Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/14/2009
02:06 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

So, You Want To Build an Effective Application Security Program? How Good Are You At Politics?

Being that the tagline of the Secure360 Conference was Evolving Threats, Practical Solutions I figured a session on How To Build an Effective Application Security Program would be appropriate. Fewer areas of information security have more evolving threats, or are in more need of practical, applied, solutions.

Being that the tagline of the Secure360 Conference was Evolving Threats, Practical Solutions I figured a session on How To Build an Effective Application Security Program would be appropriate. Fewer areas of information security have more evolving threats, or are in more need of practical, applied, solutions.I've been writing about application flaws since 2000. And in what will soon be a decade, I'm still surprised to learn that building secure, sustainable software - from the start - is still a novel idea to many companies. While quantitative numbers are sparse, I'm convinced that building applications secure from the start is the most cost effective way to go for most enterprises. It's also the right thing to do. At least, if you care about your customers, and the integrity of your infrastructure.

As I listened to Joey Peloquin, director application security at FishNet Security, give his presentation on building an effective Web application security program, I'm reminded just how much of the task is about awareness and effective organizational communication. It is about these things much more than technology.

Peloquin's first point: find a senior level business executive to be your Web application security evangelist. And, it sounded to me, that you'll need this senior level executive to not only help build awareness, but also provide some political cover when internal egos start getting bruised when your Web application assessments start outing shoddily crafted code. In order to avoid the very sharp arrows that tend to fly when one starts displaying the incompetency of others, Peloquin shared a tip that was given to him from Allan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute: also enlist a number of senior developers as your allies. Have them trained on secure Web application development and also carry the torch for the need for secure development.

Now, the political will and strength is in place for your revolution.

As Peloquin explained from experience: if you don't have executive level sponsorship, and work with -- not against -- the development team: your secure Web application initiative lost the race before the starting gun was fired.

Next up is the technology and the processes. This comes down to training software developers on how to write securely, model application risk and mitigate wherever possible and also makes business sense. Also, build applications with security as part of the quality control process, with periodic security assessments and code reviews whether they be static, dynamic, or manual.

A great place to start with these details can be found in the Application Security How-To articles found here.

My advice, though, is to listen to Peloquin and find some executive level cover, and get as many on your development team vested in the effort before pushing Web application vulnerability scan results across the conference table.

For mobile technology and information security observations, follow my Twitter account.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
US Formally Attributes SolarWinds Attack to Russian Intelligence Agency
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  4/15/2021
News
Dependency Problems Increase for Open Source Components
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  4/14/2021
News
FBI Operation Remotely Removes Web Shells From Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3506
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
An out-of-bounds (OOB) memory access flaw was found in fs/f2fs/node.c in the f2fs module in the Linux kernel in versions before 5.12.0-rc4. A bounds check failure allows a local attacker to gain access to out-of-bounds memory leading to a system crash or a leak of internal kernel information. The hi...
CVE-2021-20208
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
A flaw was found in cifs-utils in versions before 6.13. A user when mounting a krb5 CIFS file system from within a container can use Kerberos credentials of the host. The highest threat from this vulnerability is to data confidentiality and integrity.
CVE-2021-27458
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
If Ethernet communication of the JTEKT Corporation TOYOPUC product series’ (TOYOPUC-PC10 Series: PC10G-CPU TCC-6353: All versions, PC10GE TCC-6464: All versions, PC10P TCC-6372: All versions, PC10P-DP TCC-6726: All versions, PC10P-DP-IO TCC-6752: All versions, PC10B-P TCC-6373: Al...
CVE-2020-27241
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
An exploitable SQL injection vulnerability exists in ‘getAssets.jsp’ page of OpenClinic GA 5.173.3. The serialnumber parameter in the getAssets.jsp page is vulnerable to unauthenticated SQL injection. An attacker can make an authenticated HTTP request to trigger...
CVE-2021-3497
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
GStreamer before 1.18.4 might access already-freed memory in error code paths when demuxing certain malformed Matroska files.