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June 2007

Viewpoint: Blame software insecurity on project managers

Blame Begins at Top I believe Edward Adams' frustrations ("Straw House," March 2007) are misguided. The article pins the blame for security flaws on developers. I believe this is incorrect; it's not the lack of academic security training that leads software developers to write code with holes, but rather the project managers' and systems analysts' lack of security awareness. Security must always flow from the top down. Customers do not understand the importance of ensuring their products are coded securely. However, as with all too many security related activities, awareness is often not realized until it is too late. Mr. Adams' article would argue that it is the developer's job to make customers aware. I would disagree. It begins with the systems analysts who have the most contact with the customer. If these analysts were to properly communicate that specific functionality would require steps to ensure secure coding, and stood their ground to ensure software was not released until these steps had been met, today's software may ...

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