I completely agree with your final statement Karen, but I see a lot
more of the words aiming at the 100% mark and I think that is
ultimately a bad focus since it is unachievable and therefore will
waste focus and effort.
While on paper we can "prove" programs are bug free (security-related
or not), it doesn't work in practice. I may be biased by my
experience, but you won't be able to design a perfect program anymore
than you can design a "flawless" piece of handmade furniture. Flaws
happen. They focus should be on minimizing them and reducing the risk
that any flaws that make it through will cripple the end product,
whether it be a wood table or a software program.
A recent CERT podcast implied that we could reach your 100% as we
matured and that has just stuck in my craw. I don't think it really
is achievable, though making the case is going to take more than a
quick reply on this list.
CISM, CSSLP, SANS/GIAC GSEC, GCFW, GCIH, GPCI
Quoting "Goertzel, Karen [USA]" <goertzel_ka...@bah.com>:
Interesting. My definition of "secure" is for software is
"dependable, trustworthy, and survivable (or, if you prefer,
(1) It's got to behave correctly and predictably;
(2) It's got to behave non-maliciously and also not be subvertible
(i.e., no weaknesses that can be exploited as vulnerabilities);
(3) When it comes under attack, 1 & 2 need to hold true for as long
as possible before the software's execution gracefully degrades and
ultimately fails; when it does fail, it must do so in a manner that
doesn't make it, its data, or its resources vulnerable to further
compromise, and it must recover to an acceptable level of operation
(which, obviously, needs to be specified) as quickly as possible,
with as little damage as possible (and having minimised the extent
of that damage).
Obviously, there's very little software that can satisfy all three
of these criteria 100%. But even 50% is better than 0%.
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