Secure Code Warrior

Ship quality code faster, with confidence: the transformative power of secure coding practices.

According to an IBM study, it is thirty times more expensive to fix vulnerabilities post-release compared to finding and fixing them initially. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that forward-looking CIOs are implementing secure coding practices. This means training and equipping developers to write code that is more secure from the beginning– making them their organization’s ‘first line of defense’.

According to an IBM study, it is thirty times more expensive to fix vulnerabilities post-release compared to finding and fixing them initially. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that forward-looking CIOs are implementing secure coding practices. This means training and equipping developers to write code that is more secure from the beginning– making them their organization’s ‘first line of defense’. To measure the actual impacts of this trend, Secure Code Warrior teamed up with Evans Data Corp* and commissioned a recent study on developers’ attitudes towards secure coding, secure code practices, and security operations. This research reveals that implementing secure code practices is trans-formative for companies on several different fronts. Download your copy of the whitepaper here.

Secure Coding with more confidence and mindfulness

Without a doubt, implementing secure coding practices raises the security awareness of developers in ways that benefit their employers. Our study reveals that 55% of developers say that good training has increased their confidence in their coding techniques, and 53% said that good training has allowed them to be more careful when debugging and testing their own code. An equal 53% believe they have become more mindful of security when writing code.

What does this tell us? It tells us that with a little bit of upskilling, developers can transform into your first line of defense.

Smarter tool selection + increased release velocity

When we asked managers about the impacts of secure code training, their perspectives reflected their managerial responsibilities. 43% of managers agreed that secure code training has helped their organizations become more careful when debugging and testing their code. 47% revealed that good training has allowed them to be more selective with tooling choices that provide more security. But perhaps most importantly, 44% indicated that secure code training and techniques have helped save time and speed up software releases – a substantial advantage when speed to market is everything.

Enhanced productivity across the board

When we asked developers how secure coding has helped productivity, over half felt it had helped increase both coding and app design quality.  

63% said it reduces rework by preventing recurring vulnerabilities. 70% said it helped eliminate errors that lead to rework or patches. 56% claim that it has improved productivity in Debug and Testing. We can see the transformation underway at multiple stages of the software development life-cycle.

Team dynamics and code quality

Secure code practices also have an impact on team dynamics. While individually, developers learn to code more securely, their code does not exist within a vacuum. Their code is often contingent on the work of others and vice versa. Implementing secure coding practices causes developers to share and seek out secure coding knowledge, driving better communication amongst developers, developers and management, and the development team and their stakeholders.

  • 60% of developers surveyed believe that employing secure code practices has increased their communication with other developers
  • 45% say that contact with management has increased.

These sentiments are echoed by managers, albeit from a different perspective. 62% of managers surveyed claim that secure code practices require them to spend more time managing people and help increase the velocity of code releases.

For organizations that implement secure code practices, the increase in communication has a trans-formative impact on team dynamics, positively impacting code quality and speed to market.

Transforming from reactive to preventive

Finally, secure code impacts the way developers and dev managers apply security measures and their accompanying metrics.

Today, 81% of organizations still rely on reactive metrics such as defect counts and scanner metrics to determine security quality.

But these reactive activities are increasingly supplemented by or giving way to proactive or preventative metrics. 67% of organizations now measure developer awareness of OWASP Top 10 as a metric for security readiness. Other proactive metrics in increasing use include:

  • Measuring developer competency around application security
  • Use of pre-approved code
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements.

90% of developers now pay attention to these preventative measures. But while awareness and implementation of secure coding practice are growing, there's still some way to go to realize its full potential.

Where to go from here?

As champions of change in secure coding, Secure Code Warrior takes a human-led approach to help you transform your developers into your first line of defense – and your overall security approach from reactive to proactive. Our proven learning platform delivers contextual, hands-on education in 52 language:framework-specific categories, with challenges that mimic those that developers face in the real world. We know from deep experience that developers prefer the learn-by-doing method to the struggle of theory-based static learning. If you’d like to see the trans-formative impact this can have on your teams and their ability to ship quality code with confidence, book a demo now.

*Shifting from reaction to prevention: The changing face of application security. Secure Code Warrior and Evans Data Corp. 2020
1. IBM Software Group; Minimizing Code Defects to Improve Software Quality and Lower Development Cost - https://docplayer.net/11413245-Minimizing-code-defects-to-improve-software-quality-and-lower-development-costs.html