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5 software security courses to boost your skills, even under isolation

We’ve chosen five software security courses to help you and your team members prepare for the future of software development—no matter what it looks like.

5 software security courses to prepare for whatever comes next

As millions of people are finding out, it’s tough but possible to adapt to working remotely. Turns out you can get a lot done. More than one inspirational speaker has said that every hurdle is an opportunity.

But in uncertain times like these, when structure and process are upended, individuals can unknowingly put their companies at risk due to a lack of security awareness. When you couple uncertainty with a lack of awareness, it can open up multiple vulnerabilities for threat actors to exploit.

To overcome that hurdle, one opportunity for those in the IT industry is to expand and improve their software security skills. While you work remotely, you can also learn remotely with online security training courses.

5 software security courses we recommend right now

We think all our courses are useful, but today we want to highlight five courses recommended by Rachel Zahr, product marketing manager at Synopsys, to prioritize right now. At a time when both the present and future are uncertain, these courses will help you and your team members become more adaptable, no matter what happens.

Courses are easy to consume—and are more productive than binge-watching a TV show. And with all the time you’re saving not having to commute, as we said before, this is an opportunity.

Fundamentals of software security

1. Attack and Defense

Attack and Defense acknowledges the reality that web applications are high-value targets for hackers, whether their motivation is money, blackmail, political activism, or simply better street cred—and that software developers are both outnumbered and on the front line of defense. Why else would the OWASP Top 10 be so important?

This course teaches developers, system administrators, architects, and security specialists how to:

  • Recognize security defects in web applications.
  • Build defenses against common web app vulnerabilities.
  • Use tools and techniques to test applications for vulnerabilities.
  • Implement application features that will enhance users’ security posture.

In developing any skill set, the fundamentals are the foundation on which everything else is built—which is why this is one of our most popular software security courses.

Online courses in defensive strategies for software development

2. Architecture Risk Analysis

ARA is a well-established process to discover design flaws and the risks they could create within a system before you start building the system itself. The goal is to save time and improve both quality and security, much like making sure there are no flaws in the architectural drawings of a building before construction begins. It is vastly more efficient and effective to prevent flaws in advance than to try to fix them later.

ARA can’t replace other types of testing that occur throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC), such as source code analysis and pen testing. But it does complement them, likely eliminating many of the vulnerabilities those tests would otherwise find.

After taking this course, your developers, QA engineers, architects, and application security specialists will be able to:

  • Explain to others why ARA is required to have secure software.
  • Understand the different types of analyses that are used to perform ARA.
  • Identify the kind of output that is needed or expected when performing ARA.

3. Threat Modeling

As security experts have said for decades, if you want to defeat an attacker, you have to think like an attacker. That is the goal of threat modeling—to secure the points of entry that are attractive and vulnerable to attackers.

Threat modeling also brings order to chaos—helping you organize the abundance of threats and give some context to your security priorities by looking at them the way an attacker would.

This software security course is for anyone involved in software development. You will learn about:

  • The purpose of threat modeling and how it relates to other security activities.
  • How threat modeling fits into the Microsoft SDL (Secure Development Lifecycle).
  • How threat modeling fits into the Synopsys Touchpoints methodology.
  • The process of threat modeling and risk management.

Courses on cloud platforms

4. Introduction to Cloud Security

The cloud is no longer cutting edge. It is mainstream. Much software development and delivery have moved into cloud infrastructure. But despite their multiple advantages, cloud environments also come with security risks and compliance requirements.

This course, designed for developers and architects, will teach you common cloud terminology and how to navigate the vast array of security controls you need to consider when moving to a cloud provider. You will learn how to:

  • Identify different cloud delivery models.
  • Evaluate security features offered by public cloud providers.
  • Build cloud infrastructure with security in mind.
  • Protect data stored in cloud environments.
  • Build security controls into cloud technologies such as serverless and containers.

Requirements, architecture, and training courses for software security

5. Software Security Requirements

Every organization’s risk profile is different. So are the security requirements they need to build into their SDLC.

This course will help you incorporate software security into your SDLC and then choose a style of security requirements that fits your project’s and organization’s needs. It also provides an action plan to help you verify the effectiveness of security requirements through security testing and hands-on auditing.

After taking this course, your QA engineers, architects, and developers will be able to:

  • Explain the benefit of introducing security-specific requirements as part of an overall requirements-gathering strategy.
  • Understand the approaches and methodologies used to write software security requirements.
  • Differentiate between functional and nonfunctional software requirements and understand which type of requirements-gathering technique best fits your organization.
  • Describe the qualities of effective security requirements and implement requirements that increase application security.
  • Implement verifications to ensure security requirements are met and enforced during and after deployment.

Prepare today for whatever comes tomorrow

The Synopsys eLearning courseware wasn’t rushed into creation in response to recent events. Instead, it has been methodically built through the years so that in threat scenarios, both big and small, IT professionals can be prepared.

The Synopsys eLearning software security curriculum offers on-demand, 24/7 access to courses that learners can consume in whatever format is best suited for their needs—either through the Synopsys-hosted platform or through their organization’s own learning management system (LMS).

With a large portfolio of courses spanning eight major categories (from Fundamentals to Regulation and Compliance) in three languages (English, Chinese, and Japanese), we designed the personalized training curriculum to be adaptive to multiple roles, teams, projects, and learning objectives.

The five software security courses above will help IT professionals think of security at multiple levels of the SDLC. “And this would be really beneficial for an uncertain future,” Zahr said, “because you’re taught how to build, design, and code in defensive techniques—helping to protect yourself against unknowns.” To be adaptive in times like these, it helps to keep yourself informed, and eLearning helps learners do that. Not to mention the added benefit of consuming content whenever, wherever, and wearing whatever you want (your favorite pair of sweatpants?). Ah, the perks of remote learning.

Learn more about our online software security courses

Taylor Armerding

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Taylor Armerding

Taylor Armerding

Taylor Armerding is an award-winning journalist who left the declining field of mainstream newspapers in 2011 to write in the explosively expanding field of information security. He has previously written for CSO Online and the Sophos blog Naked Security. When he’s not writing he hikes, bikes, golfs, and plays bluegrass music.

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