One thing that I am firm in my belief is that process is not a substitute for competence. Imagine taking lots of overweight IT guys and training them to ride a horse. That doesn't mean that they will go on to become successful horse jockeys and you would be dumb to bet on them. In terms of CMMi, my thought says that buyers of consulting services and enterprise software need an independent way of quantifying what they are buying from a security perspective. While the logic used in outsourcing is flawed, buyers still prefer outsourcing firms that have higher levels of CMMI than those that don't. In the same way this listserv attempts to help folks write secure software, we need a way to help folks also procure secure software and stealing some aspects of CMMi while compromising some level of integrity will have lift in the long run.
________________________________ From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Goertzel, Karen Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:39 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [SC-L] Software process improvement produces secure software? I've always had a question about this as well; specifically, what is really meant by "adding security to a CMM"? I've always felt that the level at which the software (or system) process is defined by a CMM is too high and too abstract for the addition of security activities to be particularly meaningful. My feeling is that a CMM is best used as a means of ensuring that the more detailed life cycle process is implemented in a disciplined manner, and that the amount of benefit, in terms of improvement of whatever property one is trying to improve - quality, reliability, security, safety - of the system/software that results from the process can be measured. Where the actual security activities need to be defined and added are to the life cycle methodology. At best, adding security to a CMM can provide a very high level framework for helping someone who is "shopping" for a life cycle methodology know what to look for in that methodology. Is a CMM necessary for that purpose? I'm not convinced that it is. I think what is likely to be more effective is a change in outlook by the practitioners who will be using the life cycle methodology. Their outlook needs to change so that a single question is asked before any choice or decision is made: What are the security implications of the choice/decision? Of course, there's much more to it than just asking that question. And that's the reason we need to train developers, testers, etc. to (1) understand what "security" means, both at the software and system levels; (2) visualise and recognise the possible impact(s) each of their choices/decisions could have on the security of the system they are building (before the fact); (3) recognise the impacts each of their choices/decisions has had on the security of the system they have built (after the fact). Tools and techniques to help developers do the second and third of these are proliferating (e.g., threat modeling, attack trees, etc. for before-the-fact; analysis and testing tools for after-the-fact). But in the end, I believe the #1 factor that will contribute to the increased security of software is the developer's mentality. A security-aware...and more importantly, a security-*concerned&...developer is more likely to (1) avoid making bad choices and decisions, and (2) to take an interest in, and pursue becoming, knowledgeable enough to correct bad choices that he/she did not avoid making earlier. -- Karen Mercedes Goertzel, CISSP Booz Allen Hamilton 703.902.6981 [EMAIL PROTECTED] -----Original Message----- From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] on behalf of Francisco Nunes Sent: Tue 07-Aug-07 07:01 To: email@example.com Subject: [SC-L] Software process improvement produces secure software? Dear list members. In june 2007, I had an interesting conversation with Mr. Will Hayes from SEI during the Brazilian Symposium on Software Quality. It was a great experience and I am very grateful for this. During our conversation, I made a question to Mr. Hayes similar to this: "Is it possible that only software development process improvements can produce secure software?" The scenario was only based on CMMI without security interference. His answer to this question was "YES". My answer was "I DO NOT THINK SO". His answer made me confuse and I had no arguments, mainly, because my professional experience in software process does not compare to Mr. Haye's experience. Unfortunately, I also haven't found any statistics which could answer this question. Please, if there is one, let me know! So, how about you, list members? What are your answers to the question above? I will try to organize your answers and present the final result. Thank you. Yours faithfully, Francisco José Barreto Nunes. Alertas do Yahoo! Mail em seu celular. Saiba mais em http://br.mobile.yahoo.com/mailalertas/ _______________________________________________ Secure Coding mailing list (SC-L) SC-L@securecoding.org List information, subscriptions, etc - http://krvw.com/mailman/listinfo/sc-l List charter available at - http://www.securecoding.org/list/charter.php SC-L is hosted and moderated by KRvW Associates, LLC (http://www.KRvW.com) as a free, non-commercial service to the software security community. _______________________________________________ ************************************************************************* This communication, including attachments, is for the exclusive use of addressee and may contain proprietary, confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, copying, disclosure, dissemination or distribution is strictly prohibited. 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