Community post by Rodrigo Maues Rocha, Tech Lead Consulting at Conviso Application Security
Nowadays, where software development is more complex and dynamic than ever, ensuring application security is crucial. However, knowing where to begin can be challenging when integrating security into the development process.
Here in the team I work for, we understand that’s where security champions come in. Security champions are developers or other team members passionate about application security and empowered to promote and improve security within their organization and for us in the development teams. But what happens when an organization fails to recognize the value of security champions?
If you search on the Internet, you’ll find a study like this from Ponemon Institute, organizations with a formal application security program that includes Security Champions are 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their overall application security posture than those without such a program.
SANS Institute, in an survey with the title Rethinking the Sec in DevSecOps: Security as Code, found that organizations think that the Security Champion program can contribute with 42% to the success of the Application Security Program.
Beyond these two, a survey by Nominet found that organizations with a Security Champion program were 65% less likely to experience a data breach than those without one.
This article will explore the cost of ignoring security champions and their role in building a solid application security culture or even an application security program, as I wrote in this article too. When an organization fails to recognize the importance of security champions, the consequences can be dire. Without security champions, there may be a lack of awareness and education about application security.
This can lead to developers making security mistakes that can be costly to fix down the line. Worse yet, it can introduce vulnerabilities in production software that attackers could exploit. These vulnerabilities can cause a wide range of problems, from data breaches to financial losses and regulatory fines.
If security champions are not recognized, it could result in a detachment between the development and security units. Neglecting security in the development process can prevent developers from underestimating the significance of security requirements, opposing their integration, or don’t rely on approaches such as threat modeling. The friction between security and development teams can be amplified, leading to a decrease in the quality of the software being produced and ultimately slowing down the development process.
The good news is that there are concrete steps organizations can take to avoid these pitfalls. Companies can build a strong application security culture by recognizing the value of security champions and empowering them and developers to promote and improve security within the organization.
Security champions act as advocates for security within their teams, promoting best practices and educating their colleagues on the importance of the best practices of security. They can also work with security and development teams to identify and remediate vulnerabilities, ensuring security is integrated throughout the entire software development lifecycle or SDLC.
In addition to promoting security awareness, security champions can also act as a bridge between security and development teams. By understanding the needs and constraints of both teams, security champions can help to facilitate collaboration and communication between the two.
This can help ensure that security is integrated into the development process in a practical and effective way without slowing down the development process.
Another benefit of security champions is they can help to identify potential security issues early on in the development process. By working closely with development teams, security champions can spot security issues before they become major problems, allowing them to be fixed quickly and efficiently. This can save organizations time and money and help minimize the risk of security incidents.
In conclusion, security champions are a very important component of any organization’s application security culture. By recognizing the value of security champions and empowering them to promote and improve security within the organization, companies can avoid the cost of ignoring security champions. Security champions act as advocates for security within their teams, promoting best practices and educating their colleagues on the importance of security. They can also act as a bridge between security and development teams, facilitating collaboration and communication. By leveraging the expertise and passion of security champions, organizations can build a strong application security culture that promotes security throughout the software development lifecycle.