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Securing Software Requires Design, Testing, And Improvement
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JasonSachowski
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JasonSachowski,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 7:16:55 AM
Attack-Agnostic through "Security By Design"
Software assurance (aka software security) is most often not viewed as a part of business needs.  This could be attributed back to how security has been traiditionally viewed as a "roadblock" or as mentioned above goes back to security not being strongly integrated throughout the SDLC processes.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
3/27/2014 | 7:37:13 AM
Re: Attack-Agnostic through "Security By Design"
Thanks for your comment Jason. If software security is typically not viewed as a part of an important business need, what do you think has to happen to make the industry take the issue more seriously?
JasonSachowski
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JasonSachowski,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 2:23:07 PM
Re: Attack-Agnostic through "Security By Design"
Information Security cannot be the conscious of the business if we continue to focus on the flaws instead of identify solutions.  A good start to addressing this challenge would be to create a culture where we as Security professional bring forward what we know that helps to enable the business to operate securely; opposed to going around in circles asking what the business knows and creating barriers.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
3/27/2014 | 2:33:05 PM
Re: Attack-Agnostic through "Security By Design"
Enabling that culture change is a terrific idea but certainly has many challenges -- not the least of which is getting buy in from the C-suite. In your experience, what are the most effective "top-down" executive poliices and practices that foster a proactive security mindset within an organization?
JasonSachowski
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JasonSachowski,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 8:46:46 AM
Re: Attack-Agnostic through "Security By Design"
Getting "top-down" buy-in is only as complicated as the way we communicate it.  This unfortunately stems back to how, for the most part, security professionals talk in terms of technical threats which does not neccessarily translate well into business logic.  Instead of communicating Software Security from a technical point of view, such as "We must enforce input validation to prevent against data type corruption and security vulnerabilities"; we could approach it from a business perspective based on risk, such as "Input validation provides assurance of business integrity, customer confidentiality, and application availability".

Security must be viewed as just another attribute of software, much like usability, performance, reliability, and scalability. With full participation of different stakeholders in a Secure-SDLC program, security risks can be identified both before deployment and during implementation, reducing the attack surface and strengthening defense-in-depth strategies. A "team approach" to secure software development will improve the software release, change, and configuration management processes, improving software deployment standards.


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