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Software Security Engineering: A Guide for Project Managers 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0321509178
ISBN-10: 032150917X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“This book's broad overview can help an organization choose a set of processes, policies, and techniques that are appropriate for its security maturity, risk tolerance, and development style. This book will help you understand how to incorporate practical security techniques into all phases of the development lifecycle.

      —Steve Riley, senior security strategist, Microsoft Corporation


“There are books written on some of the topics addressed in this book, and there are other books on secure systems engineering. Few address the entire life cycle with a comprehensive overview and discussion of emerging trends and topics as well as this one.

      —Ronda Henning, senior scientist-software/security queen, Harris Corporation


Software that is developed from the beginning with security in mind will resist, tolerate, and recover from attacks more effectively than would otherwise be possible. While there may be no silver bullet for security, there are practices that project managers will find beneficial. With this management guide, you can select from a number of sound practices likely to increase the security and dependability of your software, both during its development and subsequently in its operation.


Software Security Engineeringdraws extensively on the systematic approach developed for theBuild Security In (BSI)Web site. Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Software Assurance Program, the BSI site offers a host of tools, guidelines, rules, principles, and other resources to help project managers address security issues in every phase of the software development life cycle (SDLC). The book's expert authors, themselves frequent contributors to the BSI site, represent two well-known resources in the security world: the CERT Program at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and Cigital, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in software security.


This book will help you understand why

  • Software security is about more than just eliminating vulnerabilities and conducting penetration tests
  • Network security mechanisms and IT infrastructure security services do not sufficiently protect application software from security risks
  • Software security initiatives should follow a risk-management approach to identify priorities and to define what is “good enough—understanding that software security risks will change throughout the SDLC
  • Project managers and software engineers need to learn to think like an attacker in order to address the range of functions that software should not do, and how software can better resist, tolerate, and recover when under attack

Chapter 1: Why Is Security a Software Issue? 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 The Problem 2

1.3 Software Assurance and Software Security 6

1.4 Threats to Software Security 9

1.5 Sources of Software Insecurity 11

1.6 The Benefits of Detecting Software Security Defects Early 13

1.7 Managing Secure Software Development 18

1.8 Summary 23


Chapter 2: What Makes Software Secure? 25

2.1 Introduction 25

2.2 Defining Properties of Secure Software 26

2.3 How to Influence the Security Properties of Software 36

2.4 How to Assert and Specify Desired Security Properties 61

2.5 Summary 71


Chapter 3: Requirements Engineering for Secure Software 73

3.1 Introduction 73

3.2 Misuse and Abuse Cases 78

3.3 The SQUARE Process Model 84

3.4 SQUARE Sample Outputs 91

3.5 Requirements Elicitation 99

3.6 Requirements Prioritization 106

3.7 Summary 112


Chapter 4: Secure Software Architecture and Design 115

4.1 Introduction 115

4.2 Software Security Practices for Architecture and Design: Architectural Risk Analysis 119

4.3 Software Security Knowledge for Architecture and Design: Security Principles, Security Guidelines, and Attack Patterns 137

4.4 Summary 148


Chapter 5: Considerations for Secure Coding and Testing 151

5.1 Introduction 151

5.2 Code Analysis 152

5.3 Coding Practices 160

5.4 Software Security Testing 163

5.5 Security Testing Considerations Throughout the SDLC 173

5.6 Summary 180


Chapter 6: Security and Complexity: System Assembly Challenges 183

6.1 Introduction 183

6.2 Security Failures 186

6.3 Functional and Attacker Perspectives for Security Analysis: Two Examples 189

6.4 System Complexity Drivers and Security 203

6.5 Deep Technical Problem Complexity 215

6.6 Summary 217


Chapter 7: Governance, and Managing for More Secure Software 221

7.1 Introduction 221

7.2 Governance and Security 223

7.3 Adopting an Enterprise Software Security Framework 226

7.4 How Much Security Is Enough? 236

7.5 Security and Project Management 244

7.6 Maturity of Practice 259

7.7 Summary 266


Chapter 8: Getting Started 267

8.1 Where to Begin 269

8.2 In Closing 281

About the Author

Julia H. Allen is a senior member of the technical staff within the CERT Program at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a unit of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to her work in software security and assurance, Allen is engaged in developing and transitioning executive outreach programs in enterprise security and governance. She is the author of The CERT Guide to System and Network Security Practices (Addison-Wesley, 2001), Governing for Enterprise Security (CMU/SEI, 2005), and the CERT Podcast Series: Security for Business Leaders (2006/2007).


Sean Barnum is a Principal Consultant at Cigital and is technical lead for their federal services practice. He has more than twenty years of experience in the software industry in the areas of development, software quality assurance, quality management, process architecture and improvement, knowledge management, and security. He is a frequent contributor and speaker for regional and national software security and software quality publications, conferences, and events. He is very active in the software assurance community and is involved in numerous knowledge standards-defining efforts, including the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE), the Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC), and other elements of the Software Assurance Programs of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. He is also the lead technical subject matter expert for the Air Force Application Software Assurance Center of Excellence.


Robert J. Ellison, Ph.D., is a member of the Survivable Systems Engineering Team within the CERT Program at the Software Engineering Institute and, in that capacity, has served in a number of technical and management roles. He was a project leader for the evaluation of software engineering development environments and associated software development tools. He was also a member of the Carnegie Mellon University team that wrote the proposal for the SEI; he joined the new FFRDC in 1985 as a founding member. Ellison regularly participates in the evaluation of software architectures and contributes from the perspective of security and reliability measures.


Gary McGraw, Ph.D., is the CTO of Cigital, Inc., a software security and quality consulting firm with headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area. He is a globally recognized authority on software security and the author of six best selling books on this topic. The latest is Exploiting Online Games (Addison-Wesley, 2008). His other titles include Java Security, Building Secure Software, Exploiting Software, and Software Security; and he is editor of the Addison-Wesley Software Security series. McGraw has also written more than ninety peer-reviewed scientific publications, authors a monthly security column for, and is frequently quoted in the press. Besides serving as a strategic counselor for top business and IT executives, Gary is on the Advisory Boards of Fortify Software and Raven White. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Informatics at Indiana University. Gary is an IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors member and produces the monthly Silver Bullet Security Podcast for IEEE Security & Privacy magazine.


Nancy R. Mead, Ph.D., is a senior member of the technical staff in the Survivable Systems Engineering Group, which is part of the CERT Program at the Software Engineering Institute. Mead is also a faculty member in the Master of Software Engineering and Master of Information Systems Management programs at Carnegie Mellon University. She has more than one hundred publications and invited presentations. She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) and the IEEE Computer Society and is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032150917X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321509178
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Addison-Wesley Software Security Series is generally a great collection, with titles like Software Security: Building Security In (my rating: 5 stars), Rootkits: Subverting the Windows Kernel (my rating: 4 stars), and Exploiting Software: How to Break Code (my rating: 4 stars). I particularly liked the first of those three (SS:BSI), which I reviewed last year. I felt Gary McGraw wrote "a powerful book with deep truths for secure development." Software Security Engineering (SSE), by a collection of authors, pales in comparison to SS:BSI. You can skip SSE and stick with SS:BSI.

I started reading SSE very closely, underlining key concepts and looking for important ideas. About halfway through the book I realized it was mainly a collection of ideas from other sources. Very rarely do I read books that successfully present a dozen approaches to the same problem. What usually happens (as is the case with SSE) is the reader is left reading overlapping material and fragmented points of view. Frequently I found myself wondering "so what am I supposed to do with this? Where do I start? What approach matters?"

It is especially problematic when a book contains articles essentially republished from magazines. Each article author needs to frame the problem to make sense for the short period during which he has the attention of the reader. That works for a stand-alone article, but it doesn't work when all of these previously stand-alone articles are collected in one book. I can accept a book published as a series of independent works, with an editor overseeing the affair. I can't accept a book published as a single work, with magazine articles inserted at various intervals. It's incoherent and confusing.

Still, I found a few ideas interesting.
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"Software Security Engineering" is an extremely broad overview of software security engineering practices. The first two chapters deal with defining why software security is an important topic and characterizing general attributes of secure software. The middle of the book highlights the software development lifecycle including requirements, architecture, design, coding, and testing. The book concludes with integration issues, governance, and a getting started guide.

A project manager new to the concepts of software security engineering would likely find the book to be a good overview for understanding the tasks and practices that should be implemented on a secure software development effort. It provides just enough information to be able to accurately assess if development efforts are on target and on track. From the opposite perspective, a software security engineer might find the book a useful tool to convince a recalcitrant project manager of the necessity of certain tasks and activities during the development process.

The experienced security software engineer will not find much of practical use in the material covered. The authors are coming primarily from the perspective of process maturity models, and the material is fairly thin on implementation details. It does, however, provide an overview of considerations for developing secure software, and it can be used as a pointer to other sources and materials referenced in the book, which the software engineer will find useful.

The book includes several reprints from IEEE Security & Privacy magazine, and these contained some interesting and novel ideas. A prime example is the concept of "Misuse and Abuse Cases" in which abnormal and malicious behavior from actors in the system is anticipated and documented.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JP on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ideal for people who are discovering topics of apps security ... and of course for software developers
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