This week in San Francisco, tens of thousands of security professionals are gathering for the the RSA Conference. For the seventh year in a row, representatives from EMC’s Product Security Office have been selected by the conference program committee to speak in a session. If you are at the conference, come an meet one of us: Continue reading
How does one measure the best product-related practices that may be in place in the world of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Technology (COTS)? Often specific versions of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) product are certified by a third party “Lab” that can examine the state of that version in terms of meeting the security requirements for the identified scope. There are some process aspects of product evaluations that come into play such as one’s approach to handling a found vulnerability with a version of software. The advantage of the product version approach is that if one is acquiring a specific version then one knows that it has been specifically reviewed and evaluated. However there are process gaps in product evaluations that are these days focusing less on secure engineering practices and not yet on supply chain security. Continue reading
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As a sports fan, I have a tendency to compare sports with my daily job. In the case of American football (apologies to readers who don’t follow), I always compare the role of the offensive line in protecting and supporting their quarterback to make plays to the role product security plays in protecting and enabling our customers to do business.
During the playoffs I am amazed at how success depends on strategy and specifically how offensive plays called by a coordinator create a successful line to protect the quarterback. A lack of a good offensive line creates risks for the quarterback just as lack of product security can create risks for our customers and make them vulnerable: Continue reading
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Software powers everything – end-user devices, applications, networks, storage, data centers and clouds – and is therefore taking us into a software-defined world. Can we trust software that powers IT? We must, as we strive for resiliency against outages and advanced threats as well as to meet regulatory compliance. Continue reading
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This week’s release of the fifth version of the Build Security In Maturity Model (BSIMM-V) reinforces a trend that many of us in the small world of software assurance are witnessing: Developing secure software is no longer the privilege of a few.
I have been closely involved with the BSIMM project since its first version in 2008: EMC was one of the nine companies that were surveyed to build the first version of the model. Five years later, the most astonishing data that BSIMM-V brings to light is 67: The number of firms that have contributed to building the model. The BSIMM-V document makes it clear; these firms have adopted advanced security practices as part of their software engineering process. Five years ago, I am sure that Gary McGraw and his team struggled to even find nine firms willing to share their software security practices.
The journey is far from over; the firms involved with the BSIMM project are large organizations with a well established software engineering process. We need software security to become more ubiquitous across organizations of all sizes and from all verticals. We also need software assurance to expand beyond preventing software vulnerabilities and look at the practices required to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the software code we are delivering as well as the security of the underlying engineering systems and processes that help create this code.
We still have a lot to do, but we are making good progress. Community initiatives like BSIMM provide a great vehicle to continue drive adoption of software assurance practices. Thank you to the BSIMM / Cigital team for continuously updating the model!