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March 2007

Secure software development needs to be treated as other engineering disciplines

Software developers are an intriguing mix of artist and engineer. This is what makes them so creative, but is also the root cause of an epidemic in today's applications--poorly engineered code. The problem is that software development is not treated like other engineering disciplines. The core concepts are taught, but the rigor is not required prior to becoming a professional. Universities teach courses on cryptography and algorithms, but almost none teach quality or security as part of their software engineering or computer science majors. To exacerbate the problem, we as an industry do not demand certifications, EIT (engineer-in-training), or other residency programs like other disciplines. As a result, we build houses of straw, just like the three little pigs in that old fairy tale. We are arrogant in our thinking that the house of straw will stand when the Big Bad Wolf comes a-blowing. Our software developers lack security training and discipline, and we've let them get away with it. And tools are not going to solve this ...

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Features in this issue

  • Product review: Six removable device control security products

    Six removable device control security products that provide centrally managed granular control over ports, interfaces and storage devices are reviewed. This review evaluates: DeviceLock 6.0 from SmartLine, Sanctuary Device Con-trol 4.0 from SecureWave, Endpoint Access Manager 3.0 from ControlGuard, Device-Wall 4.5 from Centennial Software, Safend Protector 3.1 from Safend and Protect Mobile from Workshare.

  • Prioritizing compliance and information security

    Have compliance demands refocused and weakened information security efforts?

Columns in this issue