Software Security for Government Applications

Government data is a constant target for malicious activity by both individual and state-sponsored hackers. But weaknesses in source code and design, unpatched vulnerabilities, and inadequate application security practices all expose your organization and constituents to significant risk. That’s why maintaining security in today’s complex application landscape is paramount for government agencies.

With recent security mandates for government agencies, as well as strategic plans for federal cyber security, it’s imperative that you have an established set of tools and automated processes to detect and manage quality and security risks throughout the software development life cycle.

Counter constant threat with persistent security

Recent reports from the FTC and Verizon find that government applications face significant and unrelenting attacks, making them the target of the greatest number of cyber incidents and breaches across industry sectors. The goal established by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is to ensure that application security and risk management practices make the cost of an attempted attack greater than the potential benefit of a breach.

Cybersecurity decisions in an organization should be based on a shared assessment of the organization’s assets, vulnerabilities, and potential threats, so that security investments can be risk-informed. This must be achieved despite the incomplete knowledge the organization has of its assets, vulnerabilities, exposures, and potential threats."

NSTC

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Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan, Feb. 2016

A measure of success

Federal mandates and strategic initiatives outline the criteria to successfully achieve target levels of application security, deter security hackers, and encourage the proliferation of software across the federal government.

  • 100,000

    Target lines of code per defect in government applications

  • 2019

    Target date by which effective risk management should eliminate attackers’ advantage

  • 20%

    Minimum percentage of agency code that must be released as open source

Eliminate vulnerabilities in government software

Why are attacks so inexpensive? Unpatched or unidentified vulnerabilities in application code are easy to exploit. An unpatched or zero-day vulnerability in one component can compromise thousands of applications. In fact, a recent Department of Homeland Security report estimated that 90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software.

Detecting and remediating vulnerabilities in applications has a material impact on deterring adversaries and preventing a successful attack.

vulnerabilities in government software

Secure government applications

Related resources

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