Case Study 3
Case Study #3: Technology & Product Review for Application Lifecycle Management Tools
As a Nofsinger consultant, you have been tasked with researching and recommending an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool. Your deliverable for this task will be used to help obtain buy-in from the company’s program managers for increased security investments.
An Application Lifecycle Management tool (product) is used to help manage and protect digital assets which are part of or contribute to the management of software applications (especially source code and design documents) throughout the Software & Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The digital assets for each software application must be protected from initiation of a development or acquisition project through to disposal of equipment at the end of its useful lifespan.
Multiple Sifers-Grayson managers have responsibility for making sure that Sifers-Grayson products are developed and delivered on-time and in compliance with the contractual requirements for functionality (“quality”). For the current set of customers this means that Sifers-Grayson must implement security focused configuration management (see NIST SP 800-128). Configuration management is a first-line defense against attacks intended to compromise the security and integrity of software applications. This business process is part of a larger, more complex process known as application lifecycle management.
Note: Application Development Lifecycle Management (ADLM) is related to ALM but does not encompass the entire SDLC. If you choose to review an ADLM tool, make sure that you address the limitations, i.e. does not cover all phases of the ALM. State what impact these limitations may have upon application security for the entire SDLC.
During initial interviews, the engineering managers and program managers provided the following information to your team.
1. Software and Systems Development are the lifeblood of the client company, Sifers-Grayson. From robots to drones to industrial control systems for advanced manufacturing, every product or system sold by the company depends upon software. Some system functions depend upon tiny control programs that capture data from a sensor or command an actuator to move. Other system functions depend upon sophisticated software algorithms to receive and analyze data to make sense out of the surrounding environment.
2. Sifers-Grayson’s engineers are responsible for writing and testing this software. But, they’ve never had to worry about cybersecurity … especially not internal security over software development activities in their own facilities.
3. The engineers feel ownership over their files and folders of source code.
4. There are occasional pranks between engineers working in the labs but software is “sacred” and “off limits.”
5. The engineers believe that “No one would dare mess with a file containing source code for an operational system or a system that has moved into the integration and test phase of the software lifecycle.”
The Nofsinger Engagement Leader (your boss), has provided the following advance notice information as part of your background briefing for this task.
1. Within the next 60 days, a Nofsinger Red Team will conduct penetration tests for the enterprise.
2. The Red Team test plan includes attacks designed to demonstrate to the engineers and managers (through penetration testing) that there is a need to protect digital assets, especially software designs, source code, and related artifacts from both insider and external threats.
1. Review the weekly readings.
2. Using Google or another search engine, identify an Application Life Cycle Management product which could meet the needs of Sifers-Grayson. Then, research your chosen product using the vendor’s website and product information brochures.
3. Find three or more additional sources which provide reviews for (a) your chosen product or (b) information about Application Life Cycle Management.
Write a 3 page summary of your research. At a minimum, your summary must include the following:
1. An introduction or overview for the security technology category (Application Lifecycle Management)
2. A review of the features, capabilities, and deficiencies for your selected vendor and product
3. Discussion of how the selected product could be used by Sifers-Grayson to support its cybersecurity objectives by reducing risk, increasing resistance to threats/attacks, decreasing vulnerabilities, etc.
4. A closing section in which you restate your recommendation for a product (include the three most important benefits).
As you write your review, make sure that you address security issues using standard cybersecurity terminology (e.g. protection, detection, prevention, “governance,” confidentiality, integrity, availability, nonrepudiation, assurance, etc.). See the ISACA glossary https://www.isaca.org/pages/glossary.aspx if you need a refresher on acceptable terms and definitions.
Submit For Grading
Submit your case study in MS Word format (.docx or .doc file) using the Case Study #3: ALM Technology & Product Review assignment in your assignment folder. (Attach the file.)
1. There is no penalty for writing more than 3 pages but, clarity and conciseness are valued. If your case study paper is shorter than 3 pages, you may not have sufficient content to meet the assignment requirements (see the rubric).
2. Your paper should use standard terms and definitions for cybersecurity. See Course Content > Week 1 > Cybersecurity Concepts Review for recommended resources.
3. You must include a cover page with the assignment title, your name, and the due date. Your reference list must be on a separate page at the end of your file. These pages do not count towards the assignment’s page count.
4. You are expected to write grammatically correct English in every assignment that you submit for grading. Do not turn in any work without (a) using spell check, (b) using grammar check, (c) verifying that your punctuation is correct and (d) reviewing your work for correct word usage and correctly structured sentences and paragraphs.
5. You are expected to credit your sources using in-text citations and reference list entries. Both your citations and your reference list entries must follow a consistent citation style (APA, MLA, etc.).
6. Consult the grading rubric for specific content and formatting requirements for this assignment.
What is Application Lifecycle Management? https://www.inflectra.com/spirateam/highlights/understanding-alm-tools.aspx
Introducing Secure Application Lifecycle Management https://www.sdelements.com/media/pdf/salm-whitepaper.pdf
15+ Best ALM Tools (Application Lifecycle Management Tools In 2019)