Primary Mitigations


Defensive Coding Practices
Primary Mitigations

The course is part of this learning path

Primary Mitigations

This course is the second course in our series covering domain 4 of the CSSLP certification and explores defensive coding practices and how they can help secure your software.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the foundations of defensive coding practices
  • Learn about the primary threat mitigations that can be employed
  • Understanding how we can learn from our mistakes in the context of software security

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to develop secure software as well as those studying for the CSSLP certification.


Any experience relating to information security would be advantageous, but not essential. All topics discussed are thoroughly explained and presented in a way allowing the information to be absorbed by everyone, regardless of experience within the security field.


So in looking at our primary mitigations, in general, we consider that a defense in depth approach should be developed and informed by design and data flow analysis, threat modeling, and similar techniques that begin with stage one in development projects. In other words, at the earliest point where we have a clear idea of what we're doing and where we're going, this sort of thing should be considered. We have to ensure that the planned working environment, of course, has been sanitized and hardened to the extent reasonable. We have to control both inputs and outputs to prevent inadvertent and advertent alteration.

The philosophy of trusting no one means that regarding all components and tools are going to be considered as untrusted until proven otherwise. Now using known and proven industry-standard good libraries and frameworks, and avoid using home-built constructions. We need to consider the integration of security requirements from the very beginning as has been a theme, and we should have a varied program of tests and methods intended to expose weaknesses and vulnerabilities in different ways to avoid blind spots and the inevitable tunnel vision.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Mr. Leo has been in Information System for 38 years, and an Information Security professional for over 36 years.  He has worked internationally as a Systems Analyst/Engineer, and as a Security and Privacy Consultant.  His past employers include IBM, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Rockwell International.  A NASA contractor for 22 years, from 1998 to 2002 he was Director of Security Engineering and Chief Security Architect for Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.  From 2002 to 2006 Mr. Leo was the Director of Information Systems, and Chief Information Security Officer for the Managed Care Division of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.


Upon attaining his CISSP license in 1997, Mr. Leo joined ISC2 (a professional role) as Chairman of the Curriculum Development Committee, and served in this role until 2004.   During this time, he formulated and directed the effort that produced what became and remains the standard curriculum used to train CISSP candidates worldwide.  He has maintained his professional standards as a professional educator and has since trained and certified nearly 8500 CISSP candidates since 1998, and nearly 2500 in HIPAA compliance certification since 2004.  Mr. leo is an ISC2 Certified Instructor.