Jeff Williams

Company : Contrast Security, LLC

Personal/Company Website:


AppSec at DevOps Speed and Portfolio Scale

Software development is moving much faster than application security with new platforms, languages, frameworks, paradigms, and methodologies like Agile and Devops. 
Unfortunately, software assurance hasn't kept up with the times. For the most part, our security techniques were built to work with the way software was built in 2002. Here are some of the technologies and practices that today’s best software assurance techniques *can’t*handle: JavaScript, Ajax, inversion of control, aspect-oriented programming, frameworks, libraries, SOAP, REST, web services, XML, JSON, raw sockets, HTML5, Agile, DevOps, WebSocket, Cloud, and more. All of these rest pretty much at the core of modern software development. 
Although we’re making progress in application security, the gains are much slower than the stunning advances in software development. After 10 years of getting further behind every day, software *assurance* is now largely incompatible with modern software *development*. It’s not just security tools – application security processes are largely incompatible as well. And the result is that security has very little influence on the software trajectory at all. 
Unless the application security community figures out how to be a relevant part of software development, we will continue to lag behind and effect minimal change. In this talk, I will explore a radically different approach based on instrumenting an entire IT organization with passive sensors to collect real time data that can be used to identify vulnerabilities, enhance security architecture, and (most importantly) enable application security to generate value. The goal is unprecedented real-time visibility into application security across an organization's entire application portfolio, allowing all the stakeholders in security to collaborate and finally become proactive.


Jeff is a founder and CEO of Contrast Security, an application security technology vendor.  Jeff has over 25 years of security consulting experience and is frequently invited to speak at conferences like JavaOne, BlackHat, AppSecUSA, and others. Jeff served as the Global Chair of the OWASP Foundation for 8 years and contributed many of the most successful projects there, including WebGoat, ESAPI, and the OWASP Top Ten.  Jeff studied psychology and computer science at Virginia and has a law degree from Georgetown.