What is OWASP SAMM?
SAMM stands for Software Assurance Maturity Model.
Our mission is to provide an effective and measurable way for all types of organizations to analyze and improve their software security posture. We want to raise awareness and educate organizations on how to design, develop, and deploy secure software through our self-assessment model. SAMM supports the complete software lifecycle and is technology and process agnostic. We built SAMM to be evolutive and risk-driven in nature, as there is no single recipe that works for all organizations.
Defined maturity levels across security practices
Clear pathways for improving maturity levels
Technology, process, and organization agnostic
The OWASP SAMM community is powered by security knowledgeable volunteers from businesses and educational organizations. The global community works to create freely-available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools, and technologies.
The OWASP SAMM Model
SAMM is a prescriptive model, an open framework which is simple to use, fully defined, and measurable. The solution details are easy enough to follow even for non-security personnel. It helps organizations analyze their current software security practices, build a security program in defined iterations, show progressive improvements in secure practices, and define and measure security-related activities.
SAMM was defined with flexibility in mind so that small, medium, and large organizations using any style of development can customize and adopt it. It provides a means of knowing where your organization is on its journey towards software assurance and understanding what is recommended to move to the next level of maturity.
SAMM does not insist that all organizations achieve the maximum maturity level in every category. Each organization can determine the target maturity level for each Security Practice that is the best fit and adapt the available templates for their specific needs.
OWASP SAMM structure
SAMM is based around 12 security practices grouped into 5 business functions. Every security practice contains a set of activities, structured into 3 maturity levels. The activities on a lower maturity level are typically easier to execute and require less formalization than the ones on a higher maturity level.
At the highest level, SAMM defines five business functions. Each business function is a category of activities that any organization involved with software development must fulfill to some degree.
Each business function has three security practices, areas of security-related activities that build assurance for the related business function.
Security practices have activities, grouped in logical flows and divided into two streams. Streams cover different aspects of a practice and have their own objectives, aligning and linking the activities in the practice over the different maturity levels.
For each security practice, SAMM defines three maturity levels. Each level has a successively more sophisticated objective with specific activities, and more strict success metrics.
The structure and setup of the SAMM model support
- the assessment of the organization’s current software security posture
- the definition of the organization’s target
- the definition of an implementation roadmap to get there
- prescriptive advice on how to implement particular activities