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Improving Application Security After An Incident Cory Scott Matasano Security.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Application Security After An Incident Cory Scott Matasano Security."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Application Security After An Incident Cory Scott Matasano Security

2 Where Do Application Security Programs Come From?

3 Unlikely.

4 Maybe.

5 Most likely.

6 An incident, you say? Could be a near miss Or an unfortunate impact That’s fine, we’ll pull out our trusty dusty (network) response plan...


8 Traditional Network Incident Response Root cause is one or more of the following: credentials, access control, patch, or configuration. There’s an app for that. And a process template. And an audit guideline. Whew... All Done! Usually one neck to choke.

9 Application Anarchy! Could be one of many root causes. Could be the fault of the developer, the framework author, third-party plug-ins, application operations, poor requirement definition, client-side security, etc etc. There’s probably an app for some of that. But you’re going to need some process for it too... Quick - how do you audit a secure coding practice? How many necks can you choke?

10 Queue Foreshadowing Music Here

11 Oh, the people you’ll meet! Internal Auditors (grr!) External Auditors (eep!) Executives (*cringe*) Development Managers (hey, you!) Network Security People (...) Application Security Salesmen in your C[X]Os office (WTF!)

12 The Opportunity & The Problem

13 Taking the root cause to the bank You can prove that the Quick Fix is not the fix. You’ve just got some funding for an appsec program. Congratulations! OR You may be getting funding... IF you can show that you’re going to do something meaningful with it. OR You may have to go back into the trenches until the next one.

14 AppSec Stallout! Management priority shift. Fatigue, fear, and loathing. Bought the $PRODUCT, the problem is solved. Right? Right? Got the Pentest, all clean! Right? X days without a workplace incident, all good! Analysis Paralysis Auditor Pile-On The LCD of Compliance

15 READY... FIRE... AIM! Assessment Strategies to Prevent Stallout

16 Identify High-Risk Applications Emphasis on high-risk Enforce the two-sentence rule to identify loss potential Existing inventories are usually insufficient Don’t fight against intuition Get it over with

17 Scoping is Critical Get this wrong and you’ve just wasted thousands of dollars.

18 Scoping is Collaborative Get everyone to the table, including: Application Owner Development Guy Information Security Guy The Tester Ambiguity at the beginning is okay, but not at the end. Respect the fact that this make some people uncomfortable.

19 Best of both worlds Embrace Design Reviews in addition to implementation-oriented assessments HOWEVER: Questionnaires are to Design Reviews what Web Vulnerability Scanners are to Penetration Testing

20 Flexible & Standardized at the same time?! Define a short-list of vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Choices are good! Design review Tools Code review Manual Penetration Testing Standardize approach and deliverable for each choice.

21 Pick your battles and weapon of choice The first few engagements are the most important. Insert a QA checkpoint and a post- assessment feedback process. Pick “friendly” application teams to start. Bring in external teams at the beginning to crib off of their approach and delivery.

22 Management Strategies to Prevent Stallout

23 Get funding for remediation upfront Strike while the iron is hot. (and the wallet is open) Rule of thumb: remediation cost equals assessment cost. Consider a two-level approach for each app: a pre-approved “not-to-exceed” amount and a separate budget request for larger initiatives. You’ll make friends!

24 Assign Specialists Understand the business unit Maintain a watchlist of applications Scope and schedule assessments Assist in Incident Response

25 Process Change SDL improvements Small steps with pilot groups Leverage specialists Vendor management Give them a risk assessment that they can self-operate to start Encourage reusable assessments

26 Detection & Response You worked so hard to get situational awareness, don’t lose it! First on your wish-list: logging and audit trails that you didn’t have pre-incident that would have helped you respond faster and with less legwork. Specialists can help in preparation and response.

27 Metrics KRIs Vulnerabilities still open for each application Applications within open vulnerabilities that have suffered a successful attack within the last year Applications with open vulnerabilities with no clear path towards remediation or where the risk has been accepted by the business unit KPIs # high-risk applications # of assessments performed Code/component coverage for each assessment Assessment coverage per business unit # of vulnerabilities opened for each application # of vulnerabilities addressed with a plan # of vulnerabilities closed or remediated

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