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Risk Assessment for Code Reuse

The course is part of this learning path

Risk Assessment for Code Reuse

This course covers the supply chain risk assessment process and will prepare you for the first section of CSSLP Domain 8. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to assess risk in your supply chain
  • Learn about intellectual property and compliance in the context of software development
  • Learn how to identify and choose suppliers for your software development supply chain

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.



What we're going to experience is a project that will take advantage of code that has already been built, committed to a library, and either substantiated or claimed to be, and now it's going to be reused. Think of it like Legos. We're going to take a bunch of modules that have been built already and we're going to bring them together to create a new product. Now, the code reuse technique of constructing new products is something that is quite prevalent and it's very easily facilitated by object-oriented development practices.

Now, the basic idea here is to take advantage of what has already been proven good and make sure that it fits the current need and plug them into the appropriate spot and the code stream. Now the problem arises, and this is something that we really must address throughout this site, when the reused module is simply trusted. In other words, it's accepted as good without any further investigation and it is not reevaluated between uses. It's like using a tool that has not had its calibration checked. You simply take it for granted that it's okay and when it proves not to be, it's very likely too late. And we don't want to run into that circumstance here.

Each new use poses the risk of this module being altered, added to, deleted from, changed in some way to better fit the immediate need but the basic foundation is assumed good. The newer version appears unique enough as to be worth preserving and yet it remains identified as before which means we take the newer module and simply recognize it as what it was known as before, not realizing that it's actually a new form. Now, the resulting possible trial and error process wastes time but might also introduce unknown vulnerabilities. So we need a plan to be developed to address these potentialities so that the efficiencies and benefits of this reuse can be realized, and when identified, the risks can be dealt with effectively.

About the Author
Ross Leo
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