Welcome!

Related Topics: FinTech Journal, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @DevOpsSummit

FinTech Journal: Article

Beyond DevOps: Security vs. Speed? | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

Several problems arise when the harm of software failure cannot be treated as an unbound variable

Fail fast, fail often. Yeah, but the first failure blew up the satellite. Well, this is just a photo-sharing app..not rocket science. Okay, but your photos are accessed by users who have passwords that they probably use for other things..and aren't some photos as important as satellites?

Several problems arise when the harm of software failure cannot be treated as an unbound variable. Here are some thoughts on two. I'll write more on two more (one cognitive, one computational) later.

Problem 1: Identity Persists Across Non-Obviously Coupled Systems (So the Stakes Are Higher Than Your Application)
Worse: security failures cascade well beyond physically contiguous realms (if root then everything) into physically decoupled systems via informational (shared passwords, mailboxes) or physical-but-accidental (power cut then reboot) channels. The brilliant and terrifying Have I been pwned? tool -- to say nothing of the astonishing air-gap-annihilating Stuxnet [pdf] surfaces the obvious but easy-to-forget truisms that simply not having data that should not be accessed by X on the same disk as data that can be accessed by X is not good enough, and that the danger posed by access to one application may be slim compared with the danger posed by access to something more serious via the identity compromised by an in-itself non-dangerous breach.

So even if 'fail fast' is okay for your application, it may not be okay for your users. The result: natural tension between the ideal of continuous delivery -- or even Agile more broadly, or even heavily iterative development in general -- and security.

And while one of the major insights of Agile is that the best refiner is the real world (as opposed to the limited imagination of the planners), one of the major embarrassments of InfoSec is that 95% of security breaches involve human error. For Agile, failure is falling until you can walk. For InfoSec, failure is letting the terrifying cat out of the poorly-designed bag. Post-breach, maybe you've started to salt your hashes (congrats, you're more cryptographically sophisticated than Julius Caesar) but your users' passwords are in the wild.

Problem 2: You Have Actual Human Enemies (So Something Smarter Than Chance Is Trying to Outsmart You)
On sheer randomness, the Internet is getting more dangerous (Akamai records crazy DDoS increases over the past year - 122% for application-level (OSI Layer 7) attacks alone??). But the really scary problem is that real, smart, often well-funded humans are trying to make your software do what you didn't design it to do. For most failures, the enemy is "imprecise requirements" or "poor algorithm design" or "inadequately scalable environment" (or even just 'blundering users'); for security failures, the enemy is malicious engineers.

This is the meatiest bit of the (otherwise slightly theatrical) Rugged Manifesto:

I recognize that my code will be attacked by talented and persistent adversaries who threaten our physical, economic and national security.

Yeah. So engineer.add(<malice, talent, persistence>), return ???? -- and multiply(????, world.get(amountEatenBySoftware) = ????!!!!!

If DevOps is a management practice, then a risk of ????!!!!! is pretty much unacceptable.


None of this, of course, means that Agile isn't an awesome idea. Nor am I suggesting that security can't be baked in to an iterative, continuously improving process - certainly it can, but on the face of it this seems to require a bit of finagling. And of course the proper way to address security will always be risk analysis, with a good lump of threat analysis included in any measure of technical debt.

I'd love to take some taxonomy of software errors (maybe regarding security in particular) and cross-tab cost per error type with cycle time (i.e. length of cycle during which each error that cost d dollars was introduced against cost d), normalizing by estimated technical debt accrued during each cycle (assuming somebody measured that at the time, which probably didn't happen). But maybe someone has done that (definitely seen lots of costs by error but not correlated with cycle time), and (since technical debt is kind of a guess anyway) maybe anecdotes are a better gauge of the security cost of "shift left" anyway.

Anyone have any experiences they'd like to share?

More Stories By John Esposito

John Esposito is Editor-in-Chief at DZone, having recently finished a doctoral program in Classics from the University of North Carolina. In a previous life he was a VBA and Force.com developer, DBA, and network administrator. John enjoys playing piano and looking at diagrams, and raises two cats with his wife, Sarah.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...