SecDevOps: The Space Cowboys of the Future

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

*Warning this post or embedded links may contain spoilers*

Note: This is part two of a five-part monthly series to kick off 2018 in which we take a look at characters from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and how technology, topics, and trends from the cybersecurity world compare to characters and themes from the blockbuster film. 

We hope you enjoy our blog series in which the Resistance, filled with hope and determination, much like that of a Security Operations Center, scurries to stay one step ahead of the evil First Order. Like cyber attackers, the First Order threatens to destroy a way of life that the Resistance so desperately fights to cherish and uphold. 

February’s Spotlight Character: Poe Dameron
February’s Spotlight Theme: AppSec/DevOps

(Source: Wikipedia)

Welcome back. We hope everyone survived what was a long, jam-packed month of January to kick off 2018. Last month, we looked at Kylo Ren and Data Privacy. As the calendar turns to February, we switch sides and the spotlight from the blockbuster shifts to Poe Dameron, a Commander/Captain and X-Wing Fighter Pilot in the Resistance. 

Returning to action right off the bat in Episode VIII, our favorite ‘gunslinger’ of sorts leads the Resistance in an assault against a First Order Dreadnaught vessel threatening to destroy their base. While successful, Poe gets the Resistance bomber fleet destroyed in the process drawing the ire of General Leia Organa who tells him, “Not every problem can be solved by jumping in an X-Wing and blowing stuff up.” 

It can be difficult for a character like Poe, who embodies a space cowboy ethos and is used to calling the shots in the heat of battle to understand the big picture. He may be a character who gets the immediate job done, but in Leia’s mind his self-centered decision making convinces her she must subdue his antics by knocking him on his rear with a blaster and demoting him after an attempted mutiny and insurrection doesn’t go his way. 

Poe embodies passion, dedication and determination, but faces a challenge in sorting through the noise of being the ‘fly boy pilots’ leader and at the same time following the direction and principles set by senior leadership. It takes patience and becomes quite an educational process to corral and blend a team with multiple strong personalities to work more effectively as a single team focused on a larger goal.  

Similarly, in the security world, organizations need teams with various specialties to work cohesively together and break down silos. Look at the SecDevOps teams for example. It’s difficult for everyone to play nice sometimes when development teams are used to focusing solely on churning out new products and security teams on checking their vulnerabilities after the fact. Meanwhile the operations team has focused mainly on getting it out the door. 

It's not easy to integrate departments that are used to working independently and apart from one another. But like the evolution of SecDevOps, many experts believe it is a critical component for what the future holds and where we are heading when it comes making products and applications more secure.

MORE FROM RSAC: Join us on Feb. 22 for the DevSecOps Virtual Session: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Every team needs to operate as part of a greater whole. Poe Dameron, must not only use his esteemed fighter pilot skills, but also keep the peace and lead by example so that the role players understand the power of teamwork. Is it always a smooth ride and calm water? No. Are there growing pains on both sides? Yes. Ultimately it comes down to the exponential power of a fully integrated team with single goal in mind. And that doesn’t mean that every once in a while, the space cowboy won’t still get their way, as evidenced by this exchange between Poe and Leia later in Episode VIII when it comes to crunch time:

Poe: "Permission to jump into an X-Wing and blow something up?"

Leia: "Permission granted."

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And may the force be with you! 

Part One (January): What Do Star Wars’ Kylo Ren and Data Privacy Have in Common?

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference

application security DevSecOps

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