Ah, London — the city responsible for most of my music collection. Also, the city where I recently had the fortune to present at DevSecCon.

DevSecCon examines the challenges facing DevSecOps (and DevOps) practitioners. It emphasizes how to work with people to make tools and process part of the CI/CD pipeline. This resonates with me greatly because I strongly believe that effective security comes from participation and empathy.

DevSecOps brings security teams into the difficult tasks of writing, supporting, and maintaining code. It’s a welcome departure from delivering a “Go fix this” message. Sometimes developers need guidance on basic security principles and an introduction to the OWASP Top 10. Sometimes developers have that knowledge and are making tough engineering choices between conflicting recommendations. Security shouldn’t be the party that says, “No”. Their response should be, “Here’s a way to do that more securely.”

The “Go fix this” attitude has underserved appsec. We live in an age of 130,000+ Unicode characters and extensive emoji. Yet developers must still (for the most part) handle apostrophes and angle brackets as special exceptions lest their code suffer from HTML injection, cross-site scripting, or a range of other injection-based flaws.

All this is to say, check out The Flaws in Hordes, the Security in Crowds, which explores this from the perspective of vuln discovery — and that too much investment in vuln discovery at the time when an app reaches production misses the chance to build stronger foundations.

Slides from all the presentations are available here.