Secure your code, from the start.

“Stop disrupting my workflow!” How you can get the right security training at the right time

1st July 2020

Think about the last time you were at work, perhaps in a software project team working to an impossible deadline. And then, your manager comes along and says there is some mandatory security training to do, and that it needs to be shoehorned into your workday on top of everything else.

They know it, and you know it. It’s a huge PITA, but for compliance reasons, you’ll be playing some boring training videos in the background while you keep coding, tuning in and out of both tasks and giving your full attention to neither. This is a common scenario; it’s highly disruptive, and it wastes everyone’s time. Most security training is too generic, and it’s easy to ignore something that bounces in and out of a workday with no real value.

As a company, our goal is to bring a better, more effective type of security training to you, and this is born from knowing exactly what it’s like to be disengaged from what the AppSec team tells you is important, when each of your priorities is misaligned. What is interesting, though, is that we started to think about what we could do to reduce the barrier to getting training when you need it - even with our full platform, there are a few steps involved that take you away from your work, at moments where you still need a helpful push but can’t dedicate a block of concentration to a training session.

We looked at how micro-learning could be implemented into your workflow, in the IDE or issue tracker, in a more seamless way. And this is what we came up with:

This is based on “Just-in-Time” (JiT) principles, wherein you’re served the right knowledge, at the right time for it to be immediately effective and useful. It’s the opposite of the “just in case” approach to learning, which is often a state of information overload that takes away precious time and headspace for building features.

Quality code is secure code, and if you need a non-invasive security sidekick to collaborate with occasionally, then it might be worth your while to take it for a test drive.

Eliminate the barriers, and bring the training to you.

Cybersecurity might be an interest for some, but not everyone. And no-one should expect developers to become security experts - that still remains the job of specialist AppSec teams. However, security-aware developers are revered for their skills, and the protection they can offer organizations right from the code-building stage. It’s a position in high demand, and you can build the foundations over time with contextual micro-learning.

Now, if you’re thinking about integrated training as more like Clippy (may he rest in peace), then it’s important to note that in the case of Secure Code Warrior’s integrations, they’re built by developers for developers, so the irritation factor has been considered and obliterated.

Let’s check it out in action:

Secure Code Warrior | GitHub Integration

Secure Code Warrior for Github inspects code for Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) or OWASP references in the labels, issue title, and body of issues to display contextual just-in-time training. The way it works is if a vulnerability reference is found, a comment will be posted on the issue to assist in swift resolution and prevention of recurring vulnerabilities. It integrates with the issue without disruption of your process, or making you jump through hoops for a solution.

And if you use Jira, the process is similar:

Secure Code Warrior | Jira Cloud

Now, for the incumbent security-aware superstars, it’s important to remember that it’s not all on you to make magic happen. You’re going to need support, training, and a reason to take security seriously and get it into your own workflow. Luckily, this is all part of a functioning DevSecOps process, and lots of organizations are already taking note. Why not get a head start?

Download them now, and let us know what you think.

Matias is the co-founder and CTO of Secure Code Warrior. He has over a decade of hands-on software security experience, holding a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Ghent University.

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