Friday, February 24, 2023

OWASP Global AppSec Dublin 2023: WorldWide and Threat Modeling

The OWASP Global AppSec Dublin 2023 conference was a truly inspiring event for anyone involved in application security. As an attendee, I was able to catch up with OWASP colleagues and hear from experts on a range of topics. 
In particular, there were two themes that really stood out to me: worldwide and threat modeling.

OWASP: The Open Worldwide Application Security Project

During the conference, the OWASP Board made an exciting announcement regarding the meaning of the letter "W" in OWASP. Traditionally, the "W" in OWASP has stood for "Web," reflecting the organization's initial focus on web application security. The Board announced they are changing the meaning of the "W" to "Worldwide," reflecting the global nature of the OWASP project and its mission.

This change is significant because it recognizes that application security is no longer limited to just web applications. With the proliferation of mobile and IoT devices, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies, application security has become a much broader concern. By changing the meaning of the "W" to "Worldwide," OWASP is acknowledging this reality and expanding its focus to include all types of applications. 
The change in the meaning of the "W" in OWASP from "Web" to "Worldwide" is a significant development for the organization and the application security community as a whole. It reflects the evolving nature of application security and the importance of the global community in addressing these challenges. I am excited to see how this change will shape the future of OWASP and its mission to make software security visible worldwide.

Threat Modeling

Threat modeling is a structured approach for identifying, quantifying, and addressing the security risks associated with an application. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in this area, and the conference featured a keynote and two talks on the subject.

The conference had a keynote, a training session and 2 talks regarding threat modeling. The keynote, “A Taste of Privacy Threat Modeling” by Kim Wuyts, focused on threat modeling privacy. Ms. Wuyts spoke about how to identify potential privacy threats and how to mitigate those risks. She also provided insights into best practices for threat modeling in a privacy context. 
Other talks at the event emphasized practical approaches on Threat Modeling that are essential for companies to adopt in order to develop more secure products and services. These presentations provided valuable insights and actionable recommendations that can help organizations improving their security posture and better protect their customers' data and privacy.

Threat modeling is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for quite some time. However, it has only recently gained traction within the application security community. This is likely due to the increasing number of data breaches and cyber attacks that have occurred in recent years. Organizations are now more aware than ever of the need to secure their applications against potential threats.
Since the inception of our company in 2007, we have been advocating for the promotion of Threat Modeling activities. However, it was only in recent years that we have observed a significant increase in interest in this area. The growing discourse around Threat Modeling indicates a broader recognition of its importance in ensuring the security of software and systems.

More information about threat modeling:

Testability patterns for web applications, a new OWASP Project

TESTABLE is an EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Actions program, designed to address the significant challenge of building and maintaining secure and privacy-
friendly modern web-based and AI-powered application software systems.

IMQ Minded Security is part of the TESTABLE consortium together with CISPA, Eurecom, TUBS, UC3M, SAP SE, ShiftLeft GmbH,  NortonLifeLock and Pluribus One.

We would like to express our appreciation to Luca Compagna, Senior Scientist and Research Architect at SAP Security Research, for his insightful presentation on a new OWASP project aimed at making our Testability Patterns for Web Applications accessible and improvable by the wider community.

During the presentation, Luca emphasized the critical role of testability in ensuring the security and privacy of Web Applications, and demonstrated our approach in the context of Static Application Security Testing (SAST). Specifically, we provided concrete examples of SAST testability patterns and how they can hinder the analysis of web application code by state-of-the-art SAST tools.

He also showcased our open source framework for implementing these patterns, which enables the evaluation of SAST tools against the testability patterns, highlighting which patterns pose problems for specific tools. Additionally, the framework enables the identification of testability patterns within the source code of web applications, informing developers of areas that may prove challenging for SAST.

Towards the end of the presentation, he introduced the three main target audience groups: web developers, SAST tool developers, and security central teams. For each group, we highlighted the value-added by these SAST patterns and provided guidance on how they can participate in our project community and contribute to the creation and maturation of testability patterns. Finally, we presented our plan for the OWASP project.

More information regarding testable:
You can see all the Conference's video here.

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