Shift-Left starts at Build, & that's a problem.
While Shift-Left is a big buzz in secure software development that aims to move security considerations earlier in the development process, it does not address design security as consistently as it possibly made to sound. This is because while the Shift-Left approach primarily ensures that security testing and other security-related activities are performed as early as possible in the development lifecycle, the focus remains on the build phase of the software development- when code is written, and has an overreliance on automated tooling.
However, design security goes beyond just testing and requires a comprehensive understanding of security threats and risks and integrating security into the overall software design. This includes incorporating certain coding practices, conducting threat modeling, and ensuring that security features are integrated into the software architecture.
Security is an essential aspect of software development that must be considered from the earliest stages of the design phase. Neglecting to address security risks can lead to significant vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors, resulting in data breaches, loss of confidential information, and reputational damage.
It's important to note that Shift-Left is a step in the right direction, but it's not enough to ensure comprehensive security by design. It is necessary to ensure security programs cover both the design and development phases and implements ongoing security monitoring and testing to ensure the software remains secure throughout its life cycle.
In conclusion, while Shift-Left is a practical approach, it's essential to go beyond it and take a comprehensive approach to security that covers design security, security testing, and other security activities during the development phase.
In the follow-up editions of this blog series, we will cover our take on why Shift-Left fails to be as valuable in helping organizations incorporate security by design, the challenges that make us focus on the bugs of the system, and miss the Flaws, and why it is critical to address the need of optimal security processes during the Planning, Requirements and Design phases of the SDLC.