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Good Practices for Software Development


Good Practices for Software Development

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Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)
I did something like this only to learn that we were out of compliance with a vendor and had broken a support agreement. This was a large company and I did receive the "JFDI" from the upper manager who signed off on the application.

I had my get out of jail free card.

If the vendor's application still works, then still JFDI, even it's not compliant with the support agreement. If one of the vendor's techs need to poke around in the database to perform some maintenance operation, then you can temporarily add "SA" to the SYSADMIN role. But have a profiler or extended event trace running in the meantime to keep an eye on what system changes or other stuff they're doing while using elevated permissions.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2014)
It's amazing that googling the following will still return hundreds of actual server login credentials.
filetype:config connectionString uid password


Ugh

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Steve Jones
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)


The push needs to come from someone in senior management with some security smarts. In my experience, very few executives have this knowledge.


In my opinion, the push needs to come from insurance companies. Until people are sued for a lack of security in their software, it's unlikely anything will change. Once insurance companies can charge more for poorly written software insurance, we'll see a shift.

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Eric M Russell
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (4/24/2014)
jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)


The push needs to come from someone in senior management with some security smarts. In my experience, very few executives have this knowledge.


In my opinion, the push needs to come from insurance companies. Until people are sued for a lack of security in their software, it's unlikely anything will change. Once insurance companies can charge more for poorly written software insurance, we'll see a shift.

So you're saying that an increase in lawsuits will compell companies to purchase something like errors and omissions insurance, and then insurance providers will assume the role of performing security audits for the purpose of adjusting rates based on assessed risk; sort of like auto or life insurance?
Perhaps having the insurance industry assume the role of performing IT security audits isn't such a bad idea. They are a 3rd party with a balanced incentive to both acquire business while at the same time minimizing risk. They would probably do a better job at it than internal or government auditers.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Steve Jones
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2014)

So you're saying that an increase in lawsuits will compel companies to purchase something like errors and omissions insurance, and then insurance providers will assume the role of performing security audits for the purpose of adjusting rates based on assessed risk; sort of like auto or life insurance?
Perhaps having the insurance industry assume the role of performing IT security audits isn't such a bad idea. They are a 3rd party with a balanced incentive to both acquire business while at the same time minimizing risk. They would probably do a better job at it than internal or government auditers.


I think it's the most likely place for things to change. Insurance companies can adapt quickly and help companies make choices, based on real economic considerations. The government can't spec audits quickly enough to meet changing needs.

This has worked in other areas, getting companies to comply with OSHA, safety, etc. rules because it changes insurance rates.

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jarick 15608
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Maybe more class action lawsuits against companies would trigger their general liability carriers to start demanding better security in their IT infrastructure?
Steve Jones
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)
Maybe more class action lawsuits against companies would trigger their general liability carriers to start demanding better security in their IT infrastructure?


They just might. As much as I don't want to see lawyers getting rich here, I'd like to see more emphasis on security.

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jarick 15608
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How about stockholders demanding CIO's be held accountable when there is a significant data breach?
Jim P.
Jim P.
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)
I've seen a lot of packages with a requirement of using the SA login for the install. If I had any say, that would be the end of the review and I would kindly show the developer or salesperson the door. However, by the time the DBA and Security teams see the software, it has already been purchased and sponsored by an executive who wants it installed last week.


We had a SW package to install that used SA. That's because as part of the install it created other user ids that it used for the service to connect to the DBs and then there was a dll to register several packages. And we didn't even have to know the SA password as long as the DBA/sys admin was around to type it in. We only needed it for initial install and upgrades.

I don't see anything wrong with that. Now if it is needed for the SW to run on a daily basis, that would be a different story.



----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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Despite all the coders contributing to OpenSSL, they somehow missed an obvious buffer overflow bug that could be spotted in a production or test environment without even examining at the source code. Somehow there was no systematic testing.

Underwriters Laboratories tests and certifies electronic equipment, so maybe software too.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
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