Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.