New Open Source model for secure software development aims to set industry standard. OpenSAMM is free, easy to use and quantifiable – and doesn’t tie businesses to a particular vendor or development process
25 March 2009, London- Many organisations struggle with how to effectively incorporate information security into software development projects, largely due to time and budget constraints. Today, software security expert Pravir Chandra of Cognosticus announced the launch of OpenSAMM, a framework to help organisations formulate a software security strategy tailored to their specific information security risks. OpenSAMM is a prescriptive security framework with sequential, measurable goals that can be used by small, medium and large organisations in any type of business that involves software development.
"While there have been a number of secure development approaches, we wanted to create something that was adaptable and could work in tune with an organisation's business goals and risk tolerance", said Pravir. "OpenSAMM is a resource that businesses can use right off the shelf without the need for expensive consultants. It's simple, well-defined, measurable, and enables iterative improvement".
OpenSAMM maps all security related activities under four business functions that are inherent to software development: Governance, Construction, Verification, and Deployment. There are three security practices mapped to each business function and these are the silos for improvement within an organisation.
"OpenSAMM has defined the building blocks for effective software security assurance", said Matt Bartoldus, a Director at Gotham Digital Science, an information security consulting firm that works with clients to identify, prevent, and manage security risks, and is using OpenSAMM with clients.
"Our clients can use the model to see what needs to be done and what skills and resources are needed to do the job. Best of all, businesses can use OpenSAMM to quantify results and improvements by assessing practices against SAMM activities".
OpenSAMM is useful to any organisation that develops software, whether for internal or external use. This includes independent software vendors, online services providers, financial services organisations and government organisations.
One of OpenSAMM's main goals is to build industry standards for software assurance. Though created by Pravir, OpenSAMM was a collaborative effort. "I spent six months getting some of the most experienced practitioners in the industry to review the model and provide feedback. All OpenSAMM content is and will remain vendor-neutral and freely available for all to use", said Pravir, who is an OWASP contributor and member of OWASP Global Projects Committee.
Previous methods have been software lifecycle approaches that require companies to change their development process, are only suitable for large firms with large budgets, are limited to certain types of software, or tie clients to a particular vendor's products.
"From a consultant's perspective, it's impressive to our clients that OpenSAMM has been approved not only by us but also by a number of our industry peers", said Matt. "Plus, its versatility enables us to apply it to our full range of clients, regardless of the size, type of software or method of development.
"OpenSAMM is also presented in a way that makes it easy to get buy-in from our clients. You don't need to be a security expert to understand OpenSAMM's value to your business".
Notes to Editors
- § OpenSAMM can be downloaded from http://www.opensamm.org.
- § OpenSAMM was written and edited by a group of software security experts within the industry. Creation of the first draft was made possible through funding from Fortify Software, Inc. Since then, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has also generously contributed to ongoing revision and refinement of the model.
- § OWASP is the Open Web Application Security Project. Both Pravir Chandra and Matt Bartoldus are OWASP members. For more information please visit http://www.owasp.org.
The SAMM project was originally created by Pravir Chandra, Principle Consultant at Cognosticus, OWASP contributor and member of the OWASP Global Projects Committee. For more information on OpenSAMM or to download a copy, please visit http://www.opensamm.org/.
About Gotham Digital Science
Gotham Digital Science (GDS) is an information security consulting firm that works with clients to identify, prevent, and manage security risks. GDS specialises in security testing, software security, and risk management and compliance. GDS develops tools that solve specific security issues and offers a number of security training programs for IT professionals. With offices in New York and London, Gotham Digital Science can seamlessly assist clients on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, visit our website at http://www.gdssecurity.com.
Pravir Chandra, Principle Consultant, Cognosticus Consulting, +1 330 519 4515, [email protected]
Matt Bartoldus, Director, Gotham Digital Science, London, +44 2031 785 940, [email protected]