11 June 2015


Posts relating to the category tag "maturity" are listed below.

11 June 2015

Website Vulnerability Statistics Report 2015

WhiteHat Security in the United States has published the 15th edition of its Website Security Statistics Report.

Partial view of one of the charts in the WhiteHat Website Security Statistics Report 2015' showing Frequency of Adhoc Code Review by Industry Sector

Website Security Statistics Report 2015 presents core data relating to:

  • Likelihood of a vulnerability existing in web applications
  • The number of days per annum applications have one or more serious vulnerabilities (window of exposure).

These are defined in aggregate and also by industry sector. But this year's report also provides a deeper analysis of how these numbers and security activities in the software development lifecycle relate to breaches, vulnerability prevalence, and remediation rates.

The report is available after registering from the WhiteHat website.

Posted on: 11 June 2015 at 17:14 hrs

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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

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31 March 2015

Participate in the OWASP Project Summit in Amsterdam

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is supporting a project summit during the two days prior to the main AppSec EU conference.

Photograph of a sign mounted on a door in Amsterdam which reads in Dutch and English 'Denk aan de buren a.u.b. - Please mind the neighbours'

A project summit on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th May has been announced and information published on the AppSec EU 2015 web site. The concept of the summit is to work on improving and extending project outputs with other volunteers, and as such requires active participation and contribution.

Across all the sessions there are a wide range of inputs needed including requirements specification, architecture review, coding, testing, documentation/wiki writing and review, user interface design, planning, graphical design, video creation and translation. Full details, timings and objectives of each session are provided on the summit's wiki pages.

There are many projects participating, including sessions for projects I am actively involved in. My own parts of the summit are

Tuesday 19th May

  • 10:30-12:00 hrs OWASP Codes of Conduct - Document Review
    The current Codes of Conduct were developed primarily during the last major OWASP Summit in Portugal. They cover: Government Bodies Educational Institutions Standards Groups Trade Organizations Certifying Bodies Development Organizations This 1.5 hour session will review, edit, update and release v1.2 of each document. Participants should be interested in how external entities can be encouraged to support OWASP's mission, read the existing Codes of Conduct in advance, and come with suggestions for changes. The session agenda is 1. Introduction; 2. Joint review and edit (15 mins each document); 3. Publish updated documents to wiki (PDF and Word).
  • 13:00-15:00 hrs OWASP AppSensor (Documentation) - Guide Review
    The AppSensor Guide v2 was published in May last year, and has had two minor updates, the last one mainly due to the important release of the v2 code implementation. This session is to edit and improve the guide, since many of the chapters have not been fully reviewed. Participants should read a chapter or two in advance of the summit (chapter 5 onwards, but choose randomly/what is of interest) and bring their edits/comments to the session, where the guide will be updated. All participants will be acknowledged in the guide and on the project wiki page. The session agenda is 1. Briefing; 2. Live editing; 3. Publication updated PDF.
  • 15:30-16:30 hrs OWASP Snakes and Ladders - Dutch Translation
    OWASP Snakes and Ladders (web applications) has been translated into 5 other languages already, and Portuguese is in progress. But so far not Dutch. This rapid session will ask participants to translate the 900 words or so into Dutch, so that a PDF and Adobe Illustrator version can be created. It will also be possible to help remotely, as it will be set up on Crowdin. The session agenda is 1. Meet; 2.Translate; 3. Create Illustrator and PDF output; 4. Publish.

Wednesday 20th May

  • 09:00-12:00 hrs OWASP Cornucopia - Ecommerce Website Edition - Video
    The objective is to create a short "how to play the Cornucopia card game" video during this half-day session. Cornucopia is a card game that helps identify security requirements, but people may not be familiar with how easy it is to get started. Participants for this session are needed to be players, to create a narrative, to video the game being played, and if there is time and anyone has the skill, to edit the video and sound into a release version. It is preferable if participants are already a little familiar with the game and/or threat modelling. If there is time, we will also discuss alternative game strategies like a Jeopardy format. The session agenda is 1. Storyboarding; 2. Game play recording; 3. Editing; 4. Soundtrack; 5. Publish video.
  • 13:30-17:00 hrs OWASP AppSensor (Code) - Dashboard
    The AppSensor v2.0.0 code implementation final release was undertaken in January. One of the tasks to continue with is the development of a reporting dashboard. This session is to brainstorm ideas and layouts for the dashboard, and identify what tools/libraries can assist in the creation of the dashboard. Bring ideas, energy, URLs, paper and pens! The outputs will be dashboard mockups. The session agenda is 1. Introductions and objectives; 2. Information requirements; 3. User stories; 4. Information design; 5. Code libraries and frameworks.
  • 17:00-18:00 hrs OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications - Website Owner Experiences
    The OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications Project is undertaking research and will publish its outputs immediately prior to AppSec EU 2015. This meeting seeks input from training and conference attendees on their own organisations' experiences of automated attacks: What types of automated attacks occur and with what frequency? What were the symptoms? How are they detected? What incident response measures were taken? What steps were undertaken to prevent or mitigate such attacks? Participation/contribution can be anonymous or otherwise. The intention is to update the published documents during the session and if possible create additional sector-specific guidance.


Attendance at the project summit is free, but everyone is a participant to help achieve the objectives. Please register to let the team know who will be attending. Join as many or as few of the sessions as you like.

The summit is co-loacted at the Amsterdam RAI as the chargeable training courses running on the same days. Why not sign up for those and the conference at the same time?

I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Posted on: 31 March 2015 at 13:52 hrs

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27 March 2015

Financial Conduct Authority Update March 2015

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is becoming more proactive in the online application space.

Photograph of one of the dragon boundary marks at the boundary of the City of London on Embankment

Following last year's consultation on use of social media, the FCA has completed its review and has now confirmed its approach for financial promotions in social media.

The finalised guidance has been published as FG15/4 - Social Media and Customer Communications: The FCA's Supervisory Approach to Financial Promotions in Social Media.

This covers web sites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking, including blogs, microblogs (e.g. Twitter), social and professional networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+), forums, and image and video-sharing platforms (e.g. YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest. Any form of communication (including through social media) is capable of being a financial promotion, depending on whether it includes an invitation or inducement to engage in financial activity. So, for example, it would include 'advergames', where promotional messages are placed in entertainment applications.

On another matter, in addition to the document published in July on Considerations for Firms Thinking of Using Third-Party Technology (off-the-shelf) Banking Solutions, legal news blog Out-law.com reports the FCA is examining platforms' technology systems later this year.

The FCA is also consulting on proposed changes to its consumer credit rules and guidance. Almost a year ago on 1st April 2014 the FCA took over the regulation of consumer credit from the former Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This brought around 50,000 consumer credit firms into its scope.

And finally, the UK's new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), launching next week and part of the FCA, has announced its regulatory framework for payment systems (summary factsheet). Customers of payment services providers may not be aware of this change — Card payment systems is in the 2015/16 programme of work.

Keep up-to-date with FCA and PSR news.

Posted on: 27 March 2015 at 08:40 hrs

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17 March 2015

Payment Security and PCI DSS Compliance 2015

Verizon has published its annual PCI Compliance Report 2015 covering data up to the end of 2014, describing compliance, the sustainability of controls and ongoing risk management.

Partial screen capture from the Verizon report 'PCI Compliance Report 2015' showing one of the many charts

PCI Compliance Report 2015 analyses information from PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) assessments undertaken by Verizon between 2012 and 2014, together with additional data from forensic investigation reports.

It describes the challenges of maintaining compliance and mentions the scale and complexity of requirements, uncertainty about scope and impact, the ongoing compliance cycle, lack of resources, lack of insight into business processes and misplaced confidence in existing information security maturity.

Each main requirement has a dedicated section summarising the changes in v3.0, describing the compliance challenges found, and providing recommendations for maintaining security and compliance. The authors describe methods they consider should be used to make compliance easier, more effective and sustainable.

There is a useful "compliance calendar" in Appendix C of the report which shows the periodic and other triggers for certain activities across the 12 requirements. A "must read" if you are a payment merchant or service provider.

Posted on: 17 March 2015 at 08:46 hrs

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27 February 2015

Register Today for OWASP AppSec EU 2015 in Amsterdam

The leading application security training and conference event is being held in Amsterdam from 19th to 22nd May 2015. Register today.

Photograph of houses overlooking boats on a canal in Amsterdam - the location for OWASP AppSec EU 2015

OWASP AppSec EU 2015 is being held in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre just a single train stop from both Schiphol Airport in one direction, and central station in the other.

AppSec EU 2015 comprises:

It looks like it will be a superb event. Thanks to the event team for their work to date.

And of course, there is everything else Amsterdam has to offer.

Registration is open, but the price increases on 1st March (this Sunday), and there is another higher charge for tickets bought at the door. Amsterdam RAI Hotel and Travel Service is the official accommodation partner of OWASP AppSec EU 2015. Lastly, there are still a few sponsorship packages available.

Posted on: 27 February 2015 at 09:32 hrs

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20 February 2015

Software Assurance Maturity Model Practitioner Workshop

The OWASP Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) team are holding a summit in Dublin at the end of March.

Extract from the Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) document that describes the four business functions - governance, construction, verification, and deployment

As part of the two-day Open SAMM Summit 2015 a full day is being allocated to software assurance practitioners and those who want to learn about using the vendor-neutral and free Open SAMM to help measure, build and maintain security throughout the software development lifecycle.

Open SAMM helps organisations formulate and implement a strategy for software security that is tailored to the specific risks facing the organisation. The resources provided by SAMM assist:

  • Evaluating an organisation's existing software security practices
  • Building a balanced software security programme in well-defined iterations
  • Demonstrating concrete improvements to a security assurance program
  • Defining and measuring security-related activities within an organisation.

There seems to be plenty activity in the project. Keep up-to-date by following or joining the mailing list.

The users day, on Friday 27th March, is a combination of presentations, workshops and round-table discussions to help explain the approach, to make best use of a maturity model, to show how SAMM is being used by other companies, and to describe some upcoming project initiatives. The user day runs from 08:00 for 09:00 hrs through to 17:00 hrs, and is followed in the evening by an optional social event. Attendance is limited to the first 40 people who register and costs 150 EUR + VAT (21%). Travel, accommodation, subsistence at your own cost.

The following day, the SAMM project team, and any other volunteers who want to participate, will be working on creating outputs for the project.

The event is being held at The Gibson Hotel at Point Village Dublin 1, Ireland.

Posted on: 20 February 2015 at 09:59 hrs

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21 January 2015

London Cyber Security Summit for Startups

OWASP London Chapter is helping host next week's Cyber Startup Summit in conjunction with techUK, PixelPin and Sonatype.

Banner for the summit that reads 'Cyber Startup Summit - 28th-30th January 2015, IDEALondon/Google Campus'

The primary focus of the Cyber Startup Summit is to promote innovation across cyber security. It intends to enable collaboration between enterprise security leaders, security startups, creative entrepreneurs, students and academics to discuss, connect and hack the hot topics within the world of cyber security. The summit comprises three events:

  • Secure Startup (Wednesday 28th morning) at IDEALondon, London EC2A 2BB
    Talks/workshops for generic startups to better understand how to develop secure products, secure existing products and secure the business assets/IP/data.

    9.00 Arrive
    9.30 Introduction & morning overview
    10.00 Interactive talks (15mins x4)
    - Developing Secure Fintech MVPs (cryptocurrency/mobile) - Marco Morana
    - Open Source Risk - David Jones
    - Securing your IP/Ideas - Mike Loginov
    - Securing Existing Tech (MVP/Product) - Justin Clarke
    11.00 Talk: Security by Design - Angela Sasse
    11.40 Talk: Good and Sanity - David Jones
    12.00 Leader Panel on "Securing Business Q&A"
    13.00 Finish

  • Cyber Innovation (Wednesday 28th afternoon) at IDEALondon, London EC2A 2BB
    Talks and security leader discussions on key topics discussing the now and future of cyber security innovation and how new cyber startups may have a part to play.

    13.30 Arrive
    14.00 Introduction & afternoon overview
    14.15 Talk: Nurturing Cyber Startups - Andy Williams
    14.30 Talk: Cyber Investment in FinTech - Ian Dowson
    14.45 Talk: Future of Cyber Innovation - Mike Loginov
    15.15 Talk: Think Secure, Now or Never - Amar Singh
    15.45 Talk: Risk, Regulation, Reputation - John Elliott
    16.30 Leader Panel on "Cyber Innovation Q&A" - Marco Morana, Amar Singh, Angela Sasse, Mike Loginov, John Elliott
    18.00 Finish (+drinks)

  • Hackathon (Thursday 29th and Friday 30th) at Campus London, London EC2A 4BX
    A two day hackathon for developers, students and the security community so work on new ideas that will either create a cyber security product or a product that has security at core.

    Day 1 - Thursday 29th January
    09.00 Participants arrive (+breakfast)
    09.30 Introduction & hackathon overview
    10.00 Participants with current ideas given 1 minute to present them to everyone
    11.00 Teams formed and the Hackathon begins.

    Day 2 - Friday 30th January
    09.00 Breakfast
    12.00 Lunch
    14.00 Presentations start - 3min presenting & 2min Q&A
    15.30 Break
    17.00 Winners announced
    17.30 Networking inc food and drink
    19.00 After Party at Silicon Drinkabout

Book a free place for the Secure Startup and Cyber Innovation events.

The hackathon is dedicated to ideas for new security (or secure) products. Participants can utilise available resources to create new security prototypes. Mentors will be on site. The hackathon is free but booking is required.

Posted on: 21 January 2015 at 08:40 hrs

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16 January 2015

New Application Security Program Quick Start Guide

WhiteHat Security has donated a getting started guide to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

To be successful, we should aim for a program that is more than simply testing sites and delivering results to stake holders. Those activities represent just two of the many inputs and outputs necessary to reduce the risk associated with web applications.

The Application Security Program Quick Start Guide provides information on setting up or improving a software development security initiative, and is now an OWASP project. It was created by Gabriel Gumbs, Jeremiah Grossman, Robert Hansen, Jerry Hoff and Matt Johansen. The guide is arranged in "5 days" of actions, which might be somewhat hopeful, but is a useful summary of what WhiteHat has found to work elsewhere.

The version 1.0 document is available in Word and PDF formats. The guide is free to use and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted on: 16 January 2015 at 19:10 hrs

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14 January 2015

Application Security and Privacy Mapping 2015

I have updated my chart detailing the most important guidance, standards, legislation and organisations that can influence mobile and web application development security and privacy in the UK.

Principal Influences on UK Web Applications' mind map diagram for January 2015

For a fuller explanation, read my post about the update last October.

Access the Principal Influences on UK Applications 2015 chart, hosted on my company's web site.

Posted on: 14 January 2015 at 10:39 hrs

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Maturity : Application Security and Privacy
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