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

McGovern, James james.mcgovern at hp.com
Wed Aug 6 13:50:40 UTC 2014

If you were to look at any large enterprise, at best you could only certify certain aspects. For example, they may use talented developers who know OWASP for all their internet facing applications but the remainder of the development staff could be clueless and may even belong to one of the myriad of offshore providers. If we had to certify an entity, I would stay away from the corporations such as Goldman Sachs, WalMart, etc and instead pursue the likes of Cognizant, TCS, Wipro, etc.

From: owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org [mailto:owasp-leaders-bounces at lists.owasp.org] On Behalf Of Gary Robinson
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 8:57 AM
To: Andrew Muller
Cc: owasp-leaders at lists.owasp.org; conklinl at hotmail.com; Timur 'x' Khrotko (owasp)
Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] professionalizing the cybersecurity workforce // OWASP certification

Yea instead of cert'ing people or code, can we certify companies SDLCs for security? Just like a company is certified for ISO 9001 or others? Would be great to see things like "Acme is OWASP certified for their secure development processes".

If BSIMM or OpenSAMM are anything to go by then education of employees will be part of that company SDLC cert.


Gary D. Robinson, CISSP

On 6 Aug 2014, at 11:36, Andrew Muller <andrew.muller at owasp.org<mailto:andrew.muller at owasp.org>> wrote:
OWASP is good at writing guidance (code review guide) and standards (ASVS), so I don't think we should pollute the brand with certifications. We could possibly look at certifying organisations compliance with these standards but even this stinks of conflict and erosion of the OWASP brand.
My 2c

On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM, Eoin Keary <eoin.keary at owasp.org<mailto:eoin.keary at owasp.org>> wrote:
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<tel:%2B353%2087%20977%202988>

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

Jim Manico
(808) 652-3805<tel:%28808%29%20652-3805>

On Aug 5, 2014, at 2:24 PM, "Timur 'x' Khrotko (owasp)" <timur at owasp.org<mailto: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).


 --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."
[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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