B-C-METOYX

InfoSec's Jerk Problem, By Christian Ternus

Blog Post created by B-C-METOYX Employee on Jan 8, 2015

I wanted to take a moment to flag a post from another blog that's well worth your time, especially if you want to get a better understanding of the security industry culture. It's from Akamai InfoSec's own Christian Ternus. The subject is something any industry can relate to -- the so-called "jerk problem."


An excerpt:


Put bluntly: to others, we're jerks.

If you don't think this is a problem, you can stop reading here.

 

The dysfunctional tale of Bob and Alice

 

Imagine this. Developer Bob just received an email from your Infosec department, subjectImportant Security Update. He sighs, thinking of the possibilities: a request to rotate his password, or a new rule? Maybe it's a dressing-down for having violated some policy, a demand for extra work to patch a system, or yet another hair-on-fire security update he doesn't really see the need for. His manager is on his case: he's been putting in long hours on the next rev of the backend but library incompatibilities and inconsistent APIs have ruined his week, and he's way behind schedule. He shelves the security update - he doesn't have time to deal with it, and most things coming out of Infosec are just sound and fury anyway - and, thinking how nice it would be if his team actually got the resources it needed, continues to code. He'll get to it later. Promise.

Meanwhile, you, Security Researcher Alice, are trying not to panic. You've seen the latest Rails vulnerability disclosure, and you know it's just a matter of hours before your exposed system gets hit. You remember what happened to Github and Heroku, and you're not anxious to make the front page of Hacker News (again?!). If only Bob would answer his email! You know he's at work - what's happening? The face of your boss the last time your software got exploited appears in your mind, and you cringe, dreading an unpleasant meeting ahead. You fume for several minutes, cursing all developers everywhere, but no response is forthcoming. Angrily, you stand up and march over to his cube, ready to give him a piece of your mind.

Pause. What's going on here, and what's about to happen?

Read the full post HERE.

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