Charles Henderson, practice manager for application security at Trustwave, will deliver Computer Compromises and Contributing Factors on September 2, 2009, which will look at failures in application security that have lead to real-world compromises and simulated ethical attacks.
As a means to expose the effectiveness of an application's security controls, an application penetration test is used to simulate a manual attack highlighting risks posed by actual exploitable vulnerabilities. This type of test can be used for a computer application, Web application, back-end provisioning application or any application based on programmer written code.
Using actual test results, Henderson will look at failures in application security that led to compromises during tests conducted by Trustwave. Rather than focus on the technical errors that lead to compromise, Henderson's presentation will focus on the organizational and process failures that cause technical breakdowns. These are commonly referred to as software development lifecycle failures, which often lead to real-world compromise. Examples would include the effects of spending practices, development practices and training.
"By performing an application penetration test, a qualified team of security experts utilize the same attack vectors used by hackers to pilfer information out of an application," says Robert J. McCullen, chairman and CEO of Trustwave. "Engaging an application penetration test will lead to more resilient applications and a stronger security posture for any business."
Henderson will also discuss the benefits of using a manual application penetration test rather than relying on automated tools. A manual test conducted by a security expert is able to pick off unique errors, logic flaws and authorization flaws that automated tools have a difficult time finding. Today, businesses have exhausted automated tools, leaving business logic flaws unaccounted for resulting in an open door for attackers to compromise major applications.
"It's technically impossible for automated tools to pick up business logic flaws because automated tools don't understand human logic, they don't understand the failure of business logic, which could lead to a complete compromise," says Nicholas J. Percoco, senior vice president of SpiderLabs at Trustwave.
About Trustwave Trustwave is the leading provider of on-demand and subscription-based information security and payment card industry compliance management solutions to businesses and government entities throughout the world. For organizations faced with today's challenging data security and compliance environment, Trustwave provides a unique approach with comprehensive solutions that include its flagship TrustKeeper' compliance management software and other proprietary security solutions. Trustwave has helped thousands of organizations—ranging from Fortune 500 businesses and large financial institutions to small and medium-sized retailers—manage compliance and secure their network infrastructure, data communications and critical information assets. Trustwave is headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, China and Australia. For more information, visit https://www.trustwave.com.