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Secure Product Development Lifecycle – essential tool for product development

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity is a critical aspect of product development. Ensuring that products are secure and protected from anticipated threats is paramount to the success and reputation of any organization. That’s where SPDL (Secure Product Development Lifecycle) comes into play. SPDL is a comprehensive framework that provides guidance and structure for developing and maintaining secure products. According to the widely adopted IEC 62443-4-1 standard, it consists of eight essential practices that cover every stage of the product lifecycle.

Jari Salmi, a Cybersecurity Expert at Etteplan, emphasizes the significance of integrating SPDL into the product development process from the beginning. He states, "SPDL speeds up the development process if done well from the beginning. It leads to less confusion, fewer mistakes, and ultimately results in a better, more secure product."

One of the key benefits of implementing SPDL is that it aligns with upcoming EU regulations such as RED (Radio Equipment Directive), NIS2 (Network and Information Security Directive), and CRA (Cyber  Resiliency Act). By using SPDL, organizations can ensure that their products meet the necessary security requirements mandated by these regulations.

"Even if certification is not the objective, integrating SPDL into product development is beneficial as it highlights security considerations that may otherwise be overlooked. It serves as a valuable tool to address security concerns effectively."

Jari Salmi

Cybersecurity Expert, Etteplan

A closer look at the eight practices within SPDL

1. Security Management:  This practice focuses on defining responsibilities and ensuring the security of the development environment. It involves aspects such as key control, file integrity, and development environment security.

2. Specification of Security Requirements: This practice involves defining the security requirements for the product. It includes customer requirements, regulatory requirements, and threat modeling to identify potential attack scenarios and mitigate them effectively.

3. Secure by Design: This practice translates the security requirements into an implementation design. It outlines how different security layers will be integrated into the product and emphasizes secure design principles and best practices. Different security measures will be implemented into product to create a holistic defense.

4. Secure Implementation: This practice involves documenting the implementation aspects of the product, such as coding languages, standards, and memory handling. It also includes the evaluation of trust boundaries to assess risks associated with product interactions.

5. Security Verification and Validation Testing: This practice encompasses functional testing to ensure that the product meets the specified security requirements. It also includes offensive testing, such as vulnerability and penetration testing, to identify potential weaknesses.

6. Management of Security-Related Issues: This practice focuses on establishing channels for reporting security-related issues. It ensures that there are effective communication channels between the development team, customers, and external sources for issue resolution.

7. Security Update Management: This practice addresses the management of security updates for the product. It involves testing updates for correct functioning, proper documentation, and secure delivery  and installation.

8. Security Guidelines: This practice involves creating product documentation,  and user documentation that guide users on how to integrate, configure, use, and maintain the product securely. It emphasizes the importance of proper configuration and usage to ensure maximum security.

Expert guidance for secure development: harnessing the benefits of SPDL with Etteplan

In conclusion, SPDL is an essential support tool for product development, enabling organizations to create secure and reliable products. By integrating SPDL into their development processes, organizations can ensure compliance with EU and global regulations, purchasing requirements, minimize security risks, and enhance their reputation.

"It is crucial to involve a partner from the beginning to avoid the pitfalls of retrofitting security into a partially developed or finished product. Doing things right the first time not only saves time and resources but also helps organizations stay ahead in EU regulations."

Jari Salmi

Etteplan, with its expertise in cybersecurity and product development, can assist organizations in implementing SPDL effectively, ensuring the development of secure and compliant products.

For more information on developing secure devices and applications, download our free guide on Secure Development.

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Antti Tolvanen

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