Do’s and Don’ts: Security Training for Today’s Dev Workforce

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Published on
May 17, 2024

In an era where every line of code is a potential entry point, developers stand as frontline defenders against an expanding array of cyber threats. With the rapid advancement of technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI,) the volume and velocity of attacks are soaring, heightening the urgency for today’s developer workforce to be well-prepared to navigate the evolving threat landscape.  

Security training has become paramount for modern developers, as it can mean the difference between a breach and safeguarding sensitive data. Shockingly, recent IBM research reveals that only 33% of organizations were able to identify a breach using their own internal teams and/or tools, underscoring a critical need for enhanced training. As breaches continue to escalate, enforcing best security practices within the software development lifecycle (SDLC) will be vital. Today, we’ll delve into RapidFort’s best practices for training today’s developers and explore common pitfalls to avoid. 

Do: Tailor Training to Development Roles

Each developer role carries a distinct set of responsibilities, yet organizations often overlook this diversity when designing their training programs. Instead of tailoring training to specific roles, they rely on generic job descriptions that may not address the unique challenges faced by individual team members—for instance, a front-end developer may focus more on client-side security measures, while a back-end developer may deal with server-side vulnerabilities. By acknowledging these differences and tailoring training accordingly, organizations can ensure that their developers are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to address their specific security challenges. 

Don’t: Overwhelm Developers with Technical Jargon

Developers are constantly juggling multiple tasks and projects, making it crucial to streamline their learning experience. Avoiding the use of overly technical language in training materials is essential to prevent confusion and ensure effective communication. Instead of bombarding developers with complex terminology, focus on clear, simple and concise wording that facilitates comprehension. For example, rather than delving into intricate technical details, provide practical demonstrations and visuals to illustrate abstract concepts. This approach not only helps developers grasp complex ideas but also encourages active engagement with the material.

Do: Foster a Culture of Security Awareness

It's easy for developers to focus solely on building new features and functionalities, but as software grows in complexity and the threat landscape continues to evolve, it's imperative to instill a security-aware mindset within development teams. By fostering a culture of security awareness, organizations can empower all employees to proactively address potential vulnerabilities and mitigate security risks before they escalate. Regular security awareness training on topics, such as secure coding practices, threat modeling and vulnerability management is essential to ensure that developers stay abreast of the latest security threats and best practices.


Furthermore, facilitating a positive relationship between developers and security teams is crucial for maintaining awareness and fostering collaboration. Developers should feel comfortable reporting security findings without fear of retribution, enabling security teams to promptly address and remediate any identified vulnerabilities. Consider incorporating joint exercises and workshops between development and security teams to encourage collaboration and strengthen the organization's overall security posture.

Don’t: Rely Solely on One-Time Training Events

Think of developer training like fire drills—you do them routinely to ensure safety in emergency situations. To effectively safeguard against emerging threats, organizations must adopt a proactive approach to training that includes routine updates and check-ins. Consider training sessions as ongoing drills rather than isolated events, with regular updates to reflect the latest trends and developments in the cyber landscape. Supplementing initial training with periodic check-ins every other month or so serves as valuable "refreshers" for development teams, keeping them informed about the evolving threat landscape and reinforcing key security concepts.

Do: Incorporate Hands-On Practices and Applications

When developing training exercises or modules for development teams, it's essential to move beyond theoretical concepts and prioritize practical, hands-on learning experiences. While theoretical scenarios can be insightful, they often lack real-world applicability. Developers need to understand how security principles translate into action and be prepared to respond effectively in the event of an attack.


To achieve this, organizations should integrate hands-on exercises, code reviews and penetration testing simulations into their training modules. These activities not only reinforce learning but also provide developers with valuable opportunities to apply security principles directly to their codebases. By actively participating in practical exercises, developers can gain firsthand experience in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities, ultimately strengthening their ability to safeguard against potential threats.

Pro Tip: Run with RapidFort

At RapidFort, we’ve seen what a well-equipped developer team can do for an organization. Our Software Attack Surface Management (SASM) Platform can support your dev team with tools that scan, profile and optimize your images with minimal impact on build times. We’ll also help future-proof your applications by helping you create small, quick to load, fully optimized workloads with every build that minimizes your software attack surface – automatically.

Ready to run with RapidFort? Request a demo today and see how our platform can help uplevel your dev team.

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