Application Security

7/20/2017
07:04 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Using DevOps to Move Faster than Attackers

Black Hat USA talk will discuss the practicalities of adjusting appsec tooling and practices in the age of DevOps.

DevOps could be security's biggest boon for quickly mitigating the kinds of vulnerabilities that will be highlighted next week at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas. And in a departure from the show's typical doom-and-gloom demos of scary attacks and exploits, one speaker is taking the podium to explain the practicalities of tuning application security practices to DevOps speeds so organizations can finally get the jump on zero-days and other hard problems in vulnerability management.

The rundown will come from Etsy's former head of security engineering, Zane Lackey, who will explain that the goal is to get faster than the attackers in identifying and fixing security flaws in software. He'll talk about the online retailer's transition from Waterfall development to continuous integration/continuous delivery methodologies. He plans to explain what that kind of evolution means for the standard approach for Web application security, especially when it comes to static analysis and dynamic testing.

"What it really means for vulnerability scanning is that the tools need to change," says Lackey, who since Etsy has moved on to the vendor side of the world, co-founding Signal Sciences. "It's a real evolution with a focus on speed and consumability of results by non-security experts. The real lesson learned on that side is that modern approaches to security tooling and techniques have to be about empowering the development team and the DevOps team to have visibility and that they’re seeing results directly themselves."

During his time at Etsy (2011-2014), the firm was establishing itself as a front-runner and thought leader in DevOps operational patterns while at the same time dealing with the increasing risk and compliance concerns that come with the territory of a rapidly expanding retail business. In order to fit security into the Etsy paradigm, Lackey says he and his team had to learn that they were no longer outsourced gatekeepers, but instead more like consultants to help the developers both run tests and use them to guide future actions for fixing flaws.

While the fast pace initially spooked him, what he found was that once the kinks were worked out it actually ended up improving appsec dramatically.

"When I started as head of security at Etsy and they said 'We deploy to production 20 times a day,' I thought it was crazy and I thought that would be dramatically less secure," he says. "What I really learned over the course of my time building a security program there was that moving faster can actually be a net positive on security."

His observations seem to be reflected in recent statistics. In fact, a survey released earlier this week found that the integration of security into DevOps has helped companies improve their application security risk by approximately 22%.

Lackey will provide some real-world examples of what that kind of quantitative improvement looks like in the real world. He'll talk through one example where his team was able to move so quickly that the improved visibility and response time made it possible for his team to identify an adversary discovering a real-life vulnerability in production - and were able to fix it before the adversary could do anything with it.

"Any organization can get to this point. By embracing DevOps they’re able to move faster and for the first time potentially move faster than the attackers," he says.

Black Hat USA returns to the fabulous Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22-27, 2017. Click for information on the conference schedule and to register.

 

Related Content:

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
It Takes an Average of 3 to 6 Months to Fill a Cybersecurity Job
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/12/2019
Cybercriminals Think Small to Earn Big
Dark Reading Staff 3/12/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: LOL  Hope this one wins
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-6149
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
An unquoted search path vulnerability was identified in Lenovo Dynamic Power Reduction Utility prior to version 2.2.2.0 that could allow a malicious user with local access to execute code with administrative privileges.
CVE-2018-15509
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-18
Five9 Agent Desktop Plus 10.0.70 has Incorrect Access Control (issue 2 of 2).
CVE-2018-20806
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-17
Phamm (aka PHP LDAP Virtual Hosting Manager) 0.6.8 allows XSS via the login page (the /public/main.php action parameter).
CVE-2019-5616
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
CircuitWerkes Sicon-8, a hardware device used for managing electrical devices, ships with a web-based front-end controller and implements an authentication mechanism in JavaScript that is run in the context of a user's web browser.
CVE-2018-17882
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-15
An Integer overflow vulnerability exists in the batchTransfer function of a smart contract implementation for CryptoBotsBattle (CBTB), an Ethereum token. This vulnerability could be used by an attacker to create an arbitrary amount of tokens for any user.