SAMM - Code Review - 2

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Code Review - 2

Objective: Make code review during development more accurate and efficient through automation

Results

  • Development enabled to consistently self-check for code-level security vulnerabilities
  • Routine analysis results to compile historic data on per-team secure coding habits
  • Stakeholders aware of unmitigated vulnerabilities to support better tradeoff analysis

Add’l Success Metrics

  • >50% of projects with code review and stakeholder sign-off in past 6 months
  • >80% of projects with access to automated code review results in past 1 month

Add’l Costs

  • Research and selection of code analysis solution
  • Initial cost and maintenance of automation integration
  • Ongoing project overhead from automated code review and mitigation

Add’l Personnel

  • Developers (1-2 days/yr)
  • Architects (1 day/yr)
  • Managers (1-2 days/yr)
  • Security Auditors (3-4 days/yr)

Related Levels

Activities

A. Utilize automated code analysis tools

Many security vulnerabilities at the code level are complex to understand and require careful inspection for discovery. However, there are many useful automation solutions available to automatically analyze code for bugs and vulnerabilities.

There are both commercial and open-source products available to cover popular programming languages and frameworks. Selection of an appropriate code analysis solution is based on several factors including depth and accuracy of inspection, product usability and usage model, expandability and customization features, applicability to the organization’s architecture and technology stack(s), etc.

Utilize input from security-savvy technical staff as well as developers and development managers in the selection process, and review overall results with stakeholders.

B. Integrate code analysis into development process

Once a code analysis solution is selected, it must be integrated into the development process to encourage project teams to utilize its capabilities. An effective way to accomplish this is to setup the infrastructure for the scans to run automatically at build time or from code in the project’s code repository. In this fashion, results are available earlier thus enabling development teams to self-check along the way before release.

A potential problem with legacy systems or large ongoing projects is that code scanners will typically report findings in modules that were not being updated in the release. If automatic scanning is setup to run periodically, an effective strategy to avoid review overhead is to limit consideration of findings to those that have been added, removed, or changed since the previous scan. If is critical to not ignore the rest of the results however, so development managers should take input from security auditors, stakeholders, and the project team to formulate a concrete plan for addressing the rest of the findings.

If unaddressed findings from code review remain at release, these must be reviewed and accepted by project stakeholders.






Additional Resources