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The panel session, entitled “Characterizing Software Security as a Mainstream Business Risk,” represented application security and risk management experts and executives from both the commercial and public sectors, including: Tom Brennan, CEO for Proactive Risk and OWASP Board Member; Ed Pagett, CISO for Lender Processing Services; Richard Greenberg, ISO for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; and John Sapp, Director of Security, Risk and Compliance for McKesson. Information Security Blog

Rather than focusing on technical issues associated with application security, which you might expect at an OWASP conference, the panel focused on the discussion of risk and the build out of risk management programs. Much of the discussion centered on how the key drivers for risk management needed to be expressed in business terms such as patient care outcomes, customer satisfaction as well as revenue and profit.

Greenburg, from the public healthcare sector, said that for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, “It’s all about getting straight to patient care. The department doesn’t really care about IT nor understand what application security is. They can, however, understand risk in the context of their business; how an application security program can help or hinder them from providing the best care possible.”

Sapp from McKesson continued, “When working through the development of our risk management program, we looked at how our application security programs are helping us to achieve our business objectives. Of course, this doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to technology and security such that we put the business in harm’s way; we certainly don’t want to facilitate a breach. But, a deep dive into the technology isn’t the discussion we were having during our risk management program planning; we left that discussion for the security operations team to engage in outside of the risk management program discussions.”