Welcome!

FinTech Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...