[SC-L] Insecure Software Costs US $180B per Year - Application and Perimeter Security News Analysis - Dark Reading

Kenneth Van Wyk ken at krvw.com
Fri Nov 30 10:15:32 EST 2007

On Nov 29, 2007, at 6:35 PM, Leichter, Jerry wrote:
> So he's not completely naive, though the history of security metrics  
> and
> standards - which tend to produce code that satisfies the standards
> without being any more secure - should certainly give on pause.
> One could, I suppose, give rebates based on actual field experience:
> Look at the number of security problems reported per year over a two-
> year period and give rebates to sellers who have low rates.

Right, so this is where I believe the entire idea would fall apart.  I  
don't think we have adequate metrics today to measure products  
fairly.  Basing the tax on field experience would also be problematic  
to measure well, although I could see this leading to development  
organizations getting some sort of actuarial score.

But the real problem with it, as I said, is metrics.  Should it be  
based on (say) defect density per thousand lines of code as reported  
by (say) 3 independent static code analyzers?  What about design  
weaknesses that go blissfully unnoticed by code scanners?  (At least  
the field experience concept could begin to address these over time,  

I do think that software developers who produce bad (security) code  
should be penalized, but at least for now, I still think the best way  
of doing this is market pressure.  I don't think we're ready for more,  
on the whole, FWIW.  But _consumers_ wield more power than they  
probably realize in most cases.



Kenneth R. van Wyk
SC-L Moderator
KRvW Associates, LLC

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