14 December 2022

Making Security Testing Part of Your Agile Software Development Life Cycle

Greg Copeland

Developing and updating software using an agile methodology has become increasingly popular and indeed has benefits compared with a traditional waterfall approach, including productivity efficiencies, flexibility and continuous improvement. But when it comes to validating software security, agile methodology also presents challenges. 

With an agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) also comes concurrent workflows, adjusting goals and frequent deliverable changes. Predictable static security testing methods that may have been suitable for a waterfall approach quickly fail to keep pace in a more dynamic agile SDLC.

To meet this challenge, we have partnered with Jira, the leading software development tool used by agile teams, to make continuous security validation an integrated part of the SDLC. Synack continuously tests application security throughout the development and update phases, so vulnerabilities can be discovered earlier in the life cycle even as the projects are frequently changing. Unlike traditional static security testing approaches, which run infrequently and with rigid scope, our security testing runs continuously with dynamic and open scope.

We offer insights and intelligence by delivering reports of exploitable vulnerabilities discovered through our premier security testing platform that seamlessly integrates the adversarial perspective of the world’s elite community of security researchers, the Synack Red Team (SRT), with our continuous scanning technology.

Our approach combines machine intelligence to surface well known and suspected vulnerabilities, with human expertise for open vulnerability discovery and detailed reporting about actual exploitable gaps in application security. The SRT provides specific recommendations to fix vulnerabilities and will retest as the software team applies patches. In this manner, software security posture can be continuously validated and improved throughout the SDLC rather than waiting until vulnerabilities manifest themselves late in the development process or worse yet, after being released to production.

Sample security vulnerability ticket in Jira

The Synack App for Jira integrates Synack vulnerability findings with SDLC workflows so that security issues can be remediated more effectively and efficiently. By integrating Synack and Jira instances, we’ve removed the inefficiencies that come with vulnerability management and software development being independent, unintegrated workflows.

Any time new vulnerability findings are reported by the Synack Platform, it will also populate automatically within the associated Jira Project based on predefined configurations and field mappings. Anytime you make a status update on the Synack Platform or on Jira, the change will be synched to both platforms, allowing your security and development teams to see the same information concurrently and to track progress until the issue has been fixed. 

Finally, security comments are synched to the Jira project so that all participants in the SDLC have access to the finding details, even if they don’t have direct access to security tools. Armed with real-time security findings your agile team can make course corrections immediately, before the problems compound and escalate.

Mapping between status changes in Synack and Jira

You can access Synack’s App for Jira in a free, simple, and easy way. It’s a plug-and-play App that seamlessly installs on your existing Jira subscription and can be configured to work with your Synack Platform subscription within a matter of minutes. The Synack App for Jira is supported for on-premise (server and data center) and cloud instances of Jira.

For more information, see the Atlassian marketplace listing or read our solution brief. Contact our tech alliance team for further information te[email protected]