[Owasp-leaders] professionalizing the cybersecurity workforce // OWASP certification

Eoin Keary eoin.keary at owasp.org
Wed Aug 6 08:09:46 UTC 2014

Id love to do something like this but I'm unsure if getting students to test production code would warrant any type of robust certification. To certify code / help ensure it is secure, we really need to build security in rather than just test. 
Certification would have to be a combination of design review, source code analysis and testing. Similar to asvs level 4?
This would take tons of work and require a dedicated experienced assessment team.


Eoin Keary
Owasp Global Board
+353 87 977 2988

On 6 Aug 2014, at 02:41, Larry Conklin <larry.conklin at owasp.org> wrote:

> Hi Jim I would also like to see us move into certification but instead of certifying people. I think we should consider software. A certification like what Underwriters Laboratories offers with  their "Seal of Approval". We could start small certifying software scanners. We can offer a free application(s) with known vulnerabilities that vendors can run their code against to measure how well their scanner finds and reports the known vulnerabilities. Testing would be C++, Java, C#, PHP, Ruby, and Javascript. We could also allow members to run their open source and third party application against our code base to we could collect comprehensive measurement of the effectiveness of each vendor scanner (both open source and third party) and make this available to everyone who is considering buying a scanner or a SAS service to scan software. The last thing we could do would be to offer our own "seal of approval" if the vendor allowed us to independently test their code. This would also be a great summer of code for some students. We don't need to start big we just need to start. I have never seen an independent study of FindBugs  that is not part of a research paper and compares other tools. Just my two cents.  Hope you all miss the majority of the hurricanes.  Stay safe! Larry
> On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 6:43 PM, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org> wrote:
>> I personally think OWASP should go full boar into AppSec professional certification, but there are real obstacles preventing it from happening right now.
>> 1) Votes among our community have always said "no" to certification
>> 2) The operational overhead with certification is very significant, and we are in the process of rebooting operations with Virtual, our new HR firm
>> 3) We would be forced to keep exam questions in secret which is against our bylaws
>> I think that if Virtual succeeds in maturing operations as I hope and pray that they do, we might be able to reconsider. But right now I feel we need to put our energies into current efforts.
>> Respectfully,
>> --
>> Jim Manico
>> @Manicode
>> (808) 652-3805
>> On Aug 5, 2014, at 2:24 PM, "Timur 'x' Khrotko (owasp)" <timur at owasp.org> wrote:
>>> See the item from the SANS newsletter below. (For my taste the last two sentences in it are more important in principle, and in my perspective the main topic of US national association is obviously ... abstract.) The question is what do you think about OWASP engaging in AppSec specialists' certification? (Probably the question is not new, and we do not follow ISACA deliberately, then please send me a link to some discussion about it.) Wouldn't it be nice to create a methodology to train and examine the AppSec professionals in domains where we supply knowledge and tools (dev, test and ... management)?! (I guess it can make our brand more interesting for the AppSec crowd, bring more money and make dissemination of our tools easier).
>>> ~timur
>>>  --Study Calls for Cyber Security Professional Organization
>>> (July 28 & August 1, 2014)
>>> A study from the Pell Center at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island
>>> acknowledges that "there are not enough people equipped with the
>>> appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities to protect the information
>>> infrastructure, improve resilience, and leverage information technology
>>> for strategic advantage." The report "proposes the creation of a
>>> national professional association in cybersecurity to solidify the field
>>> as a profession, to support individuals engaged in this profession, to
>>> establish professional standards, prescribe education and training, and
>>> ... to support the public good."
>>> http://pellcenter.salvereginablogs.com/cybersecurity-report-recommends-path-to-professional-standards-in-cybersecurity-industry/
>>> http://www.fiercecio.com/story/pell-study-calls-creation-national-professional-cybersecurity-association/2014-08-01
>>> Study:
>>> http://pellcenter.salvereginablogs.com/files/2014/07/Professionalization-of-Cybersecurity-7-28-14.pdf
>>> [Editor's Note (Assante): I learned long ago that a people-focused
>>> approach to cybersecurity brings with it the necessary clarity to
>>> understand the true nature of the challenges and establishes a clear
>>> framework for planning, engineering, and implementing measures that can
>>> be sustained and built upon.  We all know of countless organizations
>>> that reacted to a specific incident by implementing
>>> outside-expert-recommended technology only to fail in its deployment and
>>> operation.  Getting a competent handle on cybersecurity means engaging,
>>> integrating, equipping and training people to make the difference.  Our
>>> attention should turn to identifying and enhancing the knowledge and
>>> skills of cybersecurity professionals as a field while involving
>>> business architects and engineers to make cyber-informed decisions.
>>> Getting this right sets the stage for game changing progress in cyber
>>> resilience and defense.
>>> (Honan): This is something that I have argued for in the past,
>>> http://www.net-security.org/article.php?id=1842, To me the issue is not
>>> one of creating more qualifications for individuals working in the
>>> field, but on the lack of accountability for those that are practising
>>> in the industry but are providing below par services or products.
>>> (Paller): We can do reliable assessments for the technical roles -
>>> forensics, secure coding, penetration testing, intrusion detection,
>>> incident response, etc. but any attempt to reliably measure skills for
>>> security managers and policy people is hopeless. Why do you think there
>>> is no certification for corporate managers?]
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