Agile MethodsJan Kahmen9 min read

SDLC: Software Development Life Cycle

Regardless of the development model, software development itself is an iterative process. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) helps you to improve and measure the underlying processes.

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Table of Content

Definition: What is the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

The Software Development Life Cycle describes a standard structure in project management. It helps you develop high-quality computer programs and reduce time-to-market. Both in combination lead to lower total costs that you have to calculate for the project. What makes this process special is that it works for both traditional and agile software development. By using the development method, you benefit as an SME, but also as a larger organization. Because the process is often oriented to an existing system. The detailed analysis and planned implementation help you to develop a new and better system. At the same time, the SDLC is designed to help you clarify your internal goals. This makes the SDLC for software a highly effective tool. In doing so, the SDLC standards focus on a set of principles that support the process.

Communication

If security vulnerabilities or incidents occur, the process draws attention to them in a timely manner. This allows the DevSecOps to take necessary steps or updates to close vulnerabilities. Communication is the key factor here, with the right error culture being essential.

Secure by Default

Native or hybrid apps must be designed to be secure. One way is to keep privileges, data and interfaces at a low level. This way, there is no need to disable certain features.

Secure by Deployment

For the SDLC, software is designed to be as simple as possible with regard to installation. This is because simple, secure and traceable administration increases security during operation.

Secure by Design

Data security is important in all industries, but especially in the healthcare sector. That's why SDLC standards take these aspects into account right from the architecture stage.

SDLC: An overview of the software development phases

The SDLC is a crucial success criterion for software. Although there is no fixed list of individual steps, you can use the different phases. These define the SDLC and divide it into individual sections. Since there is no fixed set of rules, you can use it in the business sector and for government agencies alike. In addition, it is possible to consult experts such as Turingsecure during individual phases. In this way, you ensure that you achieve the best possible effect during each phase of the SDLC.

Phase 1: Planning and Analysis

During this phase in the SDLC, you analyze the business environment. This includes what problems you want the software to solve. Also, define the target audience of your software solution and find out about the existing competition. Expenses and revenues as well as necessary resources for the development you consider also during this phase. The result of this SDLC step is often an initial prototype or testable mock-up.

Phase 2: Design

Using the SDLC for software means that you gather information from all stakeholders. It may additionally be useful to involve experts such as Turingpoint in this phase. These feed into the design, with software architects and developers providing valuable input. You also use this framework to define a tech stack and make decisions about the infrastructure layer. Thinking about developing a cloud solution? Then you should also learn about and define DevOps Security in Web Development.

Phase 3: Development

The third phase in the SDLC focuses on actual development. What this looks like depends on the development model you choose. For example, in agile approaches, you use an iterative model that divides this phase into individual development phases. As part of development with the SDLC, it is advisable to keep the OWASP Mobile Top 10 and similar risk assessments in mind. In this way, developers ensure that the focus on security is maintained during the SDLC.

Phase 4: Testing

In this phase, the SDLC focuses on testing the result of the previous phase. This way, you make sure that all the requirements are met. At the same time, you identify bugs and can determine if there is a need for change. It is equally important to test the user experience during this phase to ensure the desired acceptance. Ideally, you should ask yourself questions about cloud security again at this point: Is the desired level of security actually in place?

Phase 5: Deployment

Deployment usually takes place in a development and test environment. You can use this for testing, but you can also make it available to users. How complex this step is does not depend on the SDLC. Rather, the type of software determines how much effort is required.

Phase 6: Maintenance

Maintenance is just as important in the SDLC as development. During this phase, you ensure that availability, functionality, and performance continue to meet your expectations. Additionally, this is where the SDLC focuses on fixing bugs and addressing security holes or vulnerabilities.

SDLC and Internet Security

The different phases of software development help you to develop a high-quality software product. In addition, it allows you to improve your IT security. Thanks to the high level of transparency and collaboration, you reduce development time and save costs. This makes the SDLC for software an important tool. You benefit from the following advantages:

  • Better documentation facilitates system maintenance.
  • The SDLC clarifies the goals of the development in advance, so that you have a roadmap at hand right from the start.
  • SDLC standards facilitate development and increase security.
  • Clear positioning creates a common understanding among developers.
  • Management benefits from better visibility and control.

Best Practices: SDLC standards and methods

To ensure that the SDLC delivers what it promises, organizations consistently rely on best practices. These SDLC standards include extensive collaboration as well as the use of security platforms. Unlike other models, the SDLC places a high priority on security. Especially for mission-critical software, you should therefore always rely on established standards.

  • Use DevSecOps in the SDLC: Security is an important factor for your software from the very beginning. Therefore, the responsibility should lie equally with the security, IT and development teams. Be sure to note the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps.
  • Encourage collaboration: effective collaboration will determine how successful your software development life cycle is. Therefore, make sure that teams can share a common perspective. Through regular communication and constant exchange, it is possible to avert security problems at an early stage.
  • Use source code management: It is best to secure source code in a single location. This can be physical or virtual. It is important that the management offers a high degree of traceability.
  • Continuous integration: SDLC standards include continuous integration. By ensuring continuous compatibility, you avoid conflicts and duplicates. This makes development more efficient and increases your security.
  • Use SDLC management systems: With such systems, you can increase the transparency of the individual phases of software development. This facilitates work management, but also error tracking.

Conclusion

The Software Development Life Cycle is an effective method in software development. In addition to higher efficiency and lower overall costs, it increases your security. The reason is that you focus on cyber security for cloud transformations. Therefore, it pays to give high priority and security testing and pentests. As a result, the software not only convinces functionally, but also in terms of its security. At the same time the individual phases of the software development promote communication and collaboration in the team. The result: With SDLC you develop qualitatively high-quality software in clearly shorter time.

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