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A cybersecurity analyst looking into software documentation, on the zero trust and SASE model.

The Importance of Software Documentation

With the rise and prevalence of technology, cybersecurity has quickly become one of the top fields to be in. Many believe that cybersecurity programs need to broaden their coursework to include additional career pathways. This can include fields such as project management and cybersecurity technical writing. Thus, software documentation has become incredibly important to the cybersecurity field.

Who Writes Software Documentation?

Software documentation is written either by software documentation writers or technical writers.  Software documentation writers, as the name implies, specialize in writing documents about software and using it, making them a natural choice to create such documents for an organization.  Technical writers, meanwhile, write about several different subjects and are experts at re-interpreting complicated information into more easily understandable forms, which can be quite helpful when writing about a difficult subject such as software.  In addition, software documentation writers and technical writers might work together alongside software developers to create software documentation, with software documentation writers and developers drawing on their extensive knowledge of the subject to ensure the documentation has all the information needed, while the technical writers make sure it is properly written out and understandable.

Benefits of Software Documentation

Software documentation offers several benefits to an organization, including:

Organization and Preservation of Information

Keeping information about software documented allows workers to more easily find and draw upon that information whenA cybersecurity analyst looking into software documentation, on the zero trust and SASE model. needed.  Without this documentation, valuable information about software would be lost, or at best difficult to sort through or find.


Software and its use are complicated fields, so documented information about these subjects makes for good instructional material.  Documentation explaining a piece of software can be very helpful for teaching people how to use it or maintain it, whether they be workers or consumers.  For instance, software documentation describing what a piece of software does, its purpose, and how to employ it can potentially be used to train a new worker in the use of that software in the course of their duties.


Software documentation can allow developers to communicate with one another.  For instance, a software document could be used by members of a software development team to inform one another of changes or additions that need to be made to the software.  In addition, these documents can allow developers to more easily explain to stakeholders and other members of an organization what a piece of software consists of and why it is important.


Certain kinds of software documents can be used as a blueprint or roadmap for the development of the software itself.  By laying out the plan for how a piece of software should be made and what it needs to be capable of, software developers can better organize and direct their efforts.  Developers can refer back to the documentation if they get confused about what is supposed to be done or to make sure they are making the software properly and can go over it as a team to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the development process and their duties.


Kinds of Software Documentation

There are numerous kinds of software documentation.  These include:

Process Documentation

Software process documentation is a kind of documentation that contains information about aspects of the developmentA cybersecurity analyst looking into software documentation, on the zero trust and SASE model. process for a piece of software.  This can range from the steps needed to create the software and how to perform each of them to information on the development team’s progress and any difficulties they are encountering.  Process documentation should be updated as the development team reaches each successive stage of the process.

Product Documentation

Product Documentation is a type of software documentation that is centered around the use of the software described.  It explains how users can employ the software to handle a given situation – for instance, a product document about cybersecurity software would describe how that software could be used to prevent cyberattacks and protect an organization’s data.

Standards Documentation

Standards documentation for software consists of certain standards, guidelines, or rules that developers should follow when making a particular piece of software to ensure it does what it is meant to do and functions efficiently.  This can include the instructions for properly designing the software, the standards that it must perform, and methods for minimizing or eliminating any possible issues with the software.

Requirements Documentation

Requirements documentation describes what the software needs to be capable of doing.  This document consists of the software’s features, an in-depth explanation of its intended purpose, use cases, and what tasks it can perform.  This document should overall be quick and concise, providing enough information to get the ideas across without being excessive.

Keep in mind that there are other types of software documentation, though the kinds mentioned above are among the more common types.


What is the Zero Trust approach?

One of the rising cybersecurity design philosophies is the concept of “Zero Trust”.  Zero Trust is a security model in whichA group of 3 cybersecurity analysts looking into software documentation, on the zero trust and SASE model. users of a network need to be verified and authorized before accessing said network or its data, and then must be consistently authenticated to continue using it. The COVID-19 pandemic created a need for the Zero Trust model as a result of the general switch to hybrid and remote working. Governments and industries fret over the idea that company resources are moving to the cloud and are accessible anytime and anywhere. The Zero Trust concept may be the key to more states – not just Washington – beginning to quickly implement technical requirements to protect classified information. 

What is SASE in simple terms? 

An alternative approach is “Secure Access Service Edge”, or SASE for short.  To put it simply, SASE is a kind of cloud architecture that provides both networking and security features over a wide area in the form of a service. SASE guides professionals such as defense contractors and freelance workers. They can design effective security solutions both now and in the future. In contrast, Zero Trust attempts to eliminate risks to the business. Moreover, it continuously maintains the infrastructure and environment and aligns the solutions with government and industry standards. 

Software Documentation Benefits of Zero Trust and SASE 

Despite their differences, both SASE and Zero Trust imply the necessity for software and information security documentation. This can guide professionals and ensure the integrity of your customer’s data through effective security management practices. The latter notion of ensuring the integrity of data is vital to the Zero Trust model. It implies the level of trust shared between a customer and an employee.

John Kindervag coined the phrase “zero trust”. He often said, “trust is a vulnerability that can be exploited”. Before the model’s implementation, once users had access to the network, they could access and extract all data. As previously mentioned, the Zero Trust concept can be interpreted as verifying – authenticating, authorizing, and encrypting – every access request. Therefore, it can see any potential threats to the business, and help ensure that they do not get too far into the business’s network or obtain too much of its data. Cybersecurity professionals can build clients’ trust through the SASE model. This, in turn, commonly acts as the foundation for the security solutions of the future, building connections between organizations and clients and opening new avenues for the development of cybersecurity.


How to Write Software Documentation

While much of what is put into a software document depends on what specific kind of document is being written, some generalA cybersecurity analyst looking into software documentation, on the zero trust and SASE model. steps can be followed.  First, the document writer should consider what information should be prioritized in the document, depending on the type of software being written about and the type of document that is being written.  This should be followed by creating a table of contents for the software document, ensuring that readers can find the information they are looking for.  Then, they should write the document in detail, making sure to cover every important part and aspect of the software as well as the stages of the development process and the team’s progress, starting with an overall description of the software and its purpose.  Finally, the writer should ensure that the document is made easily accessible to the members of the development team and anyone else who needs to be able to read it.

Factors to Keep in Mind

Some factors should be considered when writing software documentation to ensure said documentation is as useful as possible.  First, consider who is meant to read the document based on what kind of documentation it is; this will be necessary to not only ensure that the document is distributed to the right workers, but also that the document itself is tailored to them so that they can most effectively make use of it.  Next, keep in mind that software documentation should not necessarily be static; it should be updated as updates and changes are made to the software so that the documentation remains accurate and helpful.  In addition, the document should be detailed enough to cover everything the reader needs to know about the software, and easy enough to understand.


In conclusion, software documentation and information security technical writing will become a necessity. This is because it includes a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the organization’s needs and its cybersecurity goals. This documentation can also reduce the number of misunderstandings and difficulties that come with understanding cybersecurity technical information. Technical information includes manuals, procedures, and breach response plans. Documenting the cybersecurity strategy can also serve to protect the data itself. The Zero Trust model can boost key stakeholders’ confidence if they know that the firm’s trade secrets are heavily protected.

To learn more about cybersecurity technical writing, check out another one of our blog posts here: The Five W’s of a Cybersecurity Technical Writer.

How EDC Can Help

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started at (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Alexa Do