Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a crucial process in ensuring the delivery of high-quality software that meets the needs of its intended users. However, each stage of the SDLC process has vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit, compromising the security and integrity of the software. These threats are increasing at a very high speed. Therefore Software Supply Chain protection is crucial for any organisation to safeguard its software and protect its organisation, customers and end users from attacks.
Importance of SDLC Protection
Devops’ speed creates an ecosystem of the unknown, and attackers leverage open-source packages or APIs to move as fast as possible. Software publishers propagate them through new versions and updates of their software.
Npm saw a nearly 100 times increase in malicious package uploads from 2020 to 2022, while PyPi saw a 60% decrease in the same period but a more than 18,000% increase since 2020, with several peaks identified over the summer of 2022.
Software Supply Chain protection is essential to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Without proper protection, cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in the SDLC process to gain unauthorised access to sensitive information or disrupt the software development process. It can lead to financial, data and intellectual property loss, reputational damage, and legal liability for the organisation.
Stages of the Supply Chain of Software and Vulnerabilities
The Supply Chain of Software involves coding, automatic building and delivering. Each stage has its vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. For example, developers could submit harmful code in the coding phase, or attackers could try injecting malicious code using compromised SCM. The platform could be modified during the build process to introduce malicious behaviour, such as the SolarWinds attack. During this stage, attackers could also try using several approaches to use malicious dependencies. It will replace the original and trusted 3rd party software. We must ensure that no secrets are exposed at any moment, as in the CodeCov case. They would enable attackers to access our supply chain to modify its behaviour. Finally, misconfigured servers can leave the software application vulnerable in deployment.
Best Practices for Protecting SDLC Governance
Organisations should implement best practices to protect SDLC governance, including visibility, continuous monitoring and hardening, and strict privacy policies for authentication and permissions.
- Visibility using a detailed inventory of the Software Supply Chain ecosystem (SBOM) allows to gain insight into their SDLC process, identify vulnerabilities and alert about them in the shortest possible time to take corrective action
- Hardening the runtime environment, eliminating misconfigurations and flaws in the CI pipeline, and ensuring data encryption across the end-to-end process to ensure our validated processes’ proper and expected behaviour.
- Identify anomalies or unusual behaviours (patterns) that could signal a breach in any supply chain area or phase. It also protects critical code against unintended changes.
- Securing the lowest privilege approach is fundamental. Developers must authenticate and only receive the permissions required to do their job. Fine-grained permissions are required to secure source code, with permission expiring if unused for an extended period. CI/CD pipelines should have minimal permissions, and anomaly detection should check if CI scripts have been altered.
Xygeni Solutions for Enhancing SDLC Protection
Xygeni Platform is an innovative option for organisations that want to enhance their SDLC protection. Xygeni provides end-to-end protection for the Supply Chain of Software, including Repository Code Analysis, Threat Intelligence, DevOps Security, Privacy Policies and Compliance Management for regulatory and standards requirements.
SDLC protection is crucial for organisations to safeguard their software development process from potential attacks. By implementing best practices for protecting SDLC governance and exploring options like Xygeni, organisations can enhance their SDLC protection and minimise the risk of cyberattacks that would impact their business.
Contact us today or request a demo to learn more about our solutions and how we can help you improve your SDLC protection.