The theme for this year’s SecCon was “Building on a Foundation of Security.” The breadth of topics discussed that are relevant to being a trusted vendor and producing trustworthy products is quite significant. Naturally many of the discussions revolved around the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle (CSDL), Cisco’s approach to building secure products and solutions. As Graham Holmes mentioned in a recent blog post, CSDL takes a layered approach, with one of the key components being the security of the underlying operating system. As a standard part of the development process, Cisco’s product teams implement a comprehensive set of CSDL requirements to harden the base OS. These requirements were created not only by leveraging Cisco’s significant in-house security expertise, but also drawing from best practices available in the industry.
In keeping with the theme of SecCon 2012, we have decided to publish these foundational OS security requirements to enhance the knowledge of our partner ecosystem, and advance the industry as a whole. As of today, Cisco is releasing two documents that have been an integral part of CSDL: “Linux Hardening Recommendations For Cisco Products” and “Product Security Baseline Linux Distribution Requirements.” Read More »
Tags: cisco-seccon-2012, CSDL, Linux, product security, SecCon, security
Cisco SecCon 2012 brought together hundreds of engineers, live and virtually, from Cisco offices around the globe with one common goal: to share their knowledge and learn best practices about how to increase the overall security posture of Cisco products.
It is amazing to see how many definitions the word “hack” has out on the Internet. Just look at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack. In short, the word “hack” does not always mean a “bad” or “malicious” action.
I’ve had the opportunity and honor to present at SecCon several times, 2012 being my fourth year. My session this year was titled “Cisco PSIRT Vulnerability Analysis: What Has Changed Since Last SecCon”. As you probably already know (or might have guessed), I’m part of Cisco’s Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT). During my talk I went over an analysis of the vulnerabilities that were discovered, driven to resolution, and disclosed during this past year, as well as lessons learned from them. I also highlighted several key accomplishments Cisco has achieved during the last few years. For example, Cisco now has the ability to correlate and patch third-party software vulnerabilities. Additionally, we have grown Cisco’s Secure Development Lifecycle (CSDL) into a robust, repeatable and measurable process. As Graham Holmes mentioned in a recent blog post:
Our development processes leverage product security baseline requirements, threat modeling in design or static analysis and fuzzing in validation, and registration of third-party software to better address vulnerabilities when they are disclosed. In the innermost layer of our products, security is built-in to devices in both silicon and software. The use of runtime assurance and protection capabilities such as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), Object Size Checking, and execution space protections coupled with secure boot, image signing, and common crypto modules are leading to even more resilient products in an increasingly threatening environment. Read More »
Tags: Cisco Security, cisco-seccon-2012, CSDL, intellishield, product security, psirt, SecCon, security, third party software
Having recently wrapped up the 5th Annual Cisco SecCon Conference, I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you what Cisco SecCon is and the benefits to our products and you, our customers. With that, let’s start with a brief overview!
What is Cisco SecCon?
SecCon is a security conference for Cisco engineers that focuses on two critical elements for a healthy corporate Security intelligence: 1) expansion of knowledge for all and 2) building a sense of community. We allocate two days for intensive hands-on security training, and then we provide two general session days to discuss a variety of security topics including:
- Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle
- Best practices for security test suites
- Cutting-edge cryptography
- Implementation challenges
- Current threat landscape
- Vulnerability trends
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Tags: Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle, Cisco Security, cisco-seccon-2012, CSDL, product security, SecCon, security
The practice of using Open Source Software (OSS) and other third-party software (TPS) to build products and services is well established. Not only can it create tremendous efficiency–why build an operating system or web server if you don’t need to?–it also allows individual products to leverage best-of-breed functionality. This best-of-breed functionality can be critical on today’s Internet as security and scalability are often difficult or even patently ignored until it is too late.
The use of TPS to build things has been so successful and is so widespread that many products may even be assembled from a majority of software written by unknown third parties. This practice is not without its challenges. One of those challenges is security.
How does the security of a product’s constituent TPS affect its own security? How does the creator of the product learn of, manage and ultimately resolve security issues that originate in the relevant TPS packages?
These are the types of questions I attempted to address during a recent presentation at O’Reilly OSCON 2012. During that session I touched on seven challenges and offered five tools that I believe can make a difference.
Our friends on the Cisco Security Marketing team have posted the slides from that presentation online at slideshare.net.
Is this an area of concern for you? If it is, I’d like to know how you are tackling it. What is working well? What is working not-so well?
Tags: open source, product security, security, third party software
What a week! From October 31-November 3, Cisco hosted its annual internal security event—SecCon 2011. Co-hosted by Greg Akers, SVP of Cisco’s Global Government Solutions Group and Ed Paradise, Vice President of Engineering, this marked the fourth year in which we shared the latest in product security practices, policies, processes, and thought leadership with employees who participated in live and virtual sessions around the world.
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Tags: common crypto, CSDL, product certifications, product security, public policy, Secure Development Lifecycle, security, trustworthy systems