Application Security Architecture Cheat Sheet
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Business Requirements
- 3 Infrastructure Requirements
- 4 Application Requirements
- 5 Security Program Requirements
- 6 Authors and Primary Editors
- 7 Other Cheatsheets
This cheat sheet offers tips for the initial design and review of an application’s security architecture.
- What is the application’s primary business purpose?
- How will the application make money?
- What are the planned business milestones for developing or improving the application?
- How is the application marketed?
- What key benefits does application offer its users?
- What business continuity provisions have been defined for the application?
- What geographic areas does the application service?
- What data does the application receive, produce, and process?
- How can the data be classified into categories according to its sensitivity?
- How might an attacker benefit from capturing or modifying the data?
- What data backup and retention requirements have been defined for the application?
- Who are the application’s end‐users?
- How do the end‐users interact with the application?
- What security expectations do the end‐users have?
- Which third‐parties supply data to the application?
- Which third‐parties receive data from the applications?
- Which third‐parties process the application’s data?
- What mechanisms are used to share data with third‐parties besides the application itself?
- What security requirements do the partners impose?
- Who has administrative capabilities in the application?
- What administrative capabilities does the application offer?
- In what industries does the application operate?
- What security‐related regulations apply?
- What auditing and compliance regulations apply?
- What details regarding routing, switching, firewalling, and load‐balancing have been defined?
- What network design supports the application?
- What core network devices support the application?
- What network performance requirements exist?
- What private and public network links support the application?
- What operating systems support the application?
- What hardware requirements have been defined?
- What details regarding required OS components and lock‐down needs have been defined?
- What network and system performance monitoring requirements have been defined?
- What mechanisms exist to detect malicious code or compromised application components?
- What network and system security monitoring requirements have been defined?
Virtualization and Externalization
- What aspects of the application lend themselves to virtualization?
- What virtualization requirements have been defined for the application?
- What aspects of the product may or may not be hosted via the cloud computing model?
- What frameworks and programming languages have been used to create the application?
- What process, code, or infrastructure dependencies have been defined for the application?
- What databases and application servers support the application?
- What data entry paths does the application support?
- What data output paths does the application support?
- How does data flow across the application’s internal components?
- What data input validation requirements have been defined?
- What data does the application store and how?
- What data is or may need to be encrypted and what key management requirements have been defined?
- What capabilities exist to detect the leakage of sensitive data?
- What encryption requirements have been defined for data in transit over WAN and LAN links?
- What user privilege levels does the application support?
- What user identification and authentication requirements have been defined?
- What user authorization requirements have been defined?
- What session management requirements have been defined?
- What access requirements have been defined for URI and Service calls?
- What user access restrictions have been defined?
- How are user identities maintained throughout transaction calls?
- What application auditing requirements have been defined?
- What application performance monitoring requirements have been defined?
- What application security monitoring requirements have been defined?
- What application error handling and logging requirements have been defined?
- How are audit and debug logs accessed, stored, and secured?
- What application design review practices have been defined and executed?
- How is intermediate or in-process data stored in the application components' memory and in cache?
- How many logical tiers group the application's components?
- What staging, testing, and Quality Assurance requirements have been defined?
Security Program Requirements
- What is the process for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in the application?
- What is the process for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in network and system components?
- What access to system and network administrators have to the application's sensitive data?
- What security incident requirements have been defined?
- How do administrators access production infrastructure to manage it?
- What physical controls restrict access to the application's components and data?
- What is the process for granting access to the environment hosting the application?
- How are changes to the code controlled?
- How are changes to the infrastructure controlled?
- How is code deployed to production?
- What mechanisms exist to detect violations of change management practices?
- What data is available to developers for testing?
- How do developers assist with troubleshooting and debugging the application?
- What requirements have been defined for controlling access to the applications source code?
- What secure coding processes have been established?
- What corporate security program requirements have been defined?
- What security training do developers and administrators undergo?
- Which personnel oversees security processes and requirements related to the application?
- What employee initiation and termination procedures have been defined?
- What application requirements impose the need to enforce the principle of separation of duties?
- What controls exist to protect a compromised in the corporate environment from affecting production?
- What security governance requirements have been defined?
Authors and Primary Editors
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