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Static code analysis for cyber security compliance

Static code analysis is a pivotal cybersecurity tool that scrutinizes source code for potential vulnerabilities, coding flaws, and compliance with security standards, without executing the program. Its role in cybersecurity compliance is increasingly vital given the expanding landscape of cybersecurity threats and regulatory requirements.

Reference to Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) is a key aspect of static code analysis in cybersecurity. By identifying known vulnerabilities that match entries in the CVE database, static code analysis helps developers remediate security issues before they can be exploited. This proactive approach is crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of software systems, reducing the risk of cyber incidents that could have severe repercussions.

In the context of automotive cybersecurity, ISO 21434 is a recent standard that outlines requirements for cybersecurity risk management regarding the lifecycle of automotive products. Static code analysis plays a critical role in this process by ensuring that automotive software is scrutinized for vulnerabilities and compliance issues, thereby supporting manufacturers in adhering to this standard and enhancing the cybersecurity posture of automotive products.

The upcoming Network and Information Systems Directive 2 (NIS2), Radio Equipment Directive (RED), and Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) in the European Union represent significant legislative efforts to strengthen cybersecurity across various sectors. These legislations will impose more stringent cybersecurity requirements, emphasizing the importance of secure software development practices.

Static code analysis will be instrumental in ensuring compliance with these new regulations. By identifying and addressing security issues during the software development phase, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity, reduce the risk of regulatory penalties, and protect themselves against the reputational damage associated with cyber breaches.

Why use Cppcheck for cyber security compliance

Cppcheck is exceptionally well-suited for cyber security compliance, offering a unique blend of speed, accuracy, and real-world validation. 

  • Its efficiency allows it to be run on individual developers' computers, catching bugs at the earliest stage of development, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of critical systems. 
  • Cppcheck is built on the principle of zero false positives. This aspect is vital when certifying products, as false positives can lead to unnecessary documentation and verification efforts, delaying the certification process. 
  • All of Cppcheck's checkers are rigorously tested against large open-source projects, ensuring that the issues it identifies are practical and relevant, not just theoretical. This testing against real-world codebases ensures that Cppcheck remains finely tuned to the kinds of bugs that genuinely occur in critical applications, making it a reliable and efficient tool in such high-stakes environments.

Cppcheck has implemented the following standards

  • CERT C 2016, CERT C 2016 is a set of coding standards developed by Carnegie Mellon University's SEI to enhance security and reliability in C programming. It provides guidelines to prevent common vulnerabilities like buffer overflows and ensures best practices in C code development.
  • CERT C++ 2016, CERT C++ 2016 is a collection of secure coding standards for C++ developed by Carnegie Mellon University's SEI, aimed at improving the security and robustness of C++ applications by addressing common programming errors that lead to vulnerabilities.
  • CWE, Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) is a comprehensive list and classification system of common software weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It provides standardized identifiers and descriptions for software security issues, enabling effective communication and collaboration in identifying, mitigating, and preventing these weaknesses across various platforms and applications.


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