OWASP Security Principles Project
The OWASP Security Principles
Inevitably applications are designed with security principles architects knew about, security folks included. However, as this project demonstrates there are far more than just a 'few' principles, most of which never make it into the design.
For example, security design happens with perhaps a handful of principles:
However, we regularly see designs without separation of privilege!
Think about that, most web applications today have all their eggs in a single basket. The business logic, the identities, passwords, products, policy enforcement, security rules are all found in the same application database that makes up the typical website! It is little wonder then, that attacks on the database have been so completely devastating, since there is no separation of privilege!
The aim of this project, is to identify and describe a minimum functional set of principles that must be present in a secure design.
Over the course of my career, I have come across and collected a number of security aphorisms. These aphorisms constitute the fundamental principles of information security.
None of the ideas or truths are mine, and unfortunately, I did not collect the citations. Initially, I would like to identify the correct citations for each aphorism.
Additionally, many are re-statements of the same idea; thus, the 'collection of ideas' defines a fundamental principle. As such, I would also like to reverse engineer the principles from the aphorisms where appropriate, as well.
The OWASP Security Principles are free to use. In fact it is encouraged!!! Additionally, I also encourage you to contribute back to the project. I have no monopoly on this knowledge; however, we all have pieces of this knowledge from our experience. Let's begin by putting our individual pieces together to make something great. Great things happen when people work together.
The OWASP Security Principles are licensed under the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license], so you can copy, distribute and transmit the work, and you can adapt it, and use it commercially, but all provided that you attribute the work and if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
What is OWASP Security Principles Project?
The end goal is to identify, cite, and document the fundamental principles of information security. Once this is well organised, I think it would be great to publish this through the OWASP Press. Of course, it will always remain freely available, and any money collected will go directly into the project to absorb costs with any remaining funds going to the OWASP Foundation.
This document should serve as a guide to technical architects and designers outlining the fundamental principles of security.
The home of the OWASP Security Principles is on GitHub. You are encourged to fork, edit and push your changes back to the project through git or edit the project directly on github.
However, if you like you may also download the master repository from the following links:
News and Events
This project can be purchased as a print on demand book from Lulu.com
How can I participate in your project?
If I am not a programmer can I participate in your project?
Yes, this is a documentation project. There is no need to be a programmer at all and you are welcome to participate in the project if you are a programmer or technical. The project needs different skills and expertise and different times during its development. Currently, we are looking for researchers, writers, graphic designers, and a project administrator. Once we converge on the core principles then I imagine we will look to modeling the principles and documenting how to use and apply them in security architecture and design.
As of October 2013, the priorities are:
- Finish the referencing for each principle.
- Update the Project Template.
- Use the OWASP Press to develop a book.
- Finish and publish the book on Lulu.
Involvement in the development and promotion of the OWASP Security Principles Project is actively encouraged! You do not have to be a security expert in order to contribute. Some of the ways you can help:
- Helping find references to some of the principles.
- Project administration support.
- Wiki editing support.
- Writing support for the book.