The company released Version 3 of its SDL Threat Modeling Tool and rolled out the Microsoft SDL Optimization Model as free resources available at the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) Web site.
The new solutions are part of the company's broader outreach on security, which also includes the Microsoft SDL Pro Network. The network includes nine consultancies, with Verizon Business, IOActive Inc., Security Innovation Inc. and others as members. The group specializes in application security and provides guidance to businesses that are implementing SDL practices.
The release marks Microsoft's foray into what was once exclusively the domain of independent IT security consultants, big-five IT audit firms and independent compliance shops.
Microsoft is providing a resource planning and development support for high- and granular security benchmarks. The tools include matrices and assessment templates.
The company's SDL efforts got a public boost in August when Microsoft kicked off a more collaborative effort on security issues at the Black Hat Conference. Microsoft also promised greater transparency during its security patch release cycles.
Bola Rotibi, principal analyst at Macehiter Ward-Dutton Ltd., applauded the move, saying that enterprises have high expectations of software applications.
"Tools that enable developers to become more efficient, effective and productive are very much needed, particularly in times of budget constraints," Rotibi said.
The SDL program offers four tiers of service -- "Basic, Standardized, Advanced and Dynamic" levels of optimization. Enterprise shops and channel partners can decide for themselves whether they want to use only certain parts of the program or fully integrate the Windows-based workflow template into their everyday IT resource planning and deployment efforts.
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