Welcome!

Ruby-On-Rails Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hovhannes Avoyan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Ruby-On-Rails, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Ruby-On-Rails: Blog Feed Post

A is for Application, J is for Jacked

Security is a tough beast to tame for typical IT departments

Security Track at Cloud Expo

…Criminal-toasty Application Jacked, Data’s tasty stolen too, You’re Application’s Hacked.  Application’s Jacked, Application’s Jacked – hum hum the rest in your head, glad to plant a jingle in you, to sing out all day!

Almost every day now, there seems to be a report about some ‘important’ system getting breached or some credit cards/identities being stolen or insecure infrastructures getting exposed with schools, universities, municipalities, states and even entire countries being the latest victims.  The recent 7Safe UK Security Breach Investigations Report stated, “86% of all attacks, a weakness in a web interface was exploited” and in his blog last week, Jeremiah Grossman wrote about the discrepancy in security spending verses the types of attacks that occur.  He breaks down the numbers to show that most of the security spending goes to perimeter defense like firewalls and says, ‘Organizations spend their IT security dollars protecting themselves from yesterday’s attacks, at the network/infrastructure layer, while overlooking today’s real threats.’

Register Today and Save $550 !
Explore Sponsorship Opportunities !

IMG00003This got me thinking – will we ever get ahead of the game?  Is it a question of habit?  Is it being uninformed or not understanding the true nature of the threats?  Is it just checking the compliance box and not really going after true protection?  Is it a budget, education, staffing or perception issue?  Are the crooks way smarter?  Are there too many areas to secure – applications, code, infrastructure, DNS, data, and any other piece that needs to be protected?  Are there just a whole mess of insecure systems on the internet just waiting to get jacked?  Or a combination of all these?  Probably depends on many, mixed factors depending on organization, personnel, region and what can be accomplished within whatever boundaries are placed on those who are tasked to implement a solution.  Many security professionals over the years focused on a particular discipline like network, database, application and so forth yet many of those same folks are now tasked with understanding and securing all areas of the organization.

Almost every second of our life, we make choices/decisions hopefully based on the best information we have at the time.  Maybe we ask for additional advice, if available, to make a more informed decision.  Sometimes emotions come into play when trying to come to a rational conclusion and we all know the head and the heart can pull you in opposite directions.  There’s a part of me that wants to scold those who are lazy with securing data.  (Incidentally, I did that last night at the Disney on Ice show – one of the vendors had a clipboard with a stack of credit card receipts sitting right in front of the register for people to use to sign their slips – I could have easily slipped that into my jacket while he wasn’t looking and disappeared into the crowd with a stack of signed CC receipts.  I informed him that his ‘ease of use’ was actually not so smart.  He pulled it and later, while the clipboard was still there, the receipts were absent.)  Then there’s the other side that feels the need to educate and help those who might not understand the ramifications of their actions – the softer side of psilva.

In our personal life, while we might ponder or struggle with the huge, life changing decisions like a job change or moving the family, and after careful consideration we usually make the right choice but it’s all the little miniscule, insignificant decisions we make throughout the day that defines our character.  When the basis for our decisions is coming from several different factors and the outcome can effect many swaths both across the organization and the public at large, that can make it a much more difficult endeavor, especially when it comes down to Infrastructure vs. Application, even though both should get attention.  We can yell, bang our head against the wall, plead and beg, but security is a tough beast to tame for typical IT departments.  Even if they do declare Application Security is top priority, there may be many other factors holding them back.  We probably still have a way to go when it comes to prioritizing dollars based on actual attack stats until it hits close to home – by then, it’s too late.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determin...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...