The "People | Process | Technology" podcast is a recorded series of discussions with thought leaders and practitioners who are working on integrating the three areas of business that are most likely to have a massive impact on your business.
The Ops Side of DevSecOps w/ Damon Edwards
When Shannon Lietz and the team at DevSecOps.org published the DevSecOps Manifesto six years ago, security was uppermost in their minds. The manifesto starts with a call to arms…
“Through Security as Code, we have and will learn that there is simply a better way for security practitioners, like us, to operate and contribute value with less friction. We know we must adapt our ways quickly and foster innovation to ensure data security and privacy issues are not left behind because we were too slow to change.”
The effect of the DevSecOps movement was not understood by many, other than the handful of practitioners who understood what the team was going after: security is the responsibility of everyone, not just the security team. Security deserves a seat at the DevOps table. Fast forward six years, and security is now not just at the table, but sitting at the head of the table, leading the way.
During this transition to focus on security, operations has become the short leg on a three legged stool. What was original a two team party, Dev and Ops, became a threesome, gradually ignoring operations as Developers and Security built a strong relationship.
Damon Edwards has been my go-to person when I want to talk to someone about how operations continues to be relevant as the third part of DevSecOps. I caught up with Damon a couple weeks back to talk with him about how the transition to enterprise automation is going in the industry, what has been happening in the past year with the COVID lockdown, and what he’s looking forward to in 2021.
I started the conversation, asking how he perceives his role in the DevSecOps Community.
This broadcast is supported by OWASP, the Open Web Application Security Project, host of “Call to Battle” a series of events for gamers, challenge champs, and fun-nerds. Get more information at owasp.org/events… and by JupiterOne.com featuring solutions that help you “Know more. Fear less” by mapping your cyber assets and knowing the relationships between those assets.
A Note from the Executive Producer
This is Mark Miller, Executive Producer. Over the years as I’ve produced the show, the topics of focus have followed the trends in the industry. What was originally called “The OWASP Podcast” became “OWASP 24/7” and then “The DevSecOps Podcast”.
Each change brought with it a new audience, extending our community from exclusively OWASP practitioners, to DevOps and DevSecOps advocates. The audience for the podcast has grown, with close to 500,000 listens of the 150 episodes.
We’ve covered book launches by speaking with the authors, we’ve talked about industry reports focusing on the Software Supply Chain. Topics have included Chaos Engineering, efforts to create a Software Bill of Materials initiative at the federal level, Threat Modeling and a multitude of other topics.
You might have noticed something different, a new name for the podcast, at the beginning of the program today. Keeping a feel of the pulse of the industry is one of the things that interests me most as producer of the series. Currently, People, Process and Technology is starting to get its due The realization that these are not three things, but one thing that is intertwined into a convoluted, unimaginably complex whole is something that deserves our attention, and that will be our focus over the coming year.
We’ll talk with practitioners who are creating security patterns for each leg of the People, Process, Technology triptych. We’ll continue to highlight OWASP projects that are focused on security, and how it relates to all aspects of technology. Guests will include leaders in the industry who are responsible for driving security, not as a stand-alone initiative, but as an integrated part of their business.
Developing a secure development environment, one that builds quality into the process is something that should be of concern to everyone in that process. My desire is to help expose the practitioners who are thinking about the next generation of security, and how you can use their insights to help us build a safer world.
Thank you for your continuing support. I’m excited to be expanding the program and hope you’ll stay with us for People, Process, and Technology.
Support for this broadcast is provided by OWASP and JupiterOne.
A New Vision for the Future of OWASP, with Executive Director, Andrew van der Stock
OWASP is in a state of discord. Over the past few years, there have been fractures in the community. Recently, there have been arguments on the leader email list that have clearly breached the lines of etiquette. Personal attacks, distribution of funds, and complaints of lack of diversity are creating tension among the members.
If we, as an organization refuse to confront these issues, there is a real potential we will no longer have relevance to the AppSec community. The in-fighting has become a detriment to chapter leaders and project leaders, who are looking to OWASP for consistent leadership and direction.
In early July, the OWASP board announced the appointment of Andrew van der Stock as Executive Director. I called and spoke with Andrew at length about how he intends to confront the existing issues in the organization, and what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure.
I have known Andrew for years through his work on the Application Security Verification Standard. As a previous OWASP board member, he has insight into how the board works and how to make changes.
In our discussion, we spoke directly about the current problems at OWASP and Andrew's vision for moving the organization forward by confronting existing problems in policy, rewriting sections of the bylaws, and setting up enforcement of those bylaws.
Andrew has not set himself an easy task. The push-back is sure to cause more strife in the beginning, but he is determined to implement changes that will make OWASP stronger in the long run, and put us on a course to continue to be a leading role to the AppSec community.
In the spirit of transparency and open discussion, Andrew answered every question I had for him. He intends to continue this discussion with the community through the creation of live-online discussions. For now, Andrew is ready to implement his vision for OWASP, as he talks about here. Let's get started.
Exploring the LinkedIn Algorithm
In this episode of the DevSecOps Podcast, we’re going to go off script and explore the LinkedIn algorithm. I could tie this back to DevSecOps, and how all of us need visibility for our work, or how important it is to build a community around our ideas, but the real reason is… I find this fascinating.
One of the largest community engagement platforms in the world encourages us to play their game, but doesn’t tell us what the rules are! How are we to determine the best way to participate, when we have no idea on how to best contribute to maximize our visibility? Because that’s the game we are playing: how do we get, and maintain, visibility for our ideas on LinkedIn. How do we grow that visibility into an audience of our peers in order to contribute and expand those ideas.
It is to the benefit of LinkedIn to give basic rules of engagement, but instead of guidelines for participation, we are punished for breaking undefined rules and rewarded for seemingly arbitrary reasons, which we then try to recreate without knowing why they were promoted. To add more complexity to the mix, the rules can change at any time. Is it a loser’s game, or are there fundamental patterns we can surface that will help give some visibility into the LinkedIn algorithm?
For years, I’ve been making intuitive guesses as the best way to work on the platform. This lead me to the work of Andy Foote, from LinkedInsights, and Richard van der Blom, founder of Just Connecting, Through their research, they have found patterns that we might be able to use to expand our visibility and engagement on LinkedIn. I say “might”, because when you don’t know the rules, you don’t know when the rules change.
On May 8, 2020, Richard, Andy and I sat down to discuss their research into the algorithm that determines how much visibility your content gets on LinkedIn. Andy’s article, “The LinkedIn Algorithm Explained In 25 Frequently Asked Questions” and Richard’s investigations which turned into “The LinkedIn Research Algorithm”, were the basis for our discussion. What I learned from them immediately changed how I engage with LinkedIn. When I say “immediately”, I mean within minutes of talking with them.
Resources from this episode
Richard van der Blom offers customized LinkedIn training sessions at Just Connecting
Andy Foote offers LinkedIn coaching sessions at LinkedInsights.com
The LinkedIn Algorithm Explained In 25 Frequently Asked Questions by Andy Foote
The LinkedIn Algorithm Full Report by Richard van der Blom
The Demise of Symantec by Richard Stiennon
When I read Richard Stiennon's latest article in Forbes, The Demise of Symantec, I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Richard walks through the process of what happened at Symantec, how it was an acquisition engine for so many years, and now how it's started to decline. I got in touch with Richard and told him I'd like to have him read his article for the podcast, and he responded right away.
What you'll hear in this episode is Richard talking about and reading from his article, The Demise of Symantec.
Resources for this podcast:
The Demise of Symantec, Forbes Online
Security Yearbook 2020
Equifax and the Road Ahead w/ Bryson Koehler
Equifax is trying... I mean REALLY trying... to regain your trust. The Equifax CTO and CISO delivered the keynote at DevSecOps Days during 2020 RSAC. They contributed to multiple sessions and panels during the conference. The message was consistant: "Yes, we had a major problem. Here's what we're doing about it. Here's what you can learn from us." From a technical perspective, Bryson Koehler, CTO, and Jamil Farshchi, CISO, took on all questions from the audience. Nothing was out of bounds. They stayed after the session to talk one-on-one with those who had more questions. The words I heard most from the audience about the session was 'humility' and 'transparency'. That's a far cry from the poster child of breaches image the company has had to carry since 2017.
Bryson and I sat down after the session at DevSecOps Days to go more into detail on what Equifax is working on, not just to re-gain user confidence, but to make a difference in the technology industry when it comes to lessons learned. He and Jamil are in the process of rebuilding the technology infrastructure at Equifax. They want to create a self-service, customer driven platform, that will include security as part of an automated solution to the future of data privacy. They are willing to openly share what they are working on, what has worked, what hasn't worked, all while building transparency into the process so that everyone can learn, not just the engineering team at Equifax.
In this episode, we start with how Bryson felt the audience responded to the message from the stage, and what he had hoped to accomplish by stepping into the public spotlight.