Build Security In: Can It Outsmart Cybercriminals?

Build Security In: Can It Outsmart Cybercriminals?

 By Charles Joseph | Cybersecurity Advocate
 Last update: November 25, 2023

“Build Security In” refers to the concept of incorporating security measures throughout the entire process of software development rather than adding them afterward. This approach involves developers incorporating best security practices from the initial stages of design, allowing them to identify and address any potential threats or vulnerabilities early. Consequently, it results in more secure software, reducing risks and potential damage from potential cyber attacks.

Build Security In Examples

1. Writing Secure Code

Writing secure code is fundamental to the Build Security In approach. It’s a front-line defense against potential security threats in software development. It begins with developers adhering to secure coding standards and practices right from the initial stages of coding for a software project.

These practices may include avoiding coding shortcuts that can leave software prone to attacks. For instance, developers ensure they’re not exposing buffer overflows, which are a common target for attackers attempting to insert malicious code.

Further, developers can make use of secure frameworks and libraries that have already been tested for vulnerabilities. This not only saves development time but also ensures that a solid security foundation is built into the software from the outset. Regular and thorough code reviews, either manually or using automated tools, play an important role in catching security flaws early, reinforcing the concept of ‘Writing Secure Code’.

2. Secure by Design Principles

Another aspect of the Build Security In approach is the adherence to secure by design principles. In this case, instead of just focusing on individual elements of the code, developers consider the overall architecture of the software from the security perspective.

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The idea here is pretty simple – if the software is designed with security as one of the primary considerations, it will naturally be more resistant to threats. This can be achieved by minimizing the attack surface – reducing the points through which an attacker could potentially gain access to the system.

Examples of secure by design principles may include least privilege (ensuring components have only the permissions they need to function) or defense in depth (building multiple layers of security so that a failure in one does not compromise the whole). These principles provide an effective way to design inherently secure software and contribute significantly to the Build Security In philosophy.

3. Security Testing During Development

Carrying out security testing during the development process is another key part of the Build Security In methodology. In traditional software development, security testing often comes towards the end of the development cycle, sometimes leading to major issues that could force developers to rewrite substantial parts of their code.

In contrast, under the Build Security In approach, developers implement security testing at every stage of software creation. They use automated tools that test new snippets of code for potential security issues on a daily basis. If a vulnerability or security flaw is found, it’s fixed right away.

This continuous testing process ensures security flaws are caught and addressed as they occur. Developers get immediate feedback on their work and can apply the necessary patches or fixes, making the whole system more secure. The end result is a secure system, built from components that have each been tested and verified as secure during development.


In the world of software development, the Build Security In approach addresses security right from the start, rather than as an afterthought. By using principles such as writing secure code, secure design, and conducting security testing during development, it helps create software that is inherently more resistant to cyber threats, ensuring a safer digital landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • The concept of “Build Security In” emphasizes prioritizing security from the initial stages of software development, intending to minimize vulnerabilities rather than addressing them after coding.
  • Practices include writing secure code from the beginning, using secure frameworks and libraries, and timely code reviews to unveil any security issues.
  • Developing software using “Secure by Design” principles ensures the application is architecturally secure, reducing potential breaches.
  • Security testing during the development phase helps developers identify and rectify vulnerabilities in real-time, ensuring the creation of a secure system.
  • Building Security In leads to more secure and reliable systems, mitigating risks and potential damage to software.
  • Related Questions

    1. How does secure coding contribute to the Build Security In approach?

    Secure coding adds an essential layer of protection in the software development process. By adhering to secure coding practices, developers can avoid potential threats from the beginning, making the software inherently more secure.

    2. Why are Secure by Design principles significant in building security in?

    Secure by Design principles are all about creating a robust architecture that is resistant to cyber threats. Implementing these principles ensures every component of the system is designed with security at its core, thereby reducing the software’s attack surface.

    3. Why is it beneficial to perform security tests during development?

    Security testing during the coding process facilitates early detection and remedy of security flaws. The testing tools can spot vulnerabilities as soon as they occur, allowing developers to address them immediately, leading to a more secure end product.

    4. What’s the impact of the Build Security In approach on the overall software development process?

    Using the Build Security In approach, developers can create software that is fundamentally secure, avoiding costly revisions after completion. It promotes proactive management of security risks, improving efficiency, reliability, and trust in the final product.

    5. How does Build Security In safeguard against potential cyber attacks?

    Build Security In involves prioritizing security from the design phase through to testing. By preemptively integrating security measures throughout development, potential access points for attackers are minimized, and the software is better equipped to stand firm against potential cyberattacks.

    "Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people."
    -- Bruce Schneier, a renown computer security professional