develops the software according to the design specifications. This stage involves creating code, unit testing, integration testing, fixes, and debugging.
- Testing: Once the software has been developed, it undergoes rigorous testing to ensure that it meets the requirements and functions as expected. This stage includes functional testing, performance testing, security, and user/client acceptance testing.
- Deployment: Once the software has been tested and approved by stakeholders, it is deployed to the production environment and made available to end users.
- Maintenance: Finally, the software is maintained and updated to ensure that it remains relevant and functional over time (the team needs to react to constant updates, cloud environment changes, etc.). This stage involves fixing bugs, updating features, making improvements to the software as needed, and responding to users’ feedback.
These components of SDLC on many graphs do not end and go in a circle. The circular process indicates that software development is an ongoing and iterative process that requires constant review, penetration testing in the testing environment, requirement analysis, feedback, and refinement to ensure that the final product meets the needs of its users.
What are SDLC Predominant Models?
Over time as software development has become increasingly complex and as organizations have sought to improve the quality, efficiency, and success rate of their software development project, several different SDLC models have emerged. Each comes with its unique approach, set of stages, and methodologies to fit all the tasks better. The main ones are:
- Waterfall model: A waterfall model is a linear approach to software development in which each stage of the development process is completed before moving on to the next step. The waterfall model consists of sequential phases: requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
- Agile Model: The Agile model is an iterative and flexible approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration, rapid prototyping, continuous feedback, and reaction to constant changes. The Agile model involves breaking down the development process into short iterations (sprints) regularly reviewed, and adjustments are made based on user feedback and testing results.
- V-Shaped Model: The V-shaped model is a variation of the waterfall model, in which testing is emphasized at each process stage. The V-shaped model consists of a sequential process, with each development step corresponding to a corresponding testing phase. This model is often used for critical applications where testing is crucial.
- Big Bang Model: an approach in which the entire development process is conducted simultaneously, without specific planning or coordination. This model is generally used for small, simple software projects or initiatives that do not require extensive planning or documentation.
- Spiral Model: this is a risk-based approach to software development that involves repeated cycles of planning, risk analysis, development, and testing. This model emphasizes risk management and allows for the development process to be adjusted based on changing requirements or issues that have not been foreseen.
- Iterative Model: An Iterative model is a flexible approach to software development that involves breaking the development process into smaller, more manageable iterations. Each iteration consists of a planning, designing, building, and testing phase, with regular feedback and adjustments based on user feedback and testing results.
Here at SolveQ, after years of experience, we decided on Agile Development Model as it best fits our customers and team members.
The most significant advantage of the Agile approach is its flexibility and adaptability. The Agile methodology involves frequent and regular Communication between the development team and stakeholders/clients and allows for continuous feedback and changes during development. This means that the development team can quickly respond to changes in requirements or unforeseen issues during the development process. Agile often is preferred by clients. Using this model correctly has a high chance of project success and customer satisfaction.
The main pros of agile software development life existing software are:
- Faster Time-to-Market: it allows more rapid delivery of working software by breaking down the development process into smaller and (most importantly for big projects) more manageable stages and delivering working software at the end of each iteration, building on increments.
- Increased Flexibility: Change is the only constant in life and projects. Agile allows for changes and feedback to be used and implemented throughout the development process, which makes it easier to adapt to changing requirements or unforeseen issues. Also, rising customer satisfaction.
- Improved Quality: Regular testing and feedback in both approaches ensure that issues are caught early and addressed quickly, leading to a higher-quality product.
- Better Communication: regular Communication between the development team and stakeholders (planning, refinement sessions) improves continuous cooperation and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
How does SDLC address security?
Now that you have read so much text on those methods, you may wonder how it is connected to the security I mentioned. Well, let me explain to you how it all ties together.
It is essential to consider security during the SDLC process. Each phase of SDLC has (or should have) its role in ensuring the safety of the software. In the planning or requirement analysis phase, security risks should/can be identified, and strategies for addressing them are planned and developed. In the design phase, security features are built into the architecture of the software. In the implementation phase – security controls are put in place to protect against common threats. In the security testing and validation phase, security testing is performed to identify vulnerabilities in the product/software. In the deployment phase, security is ensured by following secure deployment procedures. In the maintenance phase, security updates are made to address new threats and any newly discovered vulnerabilities.
How can DevSecOps be integrated into SDLC?
DevSecOps is an approach to software development that integrates security into the software development process (and answer to the security topic within the project). DevSecOps is essential because it helps to identify and address security risks early in the development process, which can help to prevent security breaches. Security solutions are implemented as development goes on, making it easier to identify what needs to be done and adjusted. DevSecOps can be integrated into SDLC by including security considerations at every phase of the SDLC process. This involves collaboration between developers, security experts, and product owners to ensure that security cases are discussed and considered during software development. It is essential not to skip this topic during development. Organizations can better protect themselves and their customers from cyber threats by prioritizing security topics. One of the biggest pros of DevSecOps is its proactivity in threat and vulnerability detection.
As security is above all your priorities in the project, you should focus on implementing it in every state of your development. To help you out there, follow some Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Over time as software development has become increasingly complex and as organizations have sought to improve the quality, efficiency, and success rate of their software development project, several different SDLC models have emerged. Therefore, consider the differences and choose the best one for your project and team.
However, if you are still unsure which model is best for you or how to implement it, it’s best to take advantage of software development experts here at SolveQ. We can help you lead your project so that you can step back, relax and enjoy the process without the constant worries and difficulties. As a project manager at SolveQ, I recognize how important it is to match our approach to each customer to help with a much smoother and more satisfying process.