Qualification Testing Plan
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This course covers the first section of CSSLP Domain 6 and looks at the topic of software acceptance.

Learning Objectives

Obtain an understanding of the following topics:

  • Software qualification testing
  • Qualification testing plan
  • Qualification testing hierarchy

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 we need to develop a qualification testing plan. Now, this is both a plan and rules of engagement document to guide the testing scope and approach. Any anticipated risks that might arise from execution should be noted. Now, this plan normally includes, among other things, the following. All features to be tested. Defined loading in each test case. Defined performance levels to be met. Identified stress tests. All risk mitigation and security tests. And the interfaces to be tested.

Now, the plan must also answer several questions during the testing process, beginning with who. And this identifies who will be or have responsibility for test format generation and test case design. Execution of the agreed-to tests. Maintenance of the test environment itself. Configuration management of the tools and the other items that go along with the testing environment. Another question that needs to be answered is what? And this is what is or are the criteria for stopping and restarting testing? And what the success or failure criteria are defined as being.

Now, the resulting reports must be written for the correct audience and cover all of the above in addition to findings and issues in sufficient depth. So the qualification testing plan needs to identify change management and whether or not the process exists to manage this and whether the process is effective. It needs to examine risk acceptance, and exception policy. And the question here is is the residual risk acceptable or tracked as an exception if it falls within the threshold?

We have to look at completion criteria and the question here is are objects under examination, that is security, performance and the others, meeting the thresholds as expected? We have to examine the release approval and decide if all decisions have been agreed to and if all sign-offs have been attained indicating such. We have to, of course, look at the documentation and make sure that all required documentation is complete and it's in place and available.

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.

Covered Topics