Understanding Secure Software Development Framework

Learn How Secure Software Development Framework Works

Many developers have got knowledge about software development lifecycle. It forms the core of development, which is why every software development company should know about it. It provides various benefits to them in terms of understanding the concept and working with a right mindset on a project. However, this framework still needs some extension when it comes to security. The reason is that SDLC does not specifically give attention to security, which is why something should be added in it to cover that base as well. This problem is therefore solved by secure software development framework. It is an advanced model that also emphasizes on security, so that applications can be built with zero loopholes.

The basics of secure software development framework is similar to that of SDLC. Both of them have same goals i.e. create powerful applications by following some set of rules. However, secure framework puts additional emphasis to security as well. It defines why applications should be built with protected protocols, so that no one can attack it from outside. We all know how important this point is because cyberattacks have now become an imminent threat to many online software applications.

During the last few years, we have seen many cases in which websites and portals have been compromised due to sudden attacks. The secure software development framework is specially formulated to counter those attacks, as it helps to develop applications with solidified security. In this blog, we will discuss about this framework in detail, so that you can understand its overall concept precisely. It will let you know how this framework works, and why it should be followed to secure your applications from unwanted attacks.

Let us first start from the basics below understanding the importance of security for any software application.

Importance of Security for Software Systems

security for software development

Security is termed very important for software applications. It could be considered as the wall against cyberattacks that are now becoming a great threat for every online business. During the last few years, the intensity of these attacks have increased, in fact they have become more lethal. The rising threat of security has therefore forced the development community to come up with a more fortified solution. It made compulsory for them to think smartly about security solution, so that this threat can be neutralized right from the core.

Today, security is seen as a major challenge to many online apps and websites. Every business owner knows that a less secure website can be easily compromised by hackers these days. It does not only disrupts function, but also steals valuable data that is termed highly important for their business. This is something that bothers every business owner, as no one wants to lose data that is crucial for his/her business.

This makes security highly important for every online business. It is essential because no business can afford to lose customers by getting compromised from hackers. This understanding has encouraged many businesses to deploy proper security mechanisms on their software products, so that they can always stay away from sudden unwanted hacking incidents.

What is a Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF)?

Before heading to the steps included in secure software development framework, let us first understand the basics of this model. This is important because it will let us know how SSDF is different from the conventional software development life cycle. Basically, secure framework is an extension of SDLC that looks into the security practices with more emphasis. It illustrates to build an application by following proper security practices, so that no loopholes can be found on the project after the development.

The secure software development framework refers to particular practices that can be implemented in the SDLC to make it more secured and protected. Created as per the guidelines of NIST, this framework was formulated as a response to Executive Order (EO) 14028 released last year. The major purpose of creating it was to ensure that every software application should be built by implementing best security practices in its development lifecycle.

The points defined in this framework have been compiled after closely analyzing 150 position papers. Some of them includes internal NIST guidelines, while outside resources have also been made part of this framework as well. This has made the framework a complete collection of best security practices that are documented by top organizations and experts in the IT industry.

Important Practice Groups of SSDF

ssl software protection

To make sure everything becomes clear to the developers, the SSDF model has been divided into four major groups. These groups are created with different objectives, but their end goal precisely leads to the main vision of the model i.e. achieving optimum application security.

As a software developer or security analyst, you need to know about all these practice groups properly. They let you understand the overall concept of SSDF, as how does it work and why software applications need its protection.

Let’s take a look at these practice groups in detail below.

Prepare the Organization (PO)

The first group of SSDF is responsible to let the people know how important security is for their organization. It defines to them why security is needed at organization level, especially for those departments that are working at key positions. This understanding helps to prepare everyone about the need of security. They realize why they need to move forward with a proper security plan that can protect their data and identities from all sorts of attacks.

Protect the Software (PS)

The next group in SSDF is responsible to protect all the component and features of the application. This group or module sends the message that organization should protect its core software components at all cost. This objective makes the group very important, which is why SSDF also proposes to use maximum resources in this vital module.

Produce Well-Secured Software (PW)

After having good understanding of protection, the next objective of the framework is to produce a fully secured software product. To do this, a separate group is formed responsible to carry out all the tasks needed for secured software development. This is yet another an important group that works dedicatedly to produce quality results.

Respond to Vulnerabilities (RV)

The next group constitutes of those resources that can identity and respond to software vulnerabilities at early stages. This could be considered as a rapid response group that should stay vigilant all the time. All the errors and bugs are reported to this group because it is responsible to resolve everything that can prove to be a threat for the software security.

Core Elements of Practice Groups

software security

The practice groups of SSDF also includes four important points. They are defined for specific purposes, so that developers and security analysts can have more clear strategy. If you do not know which points are included in these practices groups, take a look at the list given below.


Just like the name, this practice explains the objective of a particular action. It defines the need of that action and how it should be done to achieve the required results.


This point defines the task that is needed to complete the practice as per the required needs. These tasks can be more than one, which is why they should be always done with high priority.

Notional Examples

It provides some real examples how a task should be done using different tools and processes. It provides developers a good understanding to manage different tasks professionally.


The reference will link the documents or sources that are connected to the actions taken in a software development process. It is a great way to enforce credibility in your actions, so that it can be looked upon as a trusted measure.

Advantages of Using Secure Software Development Framework

software security advantages

The usage of secure software development framework brings tons of advantages for organizations. Many people think that it is only beneficial for security, which is certainly an understatement. There are countless benefits of this framework if you have used it properly in the development.

To know how this framework can be beneficial for your software development process, take a look at the brief advantages defined below.

Reduces Vulnerabilities

The major benefit of using SSDF in the development is that it reduces security vulnerabilities in the overall application. This model is primarily created to eradicate such issues, so that applications can function freely without facing any type of problem.

Wide Market Usage

The SSDF model is well suited for all types of applications. This means that businesses from different industries can use this model to secure their applications. From ecommerce apps to healthcare software, the secured framework is a good fit for every project.

Compatible with All SDLCs

Another major advantage of SSDF is that it can be incorporated in any development life cycle. Developers can use its modules in any life cycle that fits to their project. This is one of those features that makes SSDF a good pick for every software development strategy.

Establishes Continuous Improvement Process

The SSDF model also helps to establish a continuous improvement process. It is formulated keeping several scalable features in mind, so that developers can easily jump and work on different tasks that are assigned to them with high priority.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a secure software development framework?
Secure software development framework (SSDF) refers to a model in which special emphasis is given to the security. It ensures to develop applications by fulfilling all the parameters of security that are termed best in the industry.
Why organizations need a secured software product?
Every organization demands a software solution that can withstand all types of cyber attacks. It has become an important need of modern era, as security challenges are rising more and more in the world.
How many practice groups are in the SSDF framework?
The SSDF framework has been divided into four major practice groups. It is precisely done to divide tasks in specifically, so that they can be better managed. These practices groups include:
– Prepare the Organization (PO)
– Protect the Software (PS)
– Produce Well Secured Software (PW)
– Respond to Vulnerabilities (RV)
How many internal elements are there in the practice groups?
To offer better efficiency, the practice groups further includes some important points. They allow developers to work with more precision in different tasks. The points include:
– Practice
– Tasks
– Notional Examples
– References
What is the major advantage of secure software development framework?
The major advantage of secured software development framework is that provides a complete secured pathway to develop any application. From ecommerce apps to banking websites, the SSDF model is a best fit for every software application.

Final Words 

That concludes our entire article in which we have discussed about secure software development framework in detail. It is certainly a new development model, but is very beneficial in terms of developing applications with complete security. The framework is compatible with all types of SDLCs, which is why it is now being preferred by many development teams. Generally, it looks similar to the core SDLC process, hence it can be understood easily by the developers. In this blog, we have tried to cover it in simple words, so that beginners can also understand its overall concept. 

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a software company that can build applications properly by following secure software development framework, contact us today. We exactly know how to incorporate this model in our development strategy, ensuring top-notch security and performance of applications every time.

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