REVIEW: "Software Security Engineering", Julia H. Allen et al

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. BKSSEGPM.RVW 20081006

    "Software Security Engineering", Julia H. Allen et al, 2008,
    978-0-321-50917-8, U$49.99/C$54.99
    %A Julia H. Allen
    %A Sean Barnum
    %A Robert J. Ellison
    %A Gary McGraw
    %A Nancy R. Mead
    %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
    %D 2008
    %G 978-0-321-50917-8 0-321-50917-X
    %I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
    %O U$49.99/C$54.99 416-447-5101 800-822-6339
    %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/032150917X/robsladesinterne
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/032150917X/robsladesinte-21
    %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/032150917X/robsladesin03-20
    %O Audience i Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
    %P 334 p.
    %T "Software Security Engineering: A Guide for Project Managers"

    The foreword maintains that the book addresses all levels of readers
    from technical leaders to managers to senior executives. The preface
    defines secure software as applications that will withstand attack.
    Reliability (and other similar characteristics) is implicitly
    dismissed.

    Most of the material in chapter one, on the importance of software
    security, has been published before, and therefore it is primarily a
    generic recap and overview. However, it is content that managers need
    to hear. Unfortunately, the many figures that pad out the space are
    not effective illustrations of the concepts and points under
    discussion, and can be misleading at times. For example, unless
    examined very carefully, one of them seems to insinuate that detecting
    software defects early in the process actually increases the cost of
    development. Chapter two, supposedly about what makes software
    secure, is primarily about why approaches to creating secure software
    other than the one proposed in the book, are insufficient. Some
    suggestions on how to formalize a rigorous mechanism for determining
    requirements for software are given in chapter three, but most of it
    is about the SQUARE (Security Quality Requirements Engineering)
    process. Chapter four is the most userful material, presenting a
    decent outline of the security analysis necessary for design. A few
    tools that can assist with the development phase are listed in chapter
    five. Chapter six raises the issue of complexity, and the negative
    implications for system security. The material is reasonable
    (although it seems to spend more time with why systems fail than how
    to make them more resilient), but it seems out of place: in terms of
    logical flow the topic should be addressed earlier in the process, in
    regard to requirements and design. Miscellaneous thoughts on the
    management of development and projects make up chapter seven. Chapter
    eight is a recap, in tabular form, of the points raised throughout the
    book, and provides a useful quick list.

    This work is intended for managers rather than developers, and, as
    such, it provides a reasonable overview of the problem. However, it
    does not compare with other works on software security, since many of
    those are directed at programmers rather than managers. Experienced
    managers (possibly not from a technical background) may find some of
    the material on management somewhat condescending, but should pay
    attention to the advice on the structure of a programming project.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKSSEGPM.RVW 20081006

    --
    ======================

    "Dictionary of Information Security," Syngress 1597491152
    http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
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    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Nov 13, 2008
    #1
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