What is the Secure Custom Software Development Lifecycle?


One of the hardest jobs in the world today is being a software developer. You are constantly worried about security due to the evolving threat landscape.

All industries have undergone a digital transition, turning every organization into a software company. Your business is more at risk if you use non-secure software. Simply adding new features will not protect you or your consumers since hackers can easily exploit your product. By creating safe software processes that facilitate rather than prohibit the delivery of high-quality, highly secure products to your market, your team must integrate security.

Additionally, software customization offers a superbly ordered workflow, enabling businesses to operate with natural efficiency. Afterward, whether it be for the internet banking industry, healthcare industry, or any other business area.

What is the Secure Custom Software Development Lifecycle?

Custom software development is the process of creating, deploying, and maintaining software, particularly for a set of users, tasks, or organizations. Custom software development, as opposed to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, focuses on meeting a specific set of needs. Since COTS addresses a variety of criteria, it can be delivered, packaged, and professionally advertised.

It is true that software that has been altered to include capabilities unquestionably needs careful preparation and a set of guidelines to be followed. Software Development Life Cycle is the name given to this entire process (SDLC). Any of these life cycle processes that are cut short by a custom software development business unintentionally invite software defects.

Hence, every stage of the SDLC must have security. Developers must keep security as a top priority while they implement the specifications for your product. In this article, we will look at how to develop a secure custom SDLC, which will help in identifying flaws in requirements before they become security issues in production.

What are the different stages of the Secure Custom Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)?

Any program that contains essential functionality must have security as a key component. This might be as easy as protecting your database from malicious actors attacking it or as difficult as applying fraud processing to a qualified lead prior to importing them into your platform.

Security concerns can be resolved in the SDLC pipeline before being deployed to production with focused effort. This lowers the possibility that security flaws will be discovered in your software and attempts to lessen their effects if they are.

A custom secure software development lifecycle (SDLC) can be compared to the construction of a house. Prior to beginning to write code from scratch, one must first make some crucial strategic decisions to prevent any unforeseen problems. Here are the stages of a secure custom software development lifecycle:

Step 1: Consulting

Getting in touch with an experienced development company will help determine what your business needs because there is nothing known as no one size that fits all.

You can get in touch with the professionals at Liventus who have years of experience in analyzing what fits your custom development project.

Liventus has a portfolio technology stack that includes real reviews and suggestions, as well as location pricing models. We take security seriously and the staff takes routine security and secure code training in addition to security monitoring.

Besides, you can rest assured that your software will have the highest quality, given that our code goes through static and dynamic code analysis that is built into our SDLC and penetration testing.

Step 2: Requirements and Planning

Gathering requirements and analysis is a good way to start off.

For a customized SDLC with security, this phase is crucial. Planning outlines all the actions you should take and highlights all the unique aspects of the project.

Requirements gathering – Since obtaining even the most minute information about the requirements is important for custom software development, Liventus involves stakeholders in this process. It is likewise a standard practice to prevent any mismatches between the client’s expectations and the result. These stakeholders could be quality control engineers or software programmers, for example.

Example of gathering requirements – If a customer requests that a company provide software that allows him to view the presence of his employees, the business analyst will need to find out whether the user wants to use the software to calculate salaries or only to see if an employee is on vacation.

Analysis of requirements – After the information has been gathered, the following stage is to examine the information. The stakeholders or individuals assigned to the assignment then gather to discuss the project’s technical and functional components. The requirements set forward are then evaluated for viability to remove any potential for ambiguity.

Example of requirement analysis- A customer might also request a feature that allows him to assess the productivity of each employee and the number of hours they spent at the office. This is an example of requirement analysis.

Documentation – The finished plan is documented in a contract known as Software Requirement Specifications after a thorough study of the project’s functionality (SRS). Liventus makes that this document includes quality control and risk reduction strategies.

Step 3: Design

One of the most important aspects to get right when creating a web or mobile application is how it feels and looks. If your industry is eCommerce, for instance, a poorly designed app will cost you many potential clients. The user experience of your digital product, brand identity, and graphic design all play crucial roles. Liventus has devoted a whole page to describe the goal of great UI/UX design, the keywords, history, some examples, and techniques for design creation.

Developing custom software is overseen by a UX designer, who also makes the final design choices for the finished product. The user experience is influenced by appealing and functional design as well as brand image.

You will need some of the best designers to create a beautiful and functional design – ask the experts at Liventus about it.

Step 4: Development

A web application’s functionality is handled by backend development. Liventus makes all the interactions in the human-computer system—which you can’t see on the screen—possible. Backend development is the server-side of development where you are mainly concerned with the functionality of the website. It is the code that controls how users connect to the web, how the web links to databases, and how the web application itself operates.

The project moves on to the development stage after all decisions have been taken and all technical details of the unique product have been established.

Step 5: Testing

The next stage of testing such codes begins once the source code is prepared. Most testing is cycle-based. When a piece of code is finished, the developers check it for functioning. Then, the code is examined by testers, who check the code on various levels using a variety of frameworks and white- and black-box approaches.

Liventus experts test the software using a variety of methods to make sure there are no bugs and that it runs smoothly, including program testing, internal testing, module testing, and user-end testing. The software switches back to development mode if the source code contains errors. Testing and development operate in cycles.

Step 6: Deployment

The client can now use the freshly produced program that has been placed in the cloud. The software is integrated at this point to produce a workable solution. When the software is particularly sophisticated, the deployment is frequently spaced out. Once it has been deployed, the program is accessible to analysts and end users.

Step 7: Operations and maintenance

The final stage of software development, referred to as operations and maintenance, leaves the user with the final decision. The software is then updated with new features or better performance based on feedback from the end users. The customer’s new requirements are also gathered during this stage.

Why is a Secure Custom Development Life Cycle Important?

Since application security is crucial, a secure SDLC is essential. The days of making a product available to the public and then patching it to fix flaws are long gone. Now, developers must be aware of potential security issues at every stage of the development process. This necessitates finding new ways to include security in your SDLC.

You must make sure that you are writing your source code with potential vulnerabilities in mind because anyone could potentially access it. As a result, it is essential to have a solid and secure SDLC process to guarantee that hackers and other malicious users won’t be able to attack your application.

Liventus excels in focused custom software development with a focus on Fintech. It has received necessary compliances like Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 2 compliance audit. The audit examined platforms linked to supporting information technology general computing controls, controls for security, processes for the software development life cycle (SDLC), and business processes services (the “BP”).

A group of frameworks known as software development models is used to organize, schedule, and manage the otherwise laborious development process. These models not only facilitate a developer’s strategic execution of the development process but also make it simple.

Software Development Methodologies are significant because-

·       Gives a plan for successfully managing scope creep

·       Eliminates problems with traditional development

·       Keeps customers informed and involved

·       Provides transparency and ample time for changes

Here is a summary of some of the most well-liked and dependable models that serve as the foundation for the entire development process.

Waterfall Model

This model is broken down into successive steps that function as a cascade. This strategy moves forward with step-by-step documentation and deliverables, with no stages crossing over. Additionally, each level of this process includes a quality assurance. The preceding stage must be fully produced and tested before the project may go forward.

This type does have a drawback, though. The effectiveness of the entire project is in danger if the final outcomes are not evaluated.

V- Model

The V-model is an enhanced waterfall paradigm where each stage of coding and testing is coordinated. Test cases and test plans are created at each level to verify and validate each process. As a result, there are fewer flaws in the design, code, and written requirements, which strengthens the V-model.

This model’s only flaw is that implementing developmental modifications and changing them proves to be expensive.

The Spiral Model

This cycle-based methodology thoroughly evaluates the hazards. Therefore, it is crucial to have competent risk evaluation analysts for a project of this nature. In this type of approach, the process begins with establishing the goals and restrictions of the software. Prototyping and risk assessment come next, and development keeps spiraling forward from there. Thus, the name.

Iterative Model

The iterative approach operates in iterations, as the name suggests. Changes might be introduced into the development course as it is being carried out in phases. To prevent complexity, the model prohibits any significant changes. Therefore, it is crucial to follow the instructions for doing so precisely.

Agile Model

Iterative development is the foundation of the Agile model, which combines the Scrum and Kanban processes. This strategy places more emphasis on software testing and development to deliver the functional component quickly while maintaining quality.

In addition, teams in Agile development collaborate with one another and communicate with clients frequently. The product bugs are simultaneously fixed because of the customers’ ongoing interaction with the development team, and it is simple to add new features as needed.

On the other hand, multiple iterations and the participation of people make it challenging to estimate the project’s ultimate budget. Additionally, it takes a long time to provide the finished software.

What problems can arise during the SDLC process?

The main issue in the SDLC can be time management for projects. The phases are frequently forgotten when there is a tight deadline.

Poor requirement analysis and ambiguous goals could drag the entire process by failing to produce the desired outcomes.

Poor distribution of resources and their duties can increase complexity and have a negative impact on the team’s productivity.

Lack of risk assessment and anticipating problems can obstruct development, inhibit planned activities, and demoralize the team as a whole.

Best Practices of SDLC

To secure your apps, traditional methods of testing for vulnerabilities in production are no longer sufficient. Attacks have changed in type as the software industry has developed.

Every stage of the application development process must be secured if a secure application is to be deployed and maintained. This entails asking questions regarding security behaviors during the requirement gathering stage, modifying team culture and practices to consider a security-oriented mindset, incorporating automated verification into your deployment process, and many other procedures that collectively form a secure SDLC process.

Here are some of the best practices for secure custom SDLC:

1. Upskilling Developers

Secure SDLC is closely tied to other related projects, such as:

  • Establishing secure coding standards
  • Educating developers about security and teaching them to secure code
  • Establishing explicit guidelines for how quickly production-related problems must be fixed (also known as remediation SLAs).

2. Avoiding focusing only on Security Hygiene

Clear specifications that are simple to implement are necessary for development teams. This holds true for any security guidance, suggestions, and recommendations. Any flaws found during testing must be simple to fix. It is essential that everyone engaged, including the systems, procedures, and tools, present solutions rather than only pointing out issues.

3. Remain growth-friendly

An open mind because SSDLC will alter how various teams collaborate and communicate, and the security team must adopt the philosophy of enabling developers to secure their own apps.

4. Plan a common incident response

Despite all your proactive measures, tools, and procedures, security vulnerabilities will still arise. Determining a mitigation plan and putting it into action as soon as possible after learning of a security breach requires a specialized task force with well-defined roles and duties. Your team will be more prepared for the real thing if you practice handling emergencies and simulate actual ones.

Closing Thoughts

The goal of every custom security platform is to ensure security at all stages of a safe SDLC as well as in production deployments across cloud environments. Liventus offers deep insight into the security configurations of cloud environments and allows security and DevOps teams to identify security vulnerabilities in the containers, functions, and artifacts that development and engineering teams transit through CI/CD pipelines and DevOps workflows. Automated security policy enforcement supports internal security standards and regulatory compliance by spotting and preventing security hazards as they enter software projects across the SDLC.

A dependable development partner who will manage all the custom development can be challenging. Liventus takes on challenges and accomplishes what you want, assuring all its potential clients of the highest standards of development, and organization, with a strict emphasis on quality.

About the Author

Dan Levin – President

Dan is a founding member of Liventus and currently serves as the President. He oversees business operations, and growth and manages software development.