18 May 2015

SANS 2015 State of Application Security

The SANS Institute has published this year's survey results about application security programmes.

One of the charts from the SANS report '2015 State of Application Security: Closing the
Gap' showing the popularity of language and perceived security risk

In a change to last year's report the authors of 2015 State of Application Security: Closing the Gap have identified and broken down their analysis and reporting into two groups of survey respondents - builders and defenders.

Jim Bird, Eric Johnson and Frank Kim analysed data from 435 respondents, a quarter of which came from financial services/banking. two-thirds of respondents worked in organisations with 1,000 or more people.

The report is full of useful information, that reflects the languages, frameworks and development practices utilised by the survey participants.The top challenges for builders and defenders are identified, drivers, practices, and also which standards, guidance, lifecycle models and other guidance are referenced by the organisations' own application security programmes.

A breakdown of the proportion of the overall IT budget spent on application security is also presented.

The report is free to access and download.

Posted on: 18 May 2015 at 09:09 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

15 May 2015

The Bad and the Good of Ecommerce Fraud Detection

Vendor ThreatMetrix has published a short document about how online fraud detection systems often mistreat customers like they are criminals, leading to increased costs and decreased income.

Photograph of customers in a high street shop paying for their purchases at checkouts

Problems with common systems of customer authentication are discussed in "Are You Treating Your Customers Like Criminals?", including failure to recognise existing customers, time-consuming or awkward re-authentication and the poor user experience of payment verification processes like 3DSecure (e.g. Verified By Visa, MasterCard SecureCode, American Express SafeKey).

These lead to basket abandonment, payment failures and brand damage. The document describes other problems created such as making it difficult to enter new markets, increasing the customer support overhead, wasting marketing spend, and rising fraud levels during peak trading periods when barriers are lowered, leading to elevated chargeback rates.

It is suggested that retails need to simplify authentication, improve the identification of real customers, and mitigate the business impact of fraudulent activity. Recommendations for activities to undertake in real-time are provided. These measures can be implemented directly in code, as well as using vendor products and services. Also remember a post in March, User Interface Modifications to Combat Buyer Fraud.

The document can be downloaded free of charge after providing contact details including a valid email address. ThreatMetrix also publishes a quarterly cybercrime attack report.

Posted on: 15 May 2015 at 11:20 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

08 May 2015

Lightning OWASP Project Presentations at AppSec EU 2015

AppSec EU 2015 begins in two weeks. It is being held in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam RAI exhibition and conference centre.

Partial screen capture from the OWASP wiki showing part of the extensive project inventory

With the news yesterday that the number of conference attendee bookings has surpassed 400, together with the training, capture the flag competition, university challenge, application security hackathon, computer gaming, networking and organised social events, it looks like this year's event is shaping up very well.

As well as the project summit, some projects are being discussed in some of the main conference presentations.

When the call for papers was announced last year, I proposed having some sessions that gave the opportunity for a larger number of project leaders to explain their work, the target users, the benefits, and what materials are available. I am pleased to say the conference team liked the idea and allocated two 45-minute slots. These are being used to showcase innovation in OWASP projects to the main conference audience.

Both lightning talk sessions occur on Thursday 21st May. Each talk is 10 minutes long. The speakers and their projects are listed below.

14:30 - 15:15 hrs

  • Spyros GASTERATOS
    Hackademic Challenges, implementing realistic scenarios with known vulnerabilities in a safe, controllable environment.
  • Andrew VAN DER STOCK and Daniel CUTHBERT
    Application Security Verification Standard, providing a basis for assessing web application technical security controls, to establish a level of confidence in the security of web applications.
  • Jonathan CARTER
    Reverse Engineering and Code Modification Prevention, educating security architects, risks analysts, software engineers, and pen testers around binary risks from code integrity violation and reverse engineering.
  • Matteo MEUCCI
    Testing Guide, version 4 the de facto standard for performing web application penetration testing.

15:45 - 16:30 hrs

  • Jim MANICO
    Top 10 Proactive Controls, describing the most important control and control categories that every architect and developer should include in every project, and Cheat Sheet Series, providing a concise collection of high value information on specific web application security topics.
  • Tao SAUVAGE and Marios KOURTESIS
    Offensive Web Testing Framework (OWTF), making security assessments as efficient as possible by automating the manual uncreative part of pen testing, and providing out-of-box support for the OWASP Testing Guide, and NIST and PTES standards.
  • Ann RACUYA-ROBBINS and Luis ENRIQUEZ
    Knowledge Based Authentication Performance Metrics, establishing standard performance metrics for knowledge based authentication (KBA) in alignment the NSTIC guiding principles - at the intersection of security, identity and privacy.
  • Sebastien DELEERSNYDER
    Software Assurance Maturity Model (OpenSAMM), an open framework to help organizations measure, improve and manage their software security practice that is tailored to the specific risks facing the organization.

I will introduce each session, the speakers and keep time. I hope you can join me to hear about these contributions to application security directly from the leaders themselves. We will have time after the sessions for further discussion and questions.

Posted on: 08 May 2015 at 09:00 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

06 May 2015

Android Security 2014

Google announced early last month the release of a report analysing security in the Android ecosystem.

One of the charts from Google's report 'Android Security 2014 Year in Review'

Android Security 2014 Year in Review describes varies measures of security including occurrence of potentially harmful mobile applications, platform API abuse and network level abuse.

Information is provided on Google's 4-tier severity rating systems for vulnerabilities.

Security enhancements during 2014 are also discussed, together with newer changes such as the enhanced Google Play review process to help protect users.

Posted on: 06 May 2015 at 11:27 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

01 May 2015

Snakes & Ladders Coming To Shoreditch

A week on Monday, on the 11th May, I will be speaking during the MAKE day at this year's Digital Shoreditch.

Partial screen capture of the Digital Shoreditch web site at http://digitalshoreditch.com/

The Digital Shoreditch Festival 2015 is a two week mass-community celebration with participants from the world of tech, creative, and all related industries, running from 11th to 24th May. The schedule for the main programme (11th-15th May) has a separate theme for each day — MAKE, GROW, NEXT, CONNECT and LIVE.

The MAKE day offers the chance to learn by doing and bring new ideas to life with with a "vibrant mix of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, makers, designers and hackers from across the creative ecosystem". I will be talking about the Snakes and Ladders application security board game for developers.

OWASP Snakes and Ladders is a print-your-own board game that is a fun way to learn about the desirable security controls and tricks software applications face. There are two versions — one for web applications and one for mobile apps.

I am speaking at 15:40 hrs in Shoreditch Town Hall. This will be the first time any of the printed sheets for the mobile app board game will be available — previously I have printed and given away the web application board game. Both will be available on Monday.

Otherwise, I am also looking forward to all the other sessions on the day and during the rest of the week. Tickets are on sale.

Hope to see you there.

Posted on: 01 May 2015 at 08:42 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

28 April 2015

Summary of Last Year's ICO Enforcement Action

PwC UK has published a summary of enforcement actions taken by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in 2014.

Partial view of a chart from the PwC report 'Privacy and Security Enforcement Tracker 2014' showing a comparison of the number of each enforcement type undertaken by the ICO in 2012, 2013 and 2014

The Privacy and Security Enforcement Tracker 2014 summarises and comments on information originally published by the ICO on its web site concerning actions it has taken against organisations. This includes enforcement notices, monetary penalty notices, prosecutions and undertakings.

The report also summarises trends in other jurisdictions and provides information about Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America.

Although the information security risk mitigations and controls required by the ICO are not summarised, for those processing personal data online, the ICO itself summarised these in May.

Posted on: 28 April 2015 at 07:17 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

24 April 2015

AppSensor CISO Briefing

Following the release of the Introduction for Developers in February, the OWASP AppSensor team has now created and published a new document aimed at Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and others with similar responsibilities.

Cover of the 'AppSensor CISO Briefing'

The CISO Briefing is a high-level overview, with pointers to the more detailed resources for specifiers, architects, developers and operators.

The document's content was partially taken from the introductory sections of the AppSensor Guide and the AppSensor Microsite. This was then edited and changed by myself, John Melton and Louis Nadeau.

I incorporated several quotations from industry analysts, reports and standards to help set the context in the current security environment. The quotations are all publicly available but are mostly not OWASP AppSensor specific — instead they illustrate current trends and concerns about attack visibility, real-time detection, the need for automation, runtime application self-protection (RASP), and active defences.

The 12 pages comprise the following:

  • Defending Software Applications
  • Detect and Respond to Attacks From Within the Application
  • Benefits For Organizations and Users
    • Lower information security risk
    • Improved compliance
    • Reduced impact of attacks and breaches
    • Increased system survivability
  • Enterprise Ready
    • Extremely low false positives
    • Intelligence driven security
    • Low system resource overhead
    • Machine-speed response
  • Next Steps
  • Additional AppSensor Resources
  • About OWASP.

The CISO Briefing can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF, or purchased at cost in hardcopy from Lulu.com. There will also be some copies available during the CISO track at the AppSec EU conference in May.

Posted on: 24 April 2015 at 08:54 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

21 April 2015

Data Breach Investigations Report 2015

The Verizon annual Data Breach Investigations Report was published last week.

Partial view of Figure 43 from the Verizon 'Data Breach Investigation Report' showing the SANS critical security controls mapped to incident event chains

The Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) summarises findings from the collection and analysis of almost 80,000 security incidents relating to over 2,000 confirmed data breaches, sourced from 70 contributing organisations.

A breakdown by industry sector is provided. The 2015 DBIR incident and breach information collection processes have no substantial changes from the 2014 DBIR, focusing on security events resulting in confirmed data disclosure, as well as other security incidents such as denial-of-service attacks, and compromises of systems without data loss. The report re-iterates that it only represents a sample of events — the results are only representative of the sources of information contributed.

An analysis of the threat actions illustrates that the proportion of actions involving RAM scraping is growing, spyware/keylogger is falling and both credentials and phishing are broadly similar.

There is plenty of interesting data on breach discovery, phishing, patching, malware, industry profiles and impacts. The discussions on the problems with threat intelligence and the limited impact of mobile device compromise are insightful.

Nine common incident classification patterns are used to summarise the findings, including "web application attacks", accounting for 9.4% of incidents. Almost all the attacks in this category were opportunistic in nature, with information, financial services, and public entities being particularly affected. Use of stolen credentials are the most common action involved.

The last figure in the report (illustrated above) is a mapping from the recommended SANS Critical Security Controls to incident event chains. Although this only relates to Verizon's own source data, and not any of the other contributors, it illustrates that many basic security measures can help protect against the most common attacks. These include two-factor authentication, patching web services, verifying the need for internet-facing devices, proxying outbound traffic and web application testing.

Posted on: 21 April 2015 at 10:49 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

17 April 2015

London Insurance Markets and Cyber Risk Insurance

The UK government has published a report on the role of insurance markets in managing and mitigating cyber risk.

A figure from the report 'UK cyber security: the role of insurance in managing and mitigating the risk' illustrating the cyber risk profile for a typical large UK business

UK Cyber Security: The Role of Insurance in Managing and Mitigating the Risk describes how insurance can be another mechanism for cyber risk reduction, encouraging steps to reduce risk through reduced premiums, and providing insight from claims and near misses.

The report highlights that many aspects of cyber risk, such as the risk of business interruption, the potential for large and public impact, and the need for rapid response post-event, are common to other "tail risks" (low frequency, high impact events), such as natural catastrophe and terrorism.

The information I found most worthy of particular attention was:

  • More than 60% of incidents reported to insurers are the result of accidents
  • The majority of the high-severity losses stem from actions designed to cause harm
  • A paucity of data makes attempts to model cyber exposure difficult
  • Any form of data pooling among underwriters would therefore benefit their customers
  • The cost of cyber insurance relative to the limit purchased is typically three times the cost of cover for more established general liability risks
  • Cyber insurance also has a much lower degree of price differentiation across individual firms... this is concerning because it undermines the value of insurance in encouraging risk reduction by firms, since they will not see a corresponding reduction in their insurance costs
  • Half of firm leaders we spoke to do not realise that cyber risks can even be insured
  • Less than 10% of UK companies have cyber insurance protection even though 52% of CEOs believe that their companies have some form of coverage in place.

The taxonomy of cyber risk, cyber loss categorisations and risk profiles for larger and smaller business are especially helpful, and could be used by any organisation to undertake their own comparative cyber risk assessment.

Figure 8 of the report explains the typical cyber exclusions and gaps in traditional insurance policies for property, business interruption, general liability, and errors/omissions/professional indemnity. The potential insurability, market size and opportunities for the London insurance market are discussed.

Posted on: 17 April 2015 at 07:29 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

16 April 2015

PCI DSS v3.1 for Ecommerce Payments

Lots happening this week. The Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) has announced the release of an update to the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Partial view of the title sheet from the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, Requirements and Security Assessment Procedures, Version 3.1, April 2015

PCI DSS v3.1 (15 April 2015), includes several changes to reflect changing threats and recently discovered vulnerabilities, but also including some clarifications and additional guidance.

The most important aspects changed for ecommerce channels relate to the following PCI DSS requirements:

  • 2.2.3 and 4.1 - Removed SSL as an example of a secure technology. Added note that SSL and early TLS are no longer considered to be strong cryptography and cannot be used as a security control after June 30, 2016. Additional guidance provided in Guidance column. Also impacts Requirements 2.3 and 4.1.
  • 2.3 and 4.1.1 - Removed SSL as an example of a secure technology and added a note to the requirement.
  • 3.4 - Clarified in requirement note that additional controls are required if hashed and truncated versions of the same PAN are present in an environment.
  • 6.6 - Added clarification to testing procedure and Guidance column that if an automated technical solution is configured to alert (rather than block) web-based attacks, there must also be a process to ensure timely response.

The PCI SSC has provided an on demand webinar to assist with understanding all the changes. Version 3.1 is effective immediately and PCI DSS Version 3.0 will be retired on 30 June 2015.

Posted on: 16 April 2015 at 11:38 hrs

Comments Comments (0) | Permalink | Send Send | Post to Twitter

More Entries

Application Security and Privacy
https://www.clerkendweller.uk/
ISO/IEC 18004:2006 QR code for https://clerkendweller.uk

Page https://www.clerkendweller.uk/
Requested by 192.34.61.101 on Monday, 25 May 2015 at 07:49 hrs (London date/time)

Please read our terms of use and obtain professional advice before undertaking any actions based on the opinions, suggestions and generic guidance presented here. Your organisation's situation will be unique and all practices and controls need to be assessed with consideration of your own business context.

Terms of use https://www.clerkendweller.uk/page/terms
Privacy statement https://www.clerkendweller.uk/page/privacy
© 2008-2015 clerkendweller.uk