What is SSDF (Secure Software Development Framework)?

What is SSDF?

The Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a set of guidelines and best practices. This framework aims to create, develop, and safeguard software while protecting secrets. This includes things like making sure your code is safe, figuring out what’s going on, fixing problems, and dealing with problems that happen. Also, it may include requirements for following regulations and best practices in the industry.

The SSDF standard was established in response to the President’s Executive Order on “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.” Its purpose is to enhance the cybersecurity of federal agency systems, aligning with the objectives of the executive order.

Key principles of the NIST SSDF

  1. Risk-based approach: The NIST SSDF emphasizes identifying and managing security risks throughout the development process. It encourages organizations to assess secrets and vulnerabilities, establish risk tolerance levels, and prioritize security controls accordingly.
  1. Secure development practices: The framework encourages safe coding practices like checking input, encoding output, and handling mistakes. It enables developers to follow industry standards and leverage secure coding techniques to mitigate common vulnerabilities.
  1. Continuous monitoring: The NIST SSDF recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and assessment of software systems. It recommends implementing mechanisms for detecting and responding to security incidents, and regularly updating and patching software to address emerging secrets threats.

NIST SSDF software security benefits

The NIST SSDF offers several benefits for software security:

  • Structure: The framework provides a structured approach to software development, enabling organizations to systematically address security risks from the initial stages of design to the final deployment.
  • Industry standards: The SSDF aligns with established industry standards and best practices, ensuring organizations follow recognized guidelines for secure software development and secrets management.
  • Improved security: By implementing the NIST SSDF, organizations can enhance the security of their software by early identification and resolution of secrets vulnerabilities and threats during the development process.

SSDF Sections

The SSDF comprises several sections, each focusing on specific objectives:

  1. Preparation: This section focuses on making rules, procedures, and ways to ensure your software is safe. It covers governance, risk management, compliance, training, awareness, and auditing.
  1. Protection: The “Protection” section focuses on technical measures and controls to safeguard software. It covers secure coding, threat modeling, vulnerability management, incident response, and security testing.
  1. Secure software production: This section focuses on processes and procedures for developing software securely. It includes the secure software development life cycle (SDLC), requirements, design, implementation, verification, deployment, and vulnerability response.
  1. Vulnerability response: This section guides effectively responding to vulnerabilities in software systems. It includes steps like identification, prioritization, remediation, verification, and communication.


In conclusion, the NIST SSDF is a valuable resource for organizations developing secure software. By adhering to its guidelines and best practices, organizations can enhance their software security, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and effectively manage risks throughout the software development lifecycle. Entro’s comprehensive offering is a testament to their commitment to providing a cutting-edge solution that empowers development teams to create codes confidently.

With the ability to discover and enrich secrets, Entro ensures secure storage and provides a wealth of metadata crucial for regulatory compliance. The dynamic threat model maps reveal invaluable insights into the relationship between applications, secrets, and cloud services, revolutionizing how security is approached in software development. Furthermore, Entro’s emphasis on the principle of least privilege is a linchpin in reducing potential vulnerabilities. By identifying and recommending adjustments to excessive privileges, the platform acts as a proactive shield against potential attacks. Misconfiguration alerts add a layer of defense, ensuring that common pitfalls are swiftly addressed.

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