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February 2013/ Volume 15 / No. 1

2013 Security Priority Survey, security risks when buying IT hardware from China

As Gary McGraw mentioned in his [In]-Security column this month, every enterprise depends on software. On the one hand, this is merely stating the obvious. Software carries out the processes, enforcing the rules that reflect the business purpose. Each company tries its best to select or develop software that best enables it to carry out its organizational mission. On the other hand, the primary role of software begs to question why so little attention is paid to software security. Historically, security has tried to protect software from itself; building a firewall perimeter around it, watching for telltale symptoms in the network packet stream that might indicate an application attack, and by locking down privileges so only authorized people can direct requests to the software in the first place. McGraw argued that we should take the time to consider whether our software is unacceptably buggy from a security point of view. We should take a crack at it using the “badness-ometer.” That seems reasonable, but only a portion of the ...

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