1. What is the SSDF based on?
The SSDF does not contain new practices for the software development life cycle (SDLC), nor does it introduce new methods or terminologies. The SSDF was based on established practice documents from BSA | The Software Alliance, the Open Web Application Security Project® (OWASP), and SAFECode (formerly known as the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code).
2. The SSDF has two main audiences
The SSDF has two primary audiences. The first is software producers of all sizes and levels of maturity, including product vendors and software developers. The second target audience involves software consumers and purchasers.
3. The SSDF uses
Any sector can leverage the framework, including the Internet of Things (IoT), information technology (IT), and industrial control systems. The framework can be used regardless of the current level of cybersecurity without impacting organizations that have existing software development processes in place. It can be integrated into any existing development workflow and automation tool.
4. The SSDF serves as a reference guide
The framework does not tell organizations exactly how to apply each practice but rather provides guidance. Organizations may use relevant SSDF practices to complement and improve their existing software development processes, resources, and risk management model.
5. The SSDF improves communications among stakeholders
The SSDF provides a common language that helps organizational stakeholders communicate internal and external software development processes – including software development teams, cybersecurity professionals, business owners, and leadership.
6. The SSDF helps organizations transition between development models
Organizations can refer to the framework to define and streamline their future practices as part of their efforts to continuously improve. It also assists organizations in transitioning between software development models, such as transitioning from a traditional model to an agile methodology.
7. Why is the SSDF important to the SDLC?
Secure software development practices help mitigate the risk of vulnerabilities in released software, reducing exploitation and the aftermath. Should vulnerabilities go undetected and cause damage, the framework can guide organizations in addressing the root cause of the security gaps and prevent recurrences.
8. Proficiency in secure software development is not a requirement to understand the SSDF
The SSDF was designed to be understood by all stakeholders involved in software development's internal and external processes, including product vendors, quality testers, and consumer organizations.
9. The SSDF provides implementation flexibility
The framework does not assume that all organizations share the same security requirements, objectives, and priorities. Implementers can choose the relevant or applicable practices to their unique security needs. While implementing the practices is flexible, the practices themselves are not meant to be customized.
10. The SSDF does not define the frequency of use
Software development teams will have different priorities and risks; therefore, the SSDF does not make recommendations of the frequency of recurring practices. Tasks and implementation of practices will depend on unique organizational processes, risk management, and other factors.