I support product marketing at CAST Software. We are a software company passionate about Quality. It's kind of arcane, I know, but it's amazing how quality impacts everything from how things work to customer happiness to the value of your company. I’m fortunate to be able to talk to a lot of people about quality and their strategies and challenges managing it.
Twitter - @pizzutillo
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/pizzutillo
A recurring issue for IT and business management is whether it’s best to build an in-house team or outsource the development of software applications. Some of the biggest factors when contemplating application outsourcing are cost, security and loss of control.
Business agility remains a top priority, but this puts added pressure on teams to move fast, and can sometimes lead to rushed projects and a lack of attention to detail. When in-house teams are under tight deadline restrictions, corners can get cut. In fact, most in the developer community agree that outsourcing is the best way to go for timely and on-budget development projects.
We always hear about issues with systems, applications, or services caused by poor code quality or missed defects, but what happens when these problems become life threatening? Recently an article posted by npr discussed the early release of dangerous prisoners who are now being charged for murder. According to the article, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State reported that more than 3,200 prisoners were released early due to a software defect.
This was not a result of good behavior, but rather an issue caused by a software glitch within the Department of Corrections. As reported by the governor’s general counsel, Nick Brown, approximately 3% of the occurrences since 2002 should not have been allowed. This software glitch has gone unnoticed for more than 10 years and as a result dangerous criminals have made their way back into society.
The banking industry has definitely had its share of ups and downs when it comes to service reliability. In the past year, there have been a number of instances where customers have been unable to gain access to funds, receive deposits, and pay bills. As reported in an article by theguardian, HSBC experienced a system failure at the end of August, which left thousands of their customers in a bind over a major banking holiday.
This “technology glitch”, as reported by HSBC, prevented customers from being paid their salaries. The reported system failure made it impossible for employers to access their business banking accounts. A staggering number of banks have experienced system failures and service issues like this one. This raises a question: Is poor code quality becoming a big problem for the banking industry?
With the advancements of both cloud and mobile technologies, security remains a hot topic for every company. The number of reported instances of security backdoors due to faulty code or hardware continues to stagger. A recent article by Wired has brought forth another one of these unfortunate issues for a big player: Juniper. This technology giant has been providing networking and firewall solutions to companies, corporations, and the government for a number of years.
As a leader in networking technology, the last thing you want to hear is that a tech powerhouse like Juniper has found an application security problem. Two security issues were identified after a code review session outside of the company’s normal evaluation cycle. Security continues to remain a primary concern as more companies, government agencies, and even individuals rely on technology providers to manage data or maintain smooth operations.
As reported in a recent article by InfoWorld, a high profile privacy driven smartphone provider located a security hole capable of exposing their devices to attacks. Blackphone is a specially designed smartphone developed by SGP Technologies, who operates as a subsidiary of Silent Circle. The phone uses VPN for Internet access and runs on a modified Android version titled “SilentOS”. A third-party component Silent Circle used as part of the device design was capable of exposing the secure smartphone to outside attacks.
What Was the Security Issue?
The vulnerability made it possible for an attacker to control the modem functions of the phone. Researchers brought this problem forth when they identified an open socket accessible on the phone during a reverse engineering exercise. Currently, Blackphone is one of the most secure phones on the market because it uses built-in encryption to deliver secure:
Southwest Airlines is the latest victim of the airline scandal. What scandal? It’s the one where airlines continue to cause travel delays due to poorly managed IT systems. It’s the one that caused Southwest to delay 836 flights on Monday and distribute HAND written tickets to passengers because of a ‘software glitch’. Southwest isn’t alone. United Airlines grounded hundreds of flights in July and American Airlines did the same in September and April. How long will consumers have to wait before these organizations figure out that the glitches are caused by bad software quality, which creates bad service?