For Synopsys, the trend towards more companies taking software security is nothing but a good thing. Having long championed the importance of integrating security into software, their latest BSIMM (Building security in Maturity Model) report will be an encouragement that the industry is sitting up and paying attention. Synopsys designed the BSIMM model in 2008, as a comprehensive tool for measuring and evaluating software security initiatives. A data-driven model and measurement tool developed through the careful study and analysis of software security initiatives, the BSIMM includes real-world data from more than 100 organisations. The BSIMM is an open standard that includes a framework based on software security practices, which an organisation can use to assess its own efforts in software security
The study is collected from the largest security community to date; 109 firms and describes the work of 4,769 software security professionals. Their work guides and maximises the security efforts of almost 300,000 developers across approximately 95,000 applications. BSIMM8 firms represent industry verticals including financial services, independent software vendors (ISVs), cloud, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), and insurance. The indications of the report are that software security is becoming a critical business priority with more organisations benchmarking their efforts early in their SSI lifecycle and using the results strategically to improve their risk posture over time.
“With the rise of widely distributed and increasingly disruptive attacks targeting vulnerable software, we’re seeing a shift from the reactive ‘penetrate and patch’ approach toward more proactive strategies that empower organisations to build secure software systematically from the ground up,” said Dr. Gary McGraw, vice president of security technology at Synopsys. “Organisations are beginning to understand that they can mitigate risk more effectively by establishing a software security initiative, assessing their strengths and weaknesses early on through instruments like the BSIMM, and focusing their efforts on the most appropriate practices and activities.”
Some key findings from the report are included below:
- Organizations use the BSIMM to jumpstart their SSIs. BSIMM8 introduces firms in the early stages of the SSI lifecycle, as evidenced by a slight decrease in the average maturity score (33.1, down from 33.9 in BSIMM7) and average software security group age (3.88 years, down from 3.94 in BSIMM7) of the BSIMM population. SSI benchmarking is one of the pivotal first steps in the software security journey.
- BSIMM firms mature over time. Firms that have participated in multiple BSIMM assessments show a clear trend of improvement, with scores increasing by an average of 10.3, or 33.4 percent. Benchmarking is an effective exercise in guiding organisations along the optimal path toward building secure software consistently.
- Maturity varies by industry. Each industry prioritises certain activities over others, and every industry and individual organisation has a different path toward building security in. On average, cloud, financial services, and ISV firms are more mature than firms in healthcare, IoT, and insurance. Financial services and cloud firms have notably higher scores in compliance and policy practices, while IoT firms have the most mature software environment practices.
So while there have been significant improvements and developments in the field of software security, there is still a long way to go to ensure that new technology is safe from the ever-growing attack surface. To full the full results of the report, please click here.