Navigating Secure SDLC Regulations | SDLC Security Guidance on How to Achieve Compliance

Navigating Secure SDLC Regulations | SDLC Security Guidance on How to Achieve Compliance
Review software security requirements for Secure SDLC Regulations and SDLC security guidance on how to achieve compliance.

Navigating Secure SDLC Regulations:

A Comprehensive Guide for Application Security Professionals


Understanding domestic and international regulatory landscapes is crucial to ensuring compliance and enhancing security postures. This blog post explores key software security mandates worldwide, including those from the United States, European Union, and Asia, providing a comprehensive guide on navigating these complex regulations for a secure software development lifecycle.

Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) and U.S. Initiatives

In the United States, the Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) by NIST outlines recommended practices designed to minimize software vulnerabilities effectively. Recent executive orders, such as Executive Order 14028, mandate federal agencies to ensure that the software procurement process is aligned with these guidelines, promoting secure software development practices across the board (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2022; White House, 2021). Additionally, updates to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) have introduced stringent requirements for incident reporting and compliance, setting a high standard for cybersecurity in government contracts (McDermott Will & Emery, 2024;, 2024).

European Union's GDPR and NIS Directive

In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has set a precedent for data security, affecting software development practices. GDPR emphasizes the protection of personal data and privacy, requiring robust security measures, including during the software development lifecycle (, 2024). Additionally, the Network Information Security (NIS) Directive focuses on improving cybersecurity across vital sectors, compelling organizations to adopt higher security protocols during software development and operation (McDermott Will & Emery, 2024).

Asia-Pacific Regulations: A Focus on Emerging Technologies

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region have been implementing rigorous cybersecurity laws that impact software development. For instance, China’s Cybersecurity Law mandates strict data localization and security assessments for critical network equipment and cybersecurity products, influencing how software is developed and deployed in critical infrastructure. Similarly, Japan and South Korea have established comprehensive cybersecurity frameworks that require secure SDLC development practices to protect against growing cyber threats (, 2023;, 2024).

CISA’s Secure by Design Initiative and Global Influence

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the U.S. has championed the 'Secure by Design' initiative, which emphasizes integrating security from the earliest stages of software development. This initiative targets American companies and sets a benchmark that influences global software security practices, promoting a proactive approach to cybersecurity that is gradually being mirrored by international regulatory frameworks (, 2024).

Key Regulatory Mandates and Guidelines to Secure SDLC 

Here's a more specific overview of key software security mandates and guidelines to help with SDLC security:

Additional Notes:

  • PCI-SSF (Software Security Framework): This framework provides guidelines for software security in the payment industry, emphasizing secure development, data protection, vulnerability management, and continuous improvement.
  • PCI PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard): This standard focuses on security standards for payment applications, ensuring that they protect sensitive data and adhere to rigorous security protocols throughout the SDLC.

Guidelines for SDLC Security to Help Maintain Global Compliance

Application security professionals must navigate these diverse regulations strategically to secure software development. Here are some practical approaches:

  1. Global Awareness: Stay informed about both local and international regulations that shape software development and deployment practices.
  2. Adaptive Security Practices: Implement adaptable security measures to comply with the stringent requirements of regions like the EU, U.S., and Asia-Pacific.
  3. Continuous Education: Engage in ongoing education and training to keep up with evolving regulations and emerging threats.
  4. Utilization of Global Resources: Leverage international guidelines and resources, such as those provided by CISA and international cybersecurity agencies, to enhance security measures and compliance strategies.


As software becomes increasingly central to global commerce and communication, adhering to international security standards and regulations is paramount for organizations worldwide. By adopting a comprehensive, informed approach to global software security compliance, application security professionals can ensure that their organizations not only meet the required legal standards but also contribute to a safer cyber environment globally.

Navigating these complex regulations effectively for a secure SDLC requires a deep understanding of the nuanced requirements across different regions. Staying ahead in this dynamic field means continuously adapting strategies to meet both current and future cybersecurity challenges.

References (2024). CISA Issues Request for Information on Secure by Design Software Whitepaper. Retrieved from (2023). OMB Issues Memorandum on Self-Attestations by Software Developers of Secure Software Development Practices and Collection of Software Bill of Materials. Retrieved from

McDermott Will & Emery. (2024). FAR Council Announces New Federal Contractor Cybersecurity Rules. Retrieved from

National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2022). Secure Software Development Framework V1.1: Recommendations for Mitigating the Risk of Software Vulnerabilities. Retrieved from (2024). FAR Council Announces New Federal Contractor Cybersecurity Rules. Retrieved from (2024). Secure SDLC and coding practices: The ultimate guide for 2024. Retrieved from

White House. (2021). Executive Order 14028: Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity. Retrieved from

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