Identifying application-level vulnerabilities via penetration tests and code reviews is only the first step in actually addressing the underlying risk. Managing vulnerabilities for applications is more challenging than dealing with traditional infrastructure-level vulnerabilities because they typically require the coordination of security teams with application development teams and require security managers to secure time from developers during already-cramped development and release schedules. In addition, fixes require changes to custom application code and application-specific business logic rather than the patches and configuration changes that are often sufficient to address infrastructure-level vulnerabilities. This presentation details many of the pitfalls organizations encounter while trying to manage application-level vulnerabilities as well as outlines strategies security teams can use for communicating with development teams. Similarities and differences between security teams' practice of vulnerability management and development teams' practice of defect management will be addressed in order to facilitate healthy communication between these groups.
Dan Cornell has over ten years of experience architecting and developing web-based software systems. He leads Denim Group's security research team in investigating the application of secure coding and development techniques to improve web-based software development methodologies. Dan was the founding coordinator and chairman for the Java Users Group of San Antonio (JUGSA) and is currently the San Antonio chapter leader of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). He is a recognized expert in the area of web application security for SearchSoftwareQuality.com and the primary author of Sprajax, OWASP's open source tool for assessing the security of AJAX-enabled web applications.