Computer security, or the lack thereof, has made many headlines recently. In this article we'll look at how bad things are and what you, as a software developer, can do about it. It will help get you started or hopefully give you some new ideas if you're already doing some security work.
CERT Secure Coding team, part of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, have recently released secure coding guidelines specific to Java's application in the Android platform. InfoQ interviews Lori Flynn, one of the researchers who authored them.
Right now, we in technology are witnessing the convergence of two competing forces: on one hand, an increasing need for security (as demonstrated by these events last year); on the other, an increasing number of organizations adopting Continuous Integration (CI). In a CI model, code is integrated regularly — usually several times a day — and checked against automated tests. Coupled with Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment, CI is getting code into live applications faster. While Continuous Integration is improving the agility and speed-to-market of software organizations, that speed can leave developers more vulnerable to security breaches.
Today I watched the Google I/O presentation about HTTPS everywhere and read a couple of articles, saying that Google is going to rank sites using HTTPS higher. Apart from that, SPDY has mandatory usage of TLS, and it’s very likely the same will be true for HTTP/2. Chromium proposes marking non-HTTPS sites as non-secure. And that’s perfect. Except, it’s not very nice for small site owners. In the presentation above, the speakers say “it’s very easy” multiple times. And it is, you just have to follow a dozen checklists with a dozen items, run your site through a couple of tools and pay a CA 30 bucks per year. I have run a couple of personal sites over HTTPS (non-commercial, so using a free StatCom certificate), and I still shiver at the thought of setting up a certificate. You may say that’s because I’m an Ops newbie, but it’s just a tedious process. But let’s say every site owner will have a webmaster on contract who will renew the certificate every year. What’s the point? The talk
Agile teams are known to produce reliable and high quality code quickly. However, it is also a fact that pressure to deliver quickly might result in short cut reviews, curtailed testing and lack of attention to secure code.
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