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Software assurance

(also SwA)

Software assurance definition

Software assurance is an important process conducted by developers and organizations to ensure that their software products are reliable, safe, and secure. It involves a wide range of activities, like analysis, inspecting code, reviewing software design, testing, and verifying.

Those who perform software assurance on products need to follow secure coding practices by implementing industry-defined standards and best practices. They usually follow the guides outlined in the CERT Secure Coding Standards (SCS) developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

Software assurance also involves making sure that software products are free from vulnerabilities. It also ensures that software products are functioning like they are supposed to.

See also: static code analysis, fuzz testing

Software assurance initiatives

  • Training and education. Training and education programs are used to equip developers with the required skills and knowledge they need to create secure software. They include programs like secure coding courses, software testing programs, industry standards, and best practices.
  • Accreditation and certification. Accreditation and certification programs create guidelines and standards that software developers need to abide by when creating products. Also, they help ensure that software products are secure, reliable, and in compliance with industry standards and regulations.
  • Code testing and analysis. Code testing and analysis initiatives use tools to analyze code and spot vulnerabilities or defects. They include techniques like dynamic & static analysis and fuzz testing.
  • Risk assessment and threat modeling. These initiatives ensure that software products can handle cyberattacks and other similar threats. They do so by assessing a software product’s potential risks and threats and providing strategies to mitigate said risks and threats.