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This standard is organized into an introductory chapter and seventeen chapters containing rules in specific topic areas. Each of the rule chapters contains a list of rules in that section, and a risk assessment summary for the rules. There is also a common glossary and bibliography. This preface was meant to be read first, followed by the introductory chapter. The rule chapters may be read in any order or used as reference material as appropriate. The rules are loosely organized in each chapter but, in general, may also be read in any order.

Rules have a consistent structure. Each rule has a unique identifier, which is included in the title. The title of the rules and the introductory paragraphs define the conformance requirements. This is typically followed by one or more sets of noncompliant code examples and corresponding compliant solutions. Each rule also includes a risk assessment and bibliographical references specific to that rule. When applicable, rules also list related vulnerabilities and related guidelines from the following sources:

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