Application Security
1/15/2014
11:06 AM
Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams
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What Healthcare Can Teach Us About App Security

The Centers for Disease Control protects people from health threats and increases the health security of our nation. It's a mission that's not so different from InfoSec.
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Using Sensors & Instrumentation for Application Security Visibility

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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2014 | 9:02:01 AM
Re: Wow! Check out this dashboard that tracks critical application security info in real time
Thanks for the great detail, Jeff. One last question from me (Others -- feel free to add yours to the thread!). What were some of the gotchas in the project that you would have done differently, or that didn't work out as well as you expected. 
planetlevel
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planetlevel,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 11:24:08 AM
Re: Wow! Check out this dashboard that tracks critical application security info in real time
In this case, we worked with security team to put in place some tools to monitor application security continuously. One was ZAP proxy, which we put in place in their CI/CD environment to *passively* look for security practices. We have been adding some custom ZEST scripts to verify *their* security defenses.  There are a lot of tools -- some static, some dynamic, and some using instrumentation -- that can all help generate assurance continuously. Their initial investment was very low.  They started small just looking to verify SQL Injection defenses across their entire application inventory.  They use *positive* static analysis to verify that only parameterized queries are used across all their apps.  Now if any developer introduced a potential SQL injection problem it would show up on the dashboard immediately.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/17/2014 | 10:05:36 AM
Re: Wow! Check out this dashboard that tracks critical application security info in real time
Sounds very promising. Who's idea was it or was it a project initiated by management. Sounds like it is already showing an ROI, but what was the initial investment (ball park) in terms of h/w, s/w and other related costs?
planetlevel
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planetlevel,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 8:54:23 AM
Re: Wow! Check out this dashboard that tracks critical application security info in real time
Sure!  They have set up a variety of tools to report to a central server.  It's not as clean as they would like.  Some of the tools report via files, others by REST services, etc...   And their reporting engine doesn't generate a beautiful heatmap yet.  But they've got a great set of sensors started and they are adding more every day.  Their penetration testing costs are plummeting, because they no longer need to test for the items they are monitoring.  And (I believe) their assurance is going up, because the sensor they are deploying get better coverage and have more accuracy than the traditional ways of doing application security.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/16/2014 | 3:49:26 PM
Wow! Check out this dashboard that tracks critical application security info in real time
Jeff, Can you expand a little bit more on how the company that developed this dashboard came up with the idea, some examples of how they are using it and some of their big sucess stories! Very cool stuff!
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