Agile app development for application security managers
In today’s competitive business environment, it is more important than ever to develop applications not only accurately but quickly. The traditional “waterfall” method is effective, but requires so many steps that the process cannot keep up with today’s needs. Agile app development is a development methodology that speeds up development dramatically, along with several other benefits that make it a popular methodology
Vulnerabilities in applications pose an ongoing threat to business critical data more than ever before. Organizations are faced with ongoing, persistent threats that originate in their web applications. Many think that agile and application security cannot co-exist; in other words, that application security is a requirement that agile development teams cannot meet.
Agile app development is just too nimble and lean, it cannot be bothered with security, and any attempt to introduce application security into the process will have a great negative impact on the development process.
Agile principles overview
Pure agile development is defined in the Agile Manifesto. While most organizations do not adopt the pure agile form, many implement a methodology that relies on agile principles. Here is a summary of these principles:
Responsibility at the hands of the developers
Development teams are given responsibility and are trusted to get the mission accomplished. The best method of communication is frontal communication among all stakeholders.
Code is constantly uploaded and updated
This allows changes to occur on the fly, allowing the end product to adapt as needed. The life-cycle of an agile project consists of nearly constant development and testing, rather than distinct states.
This is the XP (extreme programming) software engineering practice of merging all working copies with the mainline source up to several times per day. This prevents long-term integration problems and as a result the current status of the project is always changing.
Requirements arrive late in the process
Agile teams know that requirements will change and evolve through the process, meaning that early investment in documenting requirements is wasted. Early on, there is just enough envisioning of requirements to identify the scope of the project. Firm requirements will be determined deep into the process when the entire team understands better what the end results may be.
Projects are completed with customer collaboration. The customer ultimately determines the requirements and scope of the project. The ultimate goal is to deliver working software to the customer in a timely manner.
A user story is a short, simply-written, statement that explains what a user needs to do as part of the job function of the project. This is one of the facilitators of requirements management.
Automation, ongoing testing
Automated testing and test cases allow more frequent testing throughout every step of the agile development process. This allows for quality software even within the shorter development cycles that the agile method produces.
The agile methodology utilizes the principles of lean manufacturing in the software development process. This minimizes waste, empowers the development team and delivers the finished project as quickly, and affordably as possible.
Business people work together with developers
Daily, ongoing cooperation between developers and stakeholders is the only way to achieve the goals of agile development.
Robust, working software at a constant pace
The key measurement of delivery is working software that does what it should. This should be delivered at a constant pace. The focus is on delivering excellent software.
A process of self-improvement
Periodically, the teams should stop and reflect amongst themselves on problems in the current process and how to resolve these problems. Contact Musato Technologies to get a quote on your application development project.