Yesterday I posted that I don't want to trust the cloud. Someone asserting the name "Bruce Schneier" responded:
I don't want to trust the cloud, either. Unfortunately, we won't have any choice.
I think this misses the point, the goal is not trust - I don't want to trust the cloud, I have no need to trust the cloud. Instead, the operative question was much better phrased by Brian Snow - if we cannot trust, how can we safely use?
Safe use through building margins of safety into our software is a much more practical, achievable goal than "trust", the last machine I trusted was my 1974 Volvo with 500,000 miles. Since then, I have low expectations on machinery.
Further I reject the notion that security people have to sit passively while developers plow ahead building out the cloud. If we are not rolling up our sleeves, building in margins of safety (SAML, Information Cards, Input Validation, Output Encoding, ...) then we are not doing our jobs and we are a part of the problem not the solution. If you have security skills this is the time to use them.
I have trained thousands of developers and security people on software security, I start my security training class by asking developers "how many years of development experience do you have?" On average there are about 3-5 years experience. Then I ask "how many people have done a one day software security class?" About one hand will usually go up.
So in class of 30 people, we can expect 150 years of programming experience and about one day of software security training experience! Is it just me or should we really give up on this stuff when we haven't even really started trying seriously yet?
We have only just begun training developers to begin to do the right thing, the languages are immature with regard to safety features, there is a whole host of identity technologies, and new standards. Its like saying in the 1950s "well we'll never cure smog, all cities will be like Los Angeles and no one will be able to breathe. Too bad." Instead what happened were several changes in the 1960 and 70s that dramatically reduced smog. Why give up on security when we have never even really tried yet?