SAFECODE.ORG: security fundamentals for developers

If you don’t know safecode.org, then stop reading this article and click here: https://safecode.org/about-safecode/ SAFECode – short for the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code – spearheads a global, industry-wide effort to identify and promote best practices for developing and delivering more secure and reliable software, hardware and services. Here is a short film about it:   Safecode published the third edition of “Fundamental Practices for Secure Software Development – Essential Elements of a Secure Development Lifecycle Program” (the link goes to the whitepaper, 38 pages). The focus is on software development. and the guide is intended to help others in the industry initiate or improve their own software security programs and encourage the industry-wide adoption of fundamental secure development methods. Much of this document is built from the experience of large companies that build software that is used by many millions and in some cases billions of users. Small software companies should also be able to benefit from many of these recommendations. Check here additional publications: https://safecode.org/publications/   PUBLICATIONS Fundamental Practices for Secure Software Development, Third Edition SAFECode Perspective on Cybersecurity Certification Tactical Threat Modeling Managing Security Risks Inherent in the Use of Third-party Components Principles for Software Assurance Assessment Practices for Secure…

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ENCRYPTION IS NOT SOLVING ALL CYBERSECURITY PROBLEMS     Sorin Mustaca, CSSLP, shares his thoughts from a recent Frankfurt-based automotive show on the overreliance of the car industry on Encryption, noting “…all those lights are sensors and processors which communicate with each other via the CAN BUS (Controller Area Network). If one of them is compromised, it will send invalid data to the others and the consequences are unpredictable. The data will leave the car encrypted and will be decrypted on destination, but the information is compromised.”      

Encryption is not solving all cybersecurity problems

I visited last week the IAA in Frankfurt, Germany. IAA stands for International Automobile Exhibition and takes place every year in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the place where every year the latest cars are being presented but also the newest technologies around cars. This year it was a lot about mobility, interaction, autonomous parking and driving, interconnectivity between cars and IoT. I went there to address more the car parts suppliers (Tier 1 and 2) than the car manufacturers. For us it was more interesting to get involved in the devices that are easily and directly attackable. Things like entertainment systems, connected devices of the car, GPS devices,etc.. Not a single car parts manufacturers we talked to wants to openly speak about security. Not because they don’t have it or because they don’t address it. My impression was that speaking about security is like speaking about something that nobody wants to happen?  The most used argument was: “Why would anyone hack us/our device? They don’t have anything to gain.” I wrote a dedicated post about this visit and what I think about the state of cyber security in cars.   The other argument I’ve heard was: But the connection to all…

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(ISC)2 EMEA: Quote for the Day

In the News Quote for the Day “It is no secret that the cyber criminals are where the money is. If the targets are easy to breach, it is even better since this improves the ratio effort/outcome for them.” Sorin Mustaca, CSSLP, covers the basics for small to medium business inComputerWorldUK’s Infosecurity Voice and on the (ISC)2 blog.

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IT Security essentials for small and medium enterprises

Since I first published the free eBook "Improve your security" dedicated to end users, I've been asked many times to give advises for small and medium enterprises. At first, I thought that this is a very different topic than what I wrote before. However, after some thinking, I realized, that difference between the behavior of end-users at home and in the office of a small to medium companies, doesn't differ that much. After all, it is no secret that the cyber criminals are where the money are. If the targets are easy to breach, it is even better since this improves the ratio effort/outcome for them. Usually, small to medium size companies are preferred targets because they fit in this category: they do have money, more than the private users, and are very easy to infiltrate. The tips below help these companies not only to survive in the cyber world, but also keep the attackers away.   1. Make the employees understand and care about security. Teach them how to act and react. There are multiple aspects to the people problem: attitude and usability of security. First, is that the common attitude in companies: „security is IT department's business“. IT tries to…

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What is a security expert?

I've been called a "security expert" many times and I've heard many times other people around me called the same. The reason I am writing this article is that I am frustrated by how some security experts are seing and implementing security in their every day jobs. But, let's start with the beginning: What does actually make someone a security expert? Or, when does someone become a security expert? The first thing that comes into my mind is, of course, his or her level of knowledge in this area. The more he knows, the better. I guess that things like certifications in IT Security, articles written, books published are counting. An important factor should also be some "on the field" experience (practical). But is it enough to just be able to get a job properly done? Getting the job done properly, is translating usually to "make the system as secure as it can be". We all know that this doesn't mean anything these days because anything you do it is only valid for a very short period of time. What about communication? It is not a secret that the biggest problem with IT security in companies is the fact that…

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Why we continue to fail on cyber security

I've been asked a lot of times, especially when I was working for an antivirus producer, why can't we simply write a software that always protects the users. Well, there is a short answer and a long answer. Short answer: Because 100% security does not exist and because most people are hackable due to being ignorant on what security is (of course, until he/she is hacked first time, and sometimes not even after such an event). Long answer, which I massively shortened by not touching all areas and not going into details: The reason is the ignorance about everything that might happen but it is not certain that it will happen. I mean, would anyone close an insurance if it would have not been required by law or be afraid of the consequences?   By the way, you can use this article to convince your C-level people to pay for that expensive cyber security training for the entire company.   According to Webster.com, the definition of IGNORANCE is:   – a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education : the state of being ignorant [noncount] ignorance is bliss — used to say that a person who does not know about a problem does not worry…

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The sad state of Java security

The problem of Oracle is that they bought a technology that was stretched out to be actually “write once, run everywhere”. The Virtual Machine that provides this functionality had to be ported to all devices, and lately (in the past few years) also on mobile devices. As written in the news, even if the “run everywhere” meant initially “run on every platform” – so cross platform – this concept has been now extended to actually run on platforms used by mobile devices as well (ubiquitous computing). During the last years, Java evolved while it has been ported to the new platforms and devices. Each version of Java brought improvements and changes, sometimes not backward compatible. During this time, the applications that were created against a certain version of Java, for different reasons, were never updated to use the latest version. So, the users of these applications never upgraded their application and therefore they didn't have to update the Java version required by these programs.   The difference between updating and upgrading is a matter of interpretation by the implementer. Usually, the term update means to improve an existing version by fixing bugs or adding minor functionality. The main functionality, supported platforms and…

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Security for Free ? Die Deutsche Edition.

Source: Security Insider (HTML,  PDF) Originally published in English: (ISC)2 Blog Republished in this blog: http://sorin-mustaca.com/2013/05/29/security-for-free/           Wer sein Augenmerk nur auf die Anschaffungskosten einer Sicherheitslösung richtet, zahlt oft an anderer Stelle. (Bild: Archiv) Malware, Hacking-Attacken, Software-Schwachstellen: Ist es angesichts der ausufernden Bedrohungslandschaft überhaupt möglich, sich mit Security-Tools für lau umfassend abzusichern? In diesem Beitrag gehen wir dieser Frage auf den Grund. […]

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