First, thanks for that Bill, it exemplifies my point perfectly. A couple 

one, targeting designers is just as important as reaching out to the 
developers themselves... if the designers can ensure that security 
requirements are incorporated from the outset, then we receive an added 

two, a re-phrasing around my original thought... somehow we need to get 
security thinking and considerations encoded into the DNA of everyone in 
the business, whether they be designers, architects, coders, analysts, 
PMs, sysadmins, etc, etc, etc. Every one of those topics you mention 
could (should!) have had implicit and explicit security attributes 
included... yet we're still at the point where secure coding has to be 
explicitly requested/demanded (often as an afterthought or bolt-on)...

How do we as infosec professionals get people to the next phase of 
including security thoughts in everything they do... with the end-goal 
being that it is then integrated fully into practices and processes as a 
bona fide genetic mutation that is passed along to future generations?

To me, this seems to be where infosec is stuck as an industry. There 
seems to be a need for a catalyst to spur the mutation so that it can 
have a life of its own. :)



Benjamin Tomhave, MS, CISSP

[ Random Quote: ]
Augustine's Second Law of Socioscience: "For every scientific (or 
engineering) action, there is an equal and opposite social reaction."

William L. Anderson wrote:
> Dear Ben, having just been at SXSW Interactive (I live in Austin, TX) I 
> did not see many discussions that pay attention to security, or any 
> other software engineering oriented concerns, explicitly.
> There was a discussion of scalability for web services that featured the 
> developers from digg, Flickr, WordPress, and Media Temple. I got there 
> about half-way through but the discussion with the audience was about 
> tools and methods to handle high traffic loads. There was a question 
> about build and deployment strategies and I asked about unit testing 
> (mixed answers - some love it, some think it's strong-arm micro-mgt (go 
> figure)).
> There was a session on OpenID and OAuth (open authorization) standards 
> and implementation. These discussions kind of assume the use of secure 
> transports but since I couldn't stay the whole time I don't know if 
> secure coding was addressed explicitly.
> The main developer attendees at SXSW would call themselves designers and 
> I would guess many of them are doing web development in PHP, Ruby, etc. 
> I think the majority of attendees would not classify themselves as 
> software programmers.
> To me it seems very much like at craft culture. That doesn't mean that a 
> track on how to develop secure web services wouldn't be popular. In fact 
> it might be worth proposing one for next year.
> If you want to talk further, please get in touch.
> -Bill Anderson
> Benjamin Tomhave wrote:
>> I had just a quick query for everyone out there, with an attached 
>> thought.
>> How many security and/or secure coding professionals are prevalently
>> involved with the SXSW conference this week? I know, I know... it's a big
>> party for developers - particularly the Web 2.0 clique - but I'm just
>> curious.
>> Here's why: I'm increasingly frustrated by the disconnect between
>> business/dev and security. I don't feel like we're being largely
>> successful in getting the business and developers to include security as
>> part of their standard operating procedures. Developers are still
>> oftentimes lazy and sloppy, creating XSS and CSRF and SQL injection 
>> holes.
>> I then look at SXSW from afar and think: a) shouldn't I be there
>> evangelizing security? and, b) shouldn't a major thread to all these
>> conferences be about how security is integrating with dev processes and
>> practices, making it better?
>> Maybe I'm just too idealist. I'm curious what everyone else thinks.
>> cheers,
>> -ben

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