(ISC)2 ("ISC-squared") has announced a new certification designed to validate secure software development practices and expertise to address the increasing number of application vulnerabilities.
The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLPcm) aims to stem the proliferation of security vulnerabilities resulting from insufficient development processes by establishing best practices and validating an individual's competency in addressing security issues throughout the software lifecycle. It takes a holistic approach to software security. Code-language neutral, it will be applicable to anyone involved in the SLC, including analysts, developers, software engineers, software architects, project managers, software quality assurance testers and programmers.
"Over 70 percent of security vulnerabilities exist at the application layer, presenting a significant, immediate threat to users worldwide," said Howard A. Schmidt, (ISC)2 board member and newly appointed president of the Information Security Forum (ISF). "All too often, security is bolted on at the end of the SLC as a response to a threat or after an exposure. The time to act is now, because new applications that lack basic security controls are being developed every day, and thousands of existing vulnerabilities are being ignored." .
(ISC)2 executive director W. Hord Tipton added that "Unsecured software is not only a danger to the enterprise, it can cause higher production costs and delays for the software developer, and require additional staff for the end-user as well. The CSSLP will be a key component in better critical infrastructure protection, reducing the risk of software malpractice suits, and enabling stricter adherence to industry and government regulations."
Subject areas covered by the CSSLP exam will include the software lifecycle, vulnerabilities, risk, information security fundamentals and compliance. Candidates must demonstrate four years of professional experience in the SLC process or three years of experience and a bachelor's degree (or regional equivalent) in an IT discipline.
The seven domains of the CSSLP CBK, a compendium of secure software topics, are:
- Secure Software Concepts
- Secure Software Requirements
- Secure Software Design
- Secure Software Implementation/Coding
- Secure Software Testing
- Software Acceptance
- Software Deployment, Operations, Maintenance and Disposal
The first CSSLP exam is scheduled for the end of June in 2009. Currently, (ISC)2 is seeking qualified professionals who meet experience and other requirements to participate in the assessment. They will become the first CSSLP holders and be asked to contribute to the exam development process and assist in other program development tasks. Applications for the CSSLP experience assessment will be accepted from September 25, 2008 through March 31, 2009, with the first education seminars slated for Q1 2009.