October 30, 2016 Comments Off on Why the recent Internet of Things (IoT) attack is just the beginning
A few days ago we witnessed a new type of distributed denial of service (DDoS) incident. Unlike previous botnet attacks that enlisted compromised computers, this one corralled assorted unprotected devices like Internet-ready webcams, DVRs, and baby monitors to flood Domain Name System (DNS) servers, and thereby seriously degrade the Internet for hours. I’ll leave the explanation of the mechanics of this incident to more qualified commentators, but I do want to weigh in on why I think these types of events are very hard to combat and why I’m very skeptical about the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT).
We all (well, many of us) know how important it is to keep our computers and software patched and up-to-date; most people also get why firewalls are essential. But consider these facts about IoT devices:
- They’re being created for just about every industry. This diversity means that it’s much harder for the entire universe of vendors to agree on common security standards: defining safeguards for a heart pump is a little different than for a Web-ready washing machine. I’ve served on my share of standards committees: to say that they move slowly is an understatement!
- They have really short development cycles. IoT is shaping up to be a brutally competitive landscape. The winners will be those vendors that deliver solutions to market quickly. Designing and building strong security safeguards takes time, and time is money. The end result is that device protection takes a back seat to market pressures.
- There’s limited space for security software. Margins are very thin on hardware devices: security-focused onboard storage space adds costs that aren’t directly related to functionality.
- They frequently rely on APIs for communication. I’ve blogged about API security in the past. Suffice it to say that it’s a rare API that’s locked down properly.
- New models are always coming on the market. Here’s the really scary part: even if vendors do start getting their security act together, it will be years before today’s highly insecure devices get retired. Meanwhile, they’ll be standing by for their next set of DDoS orders.
August 6, 2016 Comments Off on Free Agile API development eBook available
The process of designing, developing, testing, and deploying software – including mission-critical APIs – is very different today than it was even just a few years ago. This transformation has been driven by advances in DevOps, Agile methodologies, and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery.
Simply making sense of all these new techniques can be a bit intimidating, so I’m glad that my colleague Chris Riley has authored a very useful guide that explains how all of these moving parts fit together. You can download a copy for yourself here.
July 25, 2016 Comments Off on Announcing Swagger training & certification
Whether they’re employed internally, externally, or both, APIs are vital assets that connect systems, streamline workflows, and make every type of integration possible. In fact, beyond strengthening operational efficiency and enabling cross-system communication, APIs now serve as competitive differentiators for many organizations. It’s no exaggeration to point out that renowned technology-driven businesses such as Uber, AirBnB, or eBay live and die on the quality and performance of their APIs, and this intense reliance is spreading across every industry.
Swagger – and its ecosystem of standards and products – is in the process of transforming the ways that APIs are designed, developed, tested, and supported. I’m happy to announce that my colleague Chris Riley has created an outstanding one-day training and certification program to help enterprises get the most out of Swagger.
Chris is a world-class expert on DevOps, Continuous Integration, and everything else related to how modern APIs are being created, and this deep knowledge comes across in his courseware. He also happens to be a great trainer who is committed to helping his students gain the proficiency they need.
Organizations can send individuals to public Webinars, schedule a private Webinar, or even have an instructor deliver the class onsite. To learn more, visit SmartBear’s registration page.