Software Integrity Blog

 

Are you making these software standards compliance mistakes?

The path to software standards compliance can be rocky. Teach your developers how to avoid common mistakes that can set you back in your compliance efforts.

Why software compliance is important for development

Why should developers care about software compliance? In general, developers are in the business of software quality. The features they focus on are both user-facing (e.g., reliability and resource efficiency) and development-facing (e.g., clear code structure and ease of reusing and updating components). But modern developers are called on to comply with industry software standards as well. The compliance landscape can be tricky to navigate, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can set you back in your compliance efforts.

RELATED: Awash in regulations, companies struggle with compliance

What is software standards compliance?

To understand software compliance, you must start with software standards. Government and industry groups have issued many software standards to make software safe and secure for users. These standards help protect consumers from all sorts of harm, including identity theft and personal injury. They can cover every part of software development and deployment, from variable naming conventions to incident response protocols.

Software compliance refers to how well an application obeys the rules in a standard. Here’s where you can find the relationship between software quality and software compliance. If your application complies with software standards, it’s less likely to contain bugs, security weaknesses, and design flaws. And if it’s free of bugs, weaknesses, and flaws, it’s more likely to comply with a software standard.

But compliance doesn’t ensure quality, because no software standard addresses every aspect of software quality. Conversely, quality doesn’t translate to compliance. To achieve software compliance, you might also have to, for example, produce certain types of documentation or add security testing at more points in your software development life cycle.

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Development’s responsibilities for compliance

Because software is the foundation of modern business operations, vulnerabilities in that software can have widespread, persistent consequences. That’s why the enforcement of software standards is so strict—and the potential costs of violation so high.

Achieving compliance with your industry’s standards is in the best interest of everyone who participates in software development—from regulators and auditors to executives, the legal team, HR, PR, and all other employees. But only the development team can create code that complies with software standards.

Development’s responsibilities for software compliance

The whole organization counts on your development team to show that they’re producing compliant software. It’s up to you to help them not only adhere to software coding and testing standards but also meet all the requirements for proving compliance.

How to avoid mistakes in software standards compliance

Modern development teams face significant challenges as they make their way through the complex software standards landscape. Our new eBook 4 Software Compliance Gotchas to Avoid: How to Bypass Code Issues, Keep Regulators Away, and Stay Out of the News explores four common mistakes development teams make on their journey to achieve compliance with industry standards, as well as recommendations for avoiding them.

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