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Secure SDLC Audit Checklist
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Professionally drawn Comprehensive and Robust Checklist on ISO 27001 Software Development Security Audit to find out gaps and non conformances in SDLC Security , is prepared by a committee of Industry experts, Principal Auditors and Lead Instructors of ISO 27001, under the aegis of ISO 27001 Institute. Secure SDLC Audit Checklist has 318 Compliance audit Questionnaires, covering software development life cycle
ISO 27001 Audit Checklist for Secure SDLC
Secure SDLC Audit Checklist questionnaires to determine the non-compliance of Software Development Security in conformity with ISO 27001, and to measure the effectiveness of information Security, contains downloadable Excel file with 03 sheets having:-
- 318 Checklist questions covering the requirements of Security in Software Development.
- Complete Inventory of Clauses, clause numbers, and Clause titles of ISO 27001:2022.
- The complete inventory of Controls, control numbers, and Domains of ISO 27001:2022.
File format – Excel
Content Contribution – Information Security Committee of Industry Experts, Principal Instructors, and Lead Auditors of ISO 27001
Checklist Approved By– ISO Training Institute
Language – English
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File Size – 139 Kilobyte(KB)
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This checklist is useful for-
- Organization Planning for ISO 27001 Certification.
- Compliance Audits
- Gap Assessments
- Enhancing longevity of the business.
- Organizations keen for robust, resilient, and value-added Information Security Management System in Software Development.
- Organizations keen to protect themselves against issues from SDLC Security requirement of ISMS.
- Organizations who want to survive client audits.
- Information Security Professionals.
- Internal auditors of Information Security Management System
- External Auditors of Information Security Management System
- Auditors of the client organizations who are tasked to assess the ISMS capability of their Service Providers, Vendors, and contractors.
- Resources involved in Software Design and Development
- Students of Information Security Management System
The ISO 27001 SDLC Security Checklist is prepared by blended Expert Panel of Veteran Software developers, Secure coding experts, Software Security testing experts, Software AMC managers, along with team of IRCA Principal Auditors & Lead Instructors of Information Security Management System having aggregated panel team experience of over 328 years, under the aegis of ISO training Institute. The checklist is validated by the Head of the expert committee and approved by ISO Training Institute.
The ISO 27001 Audit checklist on Requirements of SDLC Security follows the cardinals of: -
- Risk-based thinking (RBT),
- Process approach, and
- PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) methodology.
The expert panel of Information Security auditors and Instructors have conducted thousands of Information security audits and Training on ISO 27001. Besides, there is a continuous calibration of the Lead Auditors, and SDLC management experts w.r.t requirements, interpretation, and audit experiences.
- Securely save the original checklist file, and use the copy of the file as your working document during preparation/conduct of the Audit of Security in Software Design & Development.
- The organization's Software Development processes are at varying levels of ISMS maturity, therefore, use checklist quantum apportioned to the current status of threats emerging from risk exposure.
- The Checklist contains an investigation audit trails Questionnaires on various phases of SDLC which are planning Stage, analysis Stage, design Stage, development Stage, testing Stage, implementation Stage, maintenance stage, and Support stage.
- Coverage of all stages of SDLC regarding Risk assessment and risk treatment with deep investigation probes on dozens of dozens security challenges including Buffer overflow, Directory traversal, sensitive data protection failure, libraries, components, and dependencies, web services and APIs, Issues with logging, Cross-site scripting, authentication, authorization, SQL injection..so on and so forth. In total there are 318 security compliance question.
- It does not include website Security, and application security because of enormity of unique security compliances.
Broadly there are 3 types of IT audit.
- First Party ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audit
- Second-Party ISO 27001 SDLC Audits
- Third-Party ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audits
First Party ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audit –
Here auditee performs audit on itself. First-party audits are commonly called internal audits. This is when someone from the organization itself will audit a process or set of processes in the SDLC security management system to ensure it meets the ISO 27001 requirements, and Organizations’ own SOP (standard operating procedures), Policies, Work Instructions that the company has specified.
The Internal auditor will look for information security pain areas in SDLC management framework, Sites, departments, and processes where ISMS processes do not align with each other for carrying out Dev Ops, opportunities for improvement, and the effectiveness of the SDLC Security management system. By design, these internal audits should be much more in depth than the other audits, since this is one of the best ways for a company to find non-compliance areas to improve upon.
Second-Party ISO 27001 SDLC Audits
This pertains Primarily to Customer driven SDLC Security Audits performed on their software supplier for onboarding due diligence, retention criteria, and for outsourcing scale up or scale down decisions. In running parlance, these are called Software Supplier Audits. A second-party audit takes place when a company carryout an Information Security audit of a supplier (Service Provider, Contractor, Vendor) to ensure that they are meeting the specified SDLC security management system (SSMS) requirements. These requirements may include special Security control over its processes, requirements on traceability of some parts of the service, requirements for specific ISMS documentation, records, Logs, or any of the numerous items of special interest to that customer. These audits can be done on-site by reviewing the SDLC SMS processes or even off-site by reviewing its documents, logs, and evidences submitted by the supplier. The customer can audit all or part of the contract Scope. It is important to know that a second-party audit is between the customer and the supplier and has nothing to do with getting certified.
Many people guess that second-party assessments would not be necessary once a certification body certifies an organization, but this is not correct. Even when a third-party audit certifies your Software Company, any of your customers may still be keen to perform a 2nd party audit to verify the elements of their contract, more so if these elements are insufficiently addressed by the requirements set out in the SOPs, Policies and standards the company has adhered to.
Moreover, customers are aware of time limitation, and random sampling methodology constraints of Certification audit.
Third-Party ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audits
This applicable for companies whose Software Design and development department is core revenue generation, and rest of the department are support functions. In an another situation, software design and department is the internal service provider to the organization’s core areas and /or support functions also.
When an independent organization performs audit on yet another independent organization, provided that there is no customer-supplier relationship, then it is called 3rd party audit or Certification Audit. A third-party audit happens when a Firm has decided to create a Information Security management system (ISMS) that conforms to the requirements, of ISO 27001 and engage an independent auditing Agency to perform an audit to verify that the company has succeeded in fulfilling the ISO 27001standard compliances. These independent companies are called as certification bodies, and they are in the domain of conducting audits. The certification is awarded or suspended based on the compliance status. This can be used to give customers of the certified company confidence that the ISMS meets the requirements of the chosen standard. Information Security audit is performed during every assessment visit for core and critical areas, whereas other support department are audited on rolling basis in an audit cycle of 3 years
Information Security is backbone of an SDLC. All Processes and functions of SDLC Management System are carried out with varying degree of Information Systems controls. It is therefore important that SDLC Security management is done in the most diligent manner otherwise Organizations would cease to exit due to barrage of InfoSec threats/risks its systems and processes are exposed to. The most important objective while carrying out assessment of numerous niche areas Software department, the auditor must ascertain that what is the “degree of compliance” of information Security Controls to run its SDLC Systems, Processes, Operations, Infrastructure, input-outputs verifications and validations, releases, rollbacks, change management, dev-ops and testing environment, bugs, fixes, unit-system-UAT results, KMS, etc ?
In order to perform Value-Added ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audit, the auditor must set out a large canvas with help of the following extremely deep pointers. Only step-by-step, systematic planning of audit Questions followed by extensive audit-trail would help the auditor cover all areas of Information Security assessment. Otherwise, it would be professional Hara-kiri (Japanese term for Ceremonial Suicide). Here goes the High level deep pointers.
1. What engineering based security architecture solutions are considered at HLD, and LLD on the basis of Software’s current requirement, and future ramp-ups, including multitude of interfaces, add-ons, and plug-ins.?
2. How SDLC Management system are ensuring that information at rest, information under processed, and information in transit remain 'confidential', remains 'Available' and 'integrity' maintained in accordance with the information value and information exposure risk value?
3. How the SDLC processes are carried out on the basis of RBT, Risk Based Thinking?
4. What information Security controls are in place triggered due to RBT?
5. What PDCA rigors are followed for the deployed “Information Security Controls” life Cycle management?
These are high level strategic thought process pointers that should be in the auditor's mind to get a SOD (sense of direction) to steer the SDLC Security audit.
- ISO 27001 SDLC Security audits are investigative audits carried out to confirm the status of compliances.
- Value added ISO 27001 SDLC audit cannot be performed effectively without meticulous planning, and preparation.
- There is an important adage that “we never plan to fail, but invariably we fail to plan”. Ignorance is the germinating ground for Overconfidence. An ignorant child trying to catch fire gets burnt.
- SDLC Security Checklist is an important working document of an auditor. It contains all SDLC Security performance, and SDLC security compliance questions against which the auditee must demonstrate evidences of compliance.
- The auditor needs to keep referring to this working document throughout the audit to ensure that assessment is taking place in a focussed planned manner, and no vital area is missed out in the investigation audit.
- SDLC Security audit checklist improves the efficiency of the audit including time management. This checklist serves as an aide-memoire that is equally useful for auditor or auditee,
- It is extremely important to prepare and plan for an ISO 27001SDLC Security audit. The checklist to perform SDLC audit is essential component of audit planning and preparation. There are numerous niches with dozens and dozens processes, and sub processes to be covered during the assessment, and time is the biggest constraint for the auditor. The time-pressure viz urgency to cover niche verticals inadvertently or otherwise, makes an auditor to skip processes, sub-processes, critical elements thus resulting into erroneous audit outputs. For example, a fully body health check-up has a defined cycle time, if performed hurriedly, without planning, without preparation, with an urgency to complete the check-up "somehow-anyhow" would definitely produce erroneous results even though factual status of body organs and systems would be otherwise.
- It takes plenty of years, and costly lessons learnt to arrive at a decent level of understanding of the InfoSec subject. Therefore, it is highly advantageous to have a well-prepared detailed SDLC Security checklist. A meticulously prepared comprehensive Professional audit checklist has all the compliance questions to be covered by the auditor seamlessly. An auditor without ISO 27001 SDLC Security audit Checklist would be like a soldier without fighting equipment.
- If a business is worth doing, then it is worth doing it in a secured manner. Hence, there can not be any compromise. Without a Comprehensive professionally drawn SDLC security checklist by your side, there is the likelihood that compromise may take place. This compromise is extremely costly for Organizations and Professionals.
- SDLC Security audit is though very logical but requires a systematic detailed investigative approach. For a newbie entity (organization and professional) there are proverbial many a slip between cup and lips in the realm of SDLC security management' thorough understanding let alone ISO 27001 audit.
- Even with several years of experience by an entity's (organization and professional) side, SDLC security assessments (read investigations) go astray due to several reasons including engineered distractions, bias, time constraint, (un)comfortable niches, auditee guided audit (investigation), lack of optimum exposure and experience etc.
- Each vulnerability/Risk at the organization level, site level, department level, process, sub-process level, device & component level, tools/application level, people level, technology platform level, delivered products/services level, it is humanly possible to miss out a large number of unidentified SDLC vulnerabilities/risk due to various reasons including ignorance, rush, vested disinterest, insider threat, connivance between the various working groups, tendency to promote tools for shear commercial interests rather than a holistic security solution, and so on the list is very long. Comprehensive and detailed ISO 27001 SDLC Security Checklist Questions enables "carpet bombing" of all ISMS requirements to detect what "exactly" is the compliance and non-compliance status.
- What is the biggest risk for an organization? The biggest vulnerability is the "Gang of unidentified risks", lurking in the dark, ready to pounce when the victim organization least expects it. The risks in this Gang, work sympathetically, and in synergy to inflict maximum damage, including corporate Mortality, huge penalties by the customers/clients and regulatory bodies, flight away of business, loss of reputation and brand value, loss of Jobs, Bankruptcy, etc. This becomes very much possible without a professionally drawn comprehensive and robust ISO 27001 SDLC Security Audit Checklist by your side.
- Of course, SDLC security Audit becomes a robust, immensely focused, efficient, time saver exercise with sharp Checklist Questions, because a comprehensive professionally drawn checklist is built over a period of time pooled by panel of SMEs having decades of experience. The checklists have significant number of dynamic questions leading to further deep audit investigation trail.
Software Design and development activities including maintenance, upgrades, releases, OS upgrades compatibility, legal compliances etc are inherently infested with tons and tons of threats waiting on the wings to exploit vulnerabilities.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance that entire SDLC framework is established on the premise of RBT, that is, risk-based-thinking. Let alone Monolith SDLC process, risks have to be identified even at prenatal stage of SDLC. That is at the ideating stage.
For example if the SDLC final output would be a COTS (commercially of the shelf) product, or whether the SDLC final product going to be dovetailed in SaaS platform. In either of the scenarios the bucket of security risks would be different when viewed along with Sector, Industry, verticals or LOB (line of business), geographies, clients or customers and their end users this product or service is going to cater.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of examples where the software or tools have failed in consistency of results, valid results, and comparable results even though it has passed unit testing, integration testing, and UAT (user acceptance testing) due to lack of SDLC risk management.
This is just tip of proverbial iceberg to highlight Secure SDLC needs to be managed on the RBT; for all SDLC stages, for all people involved in SDLC, for all technology platforms needed for SDLC, for all required infrastructure, for all its support system within the organization including outsourcing and so on.
SDLC can be called Secure if all risks are identified, inventoried, and mitigated by following planned structured approach to winnow unidentified significant SDLC risk. A robust Checklist by the side of the organization, Professional or an auditor helps to ferret out SDLC security risks before the “Time Runneth Over”.
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