“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”, penned Charles Dickens in 1859’s A Tale of Two Cities.
I was going to start off listing a series of what I think are easy questions that I reckon everyone in technology should be able to answer even if they are not or have never been involved with writing software. I gave this some serious thought and decided (perhaps a little arbitrarily) that, actually, I’m really only interested in one single question for now and that is ‘should software be tested’?
I remember it clearly. Sitting down for breakfast, I opened the Sydney Morning Herald to see the latest headlines in Australia for the day. As I shuffled through the paper, I finally landed upon the Technology section and then noticed pages and pages of “help wanted” adds.
Just the other day I was planning dinner for my family and thought it would be a great idea to bust out the Dutch oven I had to have, but rarely use, and make a nice stew. I ran to the grocery store to grab some fresh carrots, turnips, onions, a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes, and some fresh chicken (and a bottle of nice wine for the thirsty chef). I needed a quick start and an on-time finish. Or it would be another failed product delivery — followed by a rapid desire by my family to outsource.
The U.S. recently overtook France as the world’s largest wine market. And here at Sonatype, we can proudly say we’ve contributed to this achievement. By not only consuming our fair share of wine but by also being involved — outside of work — in crafting our own wines. Over the 4th of July holiday, I was able to enjoy some of the wine I’ve aged over the years. For the best wines, aging can create spectacular results years down the line. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for code and components used in today’s applications. Where aging improves a fine wine, code ages more like milk.
There are two ways to motivate others to action: emotional appeal and fact based analysis. Our 2014 Open Source and Application Security survey results touched on both. We’ve run this survey for the past four years, but this time we decided to reveal the results in a new way. Rather than let our marketing team “spin” the results, we wanted to provide you a completely independent perspective focus on both open source development and application security. Adrian Lane, CTO and Security Analyst, at Securosis jumped at the chance. We provided him the raw survey results data and he agreed to write the analysis. We did not ask or direct him on what to write; in fact, Securosis’ Totally Transparent Research methodology does not allow companies like Sonatype to influence their research.
Wow! What an amazing turnout we had for our 4th annual survey: 3,353 participants this year brings us to over 11,000 participants in the four years we’ve run this survey. I would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all who participated! The survey started with a bang and was quickly followed by a shock wave. Just a week after our 2014 survey kicked off this year, the tech world was thrown off by the announcement of the Open SSL bug dubbed Heartbleed.
Its not everyday I can stop to enjoy my afternoon tea outside on my deck, overlooking my garden. But today I did and while admiring my beautiful blooming flowers, I started to draw some parallels between my garden and software development. Full disclosure, I wouldn’t consider myself a true gardener. I buy plants that have already been cultivated to a mature stage on someone else’s farm or in someone else’s greenhouse.
If you had a heart attack, would you stop eating cheeseburgers? For most people, the answer is “No”. A recent survey of 1,000 survivors found that 60 percent of heart attack victims weren’t sticking to a healthy diet and about 30 percent still had high cholesterol and blood pressure. Hey, old habits (especially the tasty ones) die hard. Funny thing is, the same behavior for those who have suffered a heart attack is found in application security. If you have been breached, chances are you have not changed your security diet.
Now that Heartbleed has become the new measuring stick for vulnerability disclosures, I have had several people ask me, “Is this OpenId/Oauth thing the next Heartbleed?” The long answer, as Run DMC once said, is “It’s Tricky, Tricky, Tricky, Tricky”. The TL/DR (too long/didn’t read) answer is “No”.