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Data Insecurity: Flawed Technology Or Outdated Business Process?
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TerryB
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2016 | 3:27:10 PM
Re: Lost and Found
Jeff, you are preaching to the choir on this one. We run our business on an IBM i5 server, which is using all these mainframe lessons. I use compiled RPG programs at the backend, not scripting languages like PHP. I don't request data from clients with SQL, so no exposure to SQL injection. No exposure to cross site scripting either. Access to server is thru the integrated Apache HTTP server, which does not even implement PUT or DELETE methods, only GET and POST. The Apache config only allows access to the program library with the compiled RPG programs, so you would need tremendous amount of inside knowledge to spoof a POST to invoke these. The programs are locked down to only work if invoked from a valid i5 user profile portal session. 6 wrong guesses and profile is disabled.

We both know any system designed to accessed CAN be accessed, so foolproof is impossible with enough inside knowledge. But if web apps hadn't moved away from these enterprise servers and compiled backend programs, we would not have the problems we have today. It was all about e-commerce on the cheap, convienence for users over security. Would the world really have been that bad if banks didn't connect their servers to the freaking internet? Or swiping a card thru a reader connected to a POS for approval connected without thinking thru the security behind it.
Jeff.schilling
Jeff.schilling,
User Rank: Author
1/7/2016 | 3:05:34 PM
Re: Lost and Found
TerryB,

Thank you for your comments.  No process is fool proof, but the complexity of many business processes we use today are a root cause for data breaches because they create a large surface area of attack.  The main point of my article is that we need to examine our processes first for security, then put them on IT systems that are easier to secure. 

I agree that the older style of mainframe application development created more secure business processes because they were created for a single purpose and specified group of users.   With the advent of webapplications in the early 90's, as we took advantage of the ubiquity of the user interface.  However, we forgot to establish a security strategy to enforce role based access that was inheritly built into older mainframe applications.  
TerryB
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2016 | 1:00:37 PM
Lost and Found
"unless they lose their phone". I just shake my head at all these "advances" we make in paying for stuff. Where before losing your wallet, with cash and credits cards, was your risk, now we've moved that exposure to your phone. So besides losing cash/cards, they can also get all kinds of personal info along with it. What progress.

I guess you could argue you can at least PIN protect your phone access if lost, something not possible with wallet. But I find it hard to believe the bad guys can't get around that.

I dispute the "outdated" label on your example of multiple copies of files. I was taught development back in 80's on mainframes, it did not involve creating applications like that. This is spawned by using inexpensive servers running an o/s designed for single users in a web environment built on protocols never intended to be secure. If that is the legacy you are referring to, I'm with you on that.


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