SWAMP integrates assurance tools into the software continuous lifecycle

The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) is partnering with major continuous integration systems used by software developers to make software assurance a simple and intuitive element of the development process.

The SWAMP offers a suite of plug-in modules that operate within many of the leading development lifecycle tools relied upon by code developers. Those include integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse; source code repositories such as GitHub and Subversion; and continuous integration systems such as Jenkins and Travis CI.

These environments, repositories and systems are dramatically improving software developers’ ability to manage workflow through the complex steps of designing, editing, testing and deployment. Given the increased awareness of the importance of developing safe and secure software, incorporating security tools into the continuous software process will make integration that much more efficient for developers.

“We want to ensure that someone going through the continuous integration process can take the extra step of software assurance, and just make it a natural part of the flow,” says Barton Miller, chief scientist of the SWAMP and professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The goal is to fix security issues as soon as possible in the development cycle,” Miller adds. “Every security weakness fixed at the developer’s desktop has a trivial cost, but those same errors could cost millions to fix after release.”

With the push of a button, users in integrated development environment (IDEs) can start the testing process by having their code automatically packaged and sent to the SWAMP. The code will get analyzed across the multiple assurance tools hosted in the SWAMP and the results will be fed back into the IDE in a readable format, prioritizing flaws by level of severity.

Users with higher security thresholds can also run SWAMP analysis entirely in-house. Called “SWAMP-in-a-Box” (SiB), this free, self-contained version of continuous assurance capabilities can be installed on local servers or individual computers, addressing the need of organizations that must or prefer to keep their software assurance activities on premise.
The SWAMP employs federated identity management protocols, so users will not need distinct login credentials for using the SWAMP plugins.

To access the free SWAMP plugins, visit: https://continuousassurance.org/plug-ins/

“Between the source code repositories, the IDEs and the integration frameworks, we have tried to cover the entire spectrum of software development,” says Miller. “There are almost no real-world projects that don’t use one or more of these systems.”

“This new suite of plugins is a major step in translating the continuous assurance vision of the SWAMP into accessible and easy-to-deploy technologies,” says SWAMP Director Miron Livny, UW-Madison computer scientist and director of core computational technology for the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Miller and colleague Dr. Elisa Heymann will present a tutorial — “Secure Coding Practices and Automated Assessment Tools” — on Monday, May 8 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the O’Reilly OSCON 2017 conference in Austin. For more information, visit: https://conferences.oreilly.com/oscon/oscon-tx/public/schedule/speakers

For further information: Barton Miller, 608-263-3378, bart@cs.wisc.edu


The Software Assurance Marketplace is a joint effort of four research institutions – the Morgridge Institute for Research, Indiana University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison – to advance the capabilities and to increase the adoption of software assurance technologies through an open continuous assurance technologies and a shared facility. The SWAMP is funded by the Department of Homeland Security-Science & Technology Directorate. Services include access to 30 software assurance tools, a library of more than 280 open-source code samples with known vulnerabilities to help developers improve the quality of their testing tools, and high throughput computing capacity.

For more information, visit continuousassurance.org.

[Story written by Brian Mattmiller, reprinted with permission of the Morgridge Institute for Research]