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Security is a Developer and IT Afterthought

“The entire tech industry over the last 20 years has collectively dropped the ball on security,” argued Daniel Riedel (@riedelinc), CEO of New Context, in our conversation at the 2015 Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas. “It’s an absolute disaster. We don’t work together. Engineers, and security professionals, and compliance, they simply don’t talk to each other. They continue to throw work over the fence hoping it’s someone else’s problem and not taking ownership.”

The result is that engineering and security have turned into warring factions, added Riedel.

Lean security, an iterative process to development, IT, and security, can improve this. Although companies with a rugged DevOps environment are admired, it’s truly hard to simply become a DevOps shop.

The problem is there are cultural differences and ingrained ways of doing things, said Riedel.

As an industry, we’ve traditionally been very good at recognizing when we’re doing things the wrong way. Each new discovery in development such as waterfall, extreme programming, and agile makes us realize the old way was bad and there is a better way. Rugged DevOps and lean security is just the natural evolution of a process improvement we’ve already been on, explained Riedel.

“All these teams (security, engineering, and compliance) need to come together and figure out how to implement security within their enterprises more effectively,” said Riedel. “It means taking a lot of these things we push towards the end and putting them into the agile, into the DevOps process, and making sure we think about these things when we actually create the code in the first place.”