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Women in Security

Championing for open source collaboration

H By Chris Cubbage Executive Editor

54 | Chief IT

aving been fortunate to be in California’s Silicon Valley courtesy of NetEvents Global IoT and Cloud Innovation Global Summit, I took the added opportunity to stay on for a few extra days and catch up with our June/July 2015 ‘Women in Security’ series participant, Prima Virani who was scheduled to speak at the Structure Security Conference in San Francisco. When we first me this 25 year old Security Engineer graduate at an Australian Information Security Association meeting in Perth, Western Australia, in 2014, she was just 23 years old and starting out her cybersecurity career having graduated from Murdoch University and with the aspiration to head off to San Francisco. Within just two years, Prima has not only found herself on a small security team for a major American brand in Pandora Media, a music analysis application that personalises music according to the listener’s taste, but alas we find her speaking on stage being interviewed Bob McMillan, computer technology reporter with the Wall Street Journal and fellow security engineers Nick Anderson of Facebook, Hudson Thrift of Uber and Leigh Honeywell, security lead with the collaboration tool, Slack. Open source software and security collaborations are being increasingly advocated for small to medium sized

companies that are essentially growing so fast and at such a speed that their focus is on developng their product and they primarily also have to be working on product security. As Prima elaborated, “they have to protect their infrastructure but with a small team that don’t have expertise or resources in all areas, and so there is a need for more support and this is where open source can contribute a great deal for fast developing commercial products.” This thinking is supported by the likes of Facebook’s Nick Anderson who has also seen the advantages of open source, highlighting that “with the build up of open source communities, there are bonds being built, with problems being solved and often with the common intent of improving a product so it works better for them, just as much as for you.” As Prima also asserted, “one of the biggest advantages of open source communities is giving the capability of scaling. It doesn’t come with a hefty price tag and it makes the company better prepared if the product takes off quickly.” One of the key outcomes of the Structure Security event was to highlight that there has never been a greater liberation of information and a greater variety of choice for infosec workers and this is in contrast to the traditional ‘lock it down’ and ‘restrict access’ approach. Some of the favourite open source tools being touted included OSQuery, touted as Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 Magazine covers the domains of Information Technology and Innovation. Be kept up-to-date with all the latest industry news and pr...

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