Saku Tuominen

Saku Tuominen

Author works as information security and privacy specialist at Mint Security. He brings two decades of professional experience to the table.
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Over the last 10+ years, OWASP SAMM has proven an effective model for improving secure software practices to a wide variety of organizations. Release v2 of SAMM adds automation along with maturity measurements which assess both coverage and quality. Here we look at some the new features and changes compared to the previous version.

SAMM and Agile

OWASP SAMM 2.0 is development paradigm agnostic, which is why Agile is not explicitly covered, but rather supported — along with waterfall, iterative and DevOps development.

Agile holds people over process and working software over documentation. Agile wants processes and documentation minimized, where possible. OWASP SAMM can support the Agile way of improving the way work is done, by learning on the go.

  • Activities

    Activities are now presented in logical flows throughout each of the now 15 security practices, divided into two streams, which aligns and links the activities in the practice over the different maturity levels

  • Streams

    Each stream has an objective that can be reached in increasing levels of maturity. This way, there are no “orphan” activities that seem only relevant on a single maturity level (for instance, code signing in the previous model)

  • Maturity levels

    The model now supports maturity measurements both from a coverage and a quality perspective. There are new quality criteria for all the SAMM activities, and an updated scoring model to help SAMM assessors and organizations with their software assurance

Structure and organization

Key organizational changes in OWASP SAMM release 2.0 include.

ADDED

New Operational Management Practice

ADDED

New Business function - Implementation

MODIFIED

Activities are now continuous throughout each Security Practice

ELIMINATED

Operational Enablement has been eliminated and absorbed by other practices

Implementation represents a number of core activities in the build and deploy domains of an organization and also includes a new security practice that deals with Defect Management. Construction was renamed to Design and Verification went through a redesign. Other core Business Functions, Governance and Operations, remain as they were.

Structure and organization

OWASP SAMM v2 - domains

The app

SAMM is fueled by community additions. One of them is the all new dashboard. It looks fancy but may prove a bit tricky to setup properly. We did, and this is how it looks.

OWASP SAMM v2 - Dashboard

How does SAMM and BSIMM compare?

Where OWASP SAMM is a prescriptive model, BSIMM is descriptive. BSIMM contains a set of activities and their respectful activity levels and the overall goal is to observe and report these observations.

SAMM measures maturity against a prescriptive set of practices and BSIMM the maturity of your organisation relative to its peers.

The most important links

Have a look at these important resources scattered around the SAMM household. The SAMM website has a lot of information, but maybe not always in the most logical structure. These links will get you started.

Saku Tuominen

Saku Tuominen

Author works as information security and privacy specialist at Mint Security. He brings two decades of professional experience to the table.
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