[Owasp-leaders] OWASP ESAPI Project Status

tonyuv at owasp.org tonyuv at owasp.org
Mon Mar 31 01:44:10 UTC 2014

OpenSAMM is not complex, its flat out the wrong method for evaluating a project’s effectiveness in management.  Software Assurance dwarfs (in the truest sense of the word) the multiple phases of an OWASP project development, largely because of scale and limited scope of participation in defining requirements, design, development, testing and maintenance.  While at best a project may have 5 concurrent active people, in an enterprise at an MNC, you have sometimes hundreds.  Huge difference beyond these points.  Agree with Johanna that simplicity is best suited here and lets play the more refined and methodical approach for OpenSAMM on something else.  One idea comes to mind is fueling a yearly OpenSAMM project where enterprise open the kimono on their processes to allow for OpenSAMM metrics to be defined.  This could define a growing DB of OpenSAMM metrics that is X-Industry.  That’s where I would play the OpenSAMM card, not internally on assessing the management of a project. 


Sent from Windows Mail

From: johanna curiel curiel
Sent: ‎Sunday‎, ‎March‎ ‎30‎, ‎2014 ‎7‎:‎30‎ ‎PM
To: Dennis Groves
Cc: OWASP Leaders


Maybe that's the problem. The OpenSAMM is too complex for folks without an MBA ...(LOL). Btw I cant find the word stupid written anywhere in this threat .

Seriously, you are asking people that are volunteers to use a system that needs proper and extensive understanding,  I have no time for that even with a master degree in my CV.

The whole purpose is to gather the opinions of a community of users, in dutch they say "don't kill a fly with a canon"

OpenSAMM is a canon, we need something simple and easy to fill in by folks with or without master degrees,  that are users of the projects and contributors.

Keep it simple and straight fwd. That's my message.

No one should feel offended by this

I'm sure that the board are very educated are smart people, but please don't forget that you should look at this things from the point of view of users, contributors and volunteers using their spare time for supporting OWASP.



On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 6:31 PM, Dennis Groves <dennis.groves at owasp.org> wrote:

I personally proposed the use of our very own best of breed application maturity model known as OpenSAMM. And it was adopted by the technical team for use in evaluation of the projects.

OpenSAMM intentional or not is based on the Capability Maturity Model; and the capability maturity model is a standard created by Carnegie Mellon University and required by many DOD and U.S. Government contracts, especially software development. The CMM is the result of several PhD level sciences coming together in an interdisciplinary model.

By standing on this bedrock of history, we promote our own derivative of the CMM, a project known as OpenSAMM; and this is a great idea because we want to promote the adoption of OWASP and the use of its projects. And OpenSAMM is rooted in this history of great science and is one of our very best projects because of this heritage, not to mention all the love and attention that was given to it. 

Second, CMM is based on a scientific method known as the Rarsh Model, which allows you to statistically analyse the question, allowing you to identify the subset of data where people are talking from experience.

Third, it defines a set of four buckets; Governance, development, verification and operations - and for the very same reason we can use OpenSAMM from everything to an SDLC to evaluating the maturity of an entire enterprise security management system of a company (as I have done literally hundreds of times, this our flavour of a CMM and it is much, much more than an SDLC tool as I demonstrated now twice.) 

In the case of OWASP we derived all three values from using OpenSAMM as the basis for the project evaluation criteria. However, it should also be understood that it was only one of several questionnaires used in evaluating the project maturity.

I also hope you will understand that OpenSAMM is much more than an SDLC tool; but that it inherits much of the science that went into the CMM and CMMI and can be used similarly.

And as a side note additional value was derived as well, we learned that most projects did not fall into the Governance or Operational categories, but into the development and verification catagories. 

In other words - OWASP is failing to give complete advice about how to deal with cyber-security!  (Opportunities for growth!)

We are over focused on development and verification - this is stuff *everybody* has advice for. (Pen-Testing and Development)

This has allowed us to branch out into areas where there is less competition such as the CISO guide (which I personally partially-funded, from one of my chapters) and the operational project I am working on now with BCS and GNU to start and fund a new OWASP project. Because we can create unique value in those spaces, keeping OWASP relevant!

In order to remain relevant OWASP requires a long-game strategy (the project evaluations are part of that), we will not remain relevant if we keep playing in the same sandbox with everybody else. The project evaluations were part of understanding what that strategy maybe and how to expand our current offerings. 

This is basic education for MBA's (like Samantha) and business management like the awesome OWASP Foundation Staff (Sarah and her team).

What is most disappointing to me is that there are people in this thread calling community activities stupid; and not seeking to understand why something was done and what value it created.


Dennis Groves, MSc
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