The Security Development Lifecycle: SDL - A Process for Developing Demonstrably More Secure Software


Your customers demand and deserve better security and privacy in their software. This book is the first to detail a rigorous, proven methodology that measurably minimizes security bugs?the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL). In this long-awaited book, security experts Michael Howard and Steve Lipner from the Microsoft Security Engineering Team guide you through each stage of the SDL?from education and design to testing and post-release. You get their first-hand insights, best practices, a practical history of ...

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Your customers demand and deserve better security and privacy in their software. This book is the first to detail a rigorous, proven methodology that measurably minimizes security bugs—the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL). In this long-awaited book, security experts Michael Howard and Steve Lipner from the Microsoft Security Engineering Team guide you through each stage of the SDL—from education and design to testing and post-release. You get their first-hand insights, best practices, a practical history of the SDL, and lessons to help you implement the SDL in any development organization.

Discover how to:

  • Use a streamlined risk-analysis process to find security design issues before code is committed
  • Apply secure-coding best practices and a proven testing process
  • Conduct a final security review before a product ships
  • Arm customers with prescriptive guidance to configure and deploy your product more securely
  • Establish a plan to respond to new security vulnerabilities
  • Integrate security discipline into agile methods and processes, such as Extreme Programming and Scrum

Includes a CD featuring:

  • A six-part security class video conducted by the authors and other Microsoft security experts
  • Sample SDL documents and fuzz testing tool

PLUS—Get book updates on the Web.

A Note Regarding the CD or DVD

The print version of this book ships with a CD or DVD. For those customers purchasing one of the digital formats in which this book is available, we are pleased to offer the CD/DVD content as a free download via O'Reilly Media's Digital Distribution services. To download this content, please visit O'Reilly's web site, search for the title of this book to find its catalog page, and click on the link below the cover image (Examples, Companion Content, or Practice Files). Note that while we provide as much of the media content as we are able via free download, we are sometimes limited by licensing restrictions. Please direct any questions or concerns to

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735622142
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Series: PRO-Best Practices
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Howard, CISSP, is a leading security expert. He is a senior security program manager at Microsoft® and the coauthor of The Software Security Development Lifecycle. Michael has worked on Windows security since 1992 and now focuses on secure design, programming, and testing techniques. He is the consulting editor for the Secure Software Development Series of books by Microsoft Press.

Steve Lipner, CISSP, is the senior director of Security Engineering Strategy for Microsoft. He is responsible for defining and updating the Security Development Lifecycle and has pioneered numerous security techniques. Steve has over 35 years’ experience as a researcher, development manager, and general manager in IT security.

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Table of Contents

Why Should You Read This Book?;
Organization of This Book;
The Future Evolution of the SDL;
What’s on the Companion Disc?;
System Requirements;
Part I: The Need for the SDL;
Chapter 1: Enough Is Enough: The Threats Have Changed;
Worlds of Security and Privacy Collide;
Another Factor That Influences Security: Reliability;
It’s Really About Quality;
Why Major Software Vendors Should Create More Secure Software;
Why In-House Software Developers Should Create More Secure Software;
Why Small Software Developers Should Create More Secure Software;
Chapter 2: Current Software Development Methods Fail to Produce Secure Software;
"Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow";
Proprietary Software Development Methods;
Agile Development Methods;
Common Criteria;
Chapter 3: A Short History of the SDL at Microsoft;
First Steps;
New Threats, New Responses;
Windows 2000 and the Secure Windows Initiative;
Seeking Scalability: Through Windows XP;
Security Pushes and Final Security Reviews;
Formalizing the Security Development Lifecycle;
A Continuing Challenge;
Chapter 4: SDL for Management;
Commitment for Success;
Managing the SDL;
Part II: The Security Development Lifecycle Process;
Chapter 5: Stage 0: Education and Awareness;
A Short History of Security Education at Microsoft;
Ongoing Education;
Types of Training Delivery;
Exercises and Labs;
Tracking Attendance and Compliance;
Measuring Knowledge;
Implementing Your Own In-House Training;
Key Success Factors and Metrics;
Chapter 6: Stage 1: Project Inception;
Determine Whether the Application Is Covered by SDL;
Assign the Security Advisor;
Build the Security Leadership Team;
Make Sure the Bug-Tracking Process Includes Security and Privacy Bug Fields;
Determine the "Bug Bar";
Chapter 7: Stage 2: Define and Follow Design Best Practices;
Common Secure-Design Principles;
Attack Surface Analysis and Attack Surface Reduction;
Chapter 8: Stage 3: Product Risk Assessment;
Security Risk Assessment;
Privacy Impact Rating;
Pulling It All Together;
Chapter 9: Stage 4: Risk Analysis;
Threat-Modeling Artifacts;
What to Model;
Building the Threat Model;
The Threat-Modeling Process;
Using a Threat Model to Aid Code Review;
Using a Threat Model to Aid Testing;
Key Success Factors and Metrics;
Chapter 10: Stage 5: Creating Security Documents, Tools, and Best Practices for Customers;
Why Documentation and Tools?;
Creating Prescriptive Security Best Practice Documentation;
Creating Tools;
Chapter 11: Stage 6: Secure Coding Policies;
Use the Latest Compiler and Supporting Tool Versions;
Use Defenses Added by the Compiler;
Use Source-Code Analysis Tools;
Do Not Use Banned Functions;
Reduce Potentially Exploitable Coding Constructs or Designs;
Use a Secure Coding Checklist;
Chapter 12: Stage 7: Secure Testing Policies;
Fuzz Testing;
Penetration Testing;
Run-Time Verification;
Reviewing and Updating Threat Models if Needed;
Reevaluating the Attack Surface of the Software;
Chapter 13: Stage 8: The Security Push;
Preparing for the Security Push;
Code Reviews;
Threat Model Updates;
Security Testing;
Attack-Surface Scrub;
Documentation Scrub;
Are We Done Yet?;
Chapter 14: Stage 9: The Final Security Review;
Product Team Coordination;
Threat Models Review;
Unfixed Security Bugs Review;
Tools-Use Validation;
After the Final Security Review Is Completed;
Chapter 15: Stage 10: Security Response Planning;
Why Prepare to Respond?;
Preparing to Respond;
Security Response and the Development Team;
Chapter 16: Stage 11: Product Release;
Chapter 17: Stage 12: Security Response Execution;
Following Your Plan;
Making It Up as You Go;
Knowing What to Skip;
Part III: SDL Reference Material;
Chapter 18: Integrating SDL with Agile Methods;
Using SDL Practices with Agile Methods;
Augmenting Agile Methods with SDL Practices;
Chapter 19: SDL Banned Function Calls;
The Banned APIs;
Why the "n" Functions Are Banned;
Important Caveat;
Choosing StrSafe vs. Safe CRT;
Using StrSafe;
Using Safe CRT;
Other Replacements;
Tools Support;
ROI and Cost Impact;
Metrics and Goals;
Chapter 20: SDL Minimum Cryptographic Standards;
High-Level Cryptographic Requirements;
Cryptographic Algorithm Usage;
Data Storage and Random Number Generation;
Chapter 21: SDL-Required Tools and Compiler Options;
Required Tools;
Chapter 22: Threat Tree Patterns;
Spoofing an External Entity or a Process;
Tampering with a Process;
Tampering with a Data Flow;
Tampering with a Data Store;
Information Disclosure of a Process;
Information Disclosure of a Data Flow;
Information Disclosure of a Data Store;
Denial of Service Against a Process;
Denial of Service Against a Data Flow;
Denial of Service Against a Data Store;
Elevation of Privilege;
Appendix : Appendix;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    It's about time!

    Great book with solid and useful content. This is a fantastic resource for people managing software projects. I'm so glad to finally see more emphasis placed on Software Security. I'm hoping to see these guys at the Secure Development World Conference 2007!

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    Posted March 20, 2011

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