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Secure software development lifecycle

(also SSDLC)

Secure software development lifecycle definition

The secure software development lifecycle (SSDLC) serves as a blueprint that infuses security protocols into each phase of software creation. SSDLC prioritizes embedding security into every aspect of the development journey, from the initial design phase to implementation, followed by ongoing testing and maintenance. Its primary objective is to reduce the risk of potential weaknesses and bolster the software's resilience in the face of future cyberattacks.

See also: network security protocols, SSL encryption, end-to-end encryption, zero day

Secure software development lifecycle examples

  • Software coding: Developers employ security-focused coding practices to prevent the introduction of vulnerabilities.
  • Software testing: Regular security testing during development can identify and rectify potential threats before the software goes live.
  • Maintenance: Even after deployment, regular security updates and patches are part of SSDLC to keep software secure against evolving cyber threats.

Advantages and disadvantages of secure software development lifecycle


  • Enhanced security: SSDLC enables developers to build secure software from the ground up, reducing the likelihood of vulnerabilities and exploits.
  • Cost-effective: It's typically cheaper and less time-consuming to address security issues during the development phase rather than after the software has been deployed.


  • Time-consuming: Incorporating a security-focused approach into the development lifecycle can add to the time required for software development.
  • Expertise required: Security-centric development may require specialized knowledge and training, which can increase costs.

Using secure software development lifecycle

  • Ensure a thorough understanding of the security needs of the software application to develop appropriate measures in the SSDLC.
  • Combine SSDLC with other security measures like VPNs for robust protection.