Re: Charging customers on security
From: S. M. (vel_at_sympatico.ca)
To: "Adam Shostack" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "wirepair" <email@example.com> Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 13:33:09 -0700
I used to work on a help desk for an ISP. Many times I would get calls from
customers who would get hit by the Blaster worm or some variant. Even though
these customers had the company's Anti Virus and Firewall they would blame
us for having caught a Worm. The Blaster worm exploits a vulnerability in
Windows 2000 and XP operating System. They caught the worm because of the
vulnerability in the OS. Also AV's and FW's reduce the risk of getting
infected or having your system compromised, not eliminate it.
Moral of the story: There are a lot of users out there without any computer
knowledge operating systems that were more powerful than the one on the
first Moon mission. So be upfront and spell it out upfront in the agreement.
Think about it: Will your car manufacturer car warranty pay for wear and
tear: such as Brake pads, etc. NO ! Or does Insurance pay for Acts of God
such as Floods. No. ! Or if the Bank goes bankrupt and you had a Million
dollars in the bank acocunt. Will your bank compensate you the full
1,000,000 dollars . NO ! It will only compensate you the CDIC limit of
It is a fine line. Their expectation for a secure application is reasonable.
The question is,how do you quantify reasonable ?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Adam Shostack" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "wirepair" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Charging customers on security
> You could point out that microsoft and oracle are advertising the
> security and reliability of their applications, and it may be a
> competitive advantage if you devote resources to it.
> On Sun, Sep 26, 2004 at 02:40:29PM -0800, wirepair wrote:
> | Charging for security of your own applications? That seems pretty
> | to me. Why should
> | the client who buys your software with the expectation that it works and
> | secure have to
> | pay for the fact that it isn't? So when my seat belts are broken, and my
> | tires randomly explode,
> | I have to pay the car manufacturer more money to get these features
> | duh?
> | -wire
> | On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:16:40 -0700
> | King Pang <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> | >Hello,
> | >
> | >Our company developers Microsoft Solutions and I am responsible for
> | >leading the security initiative in the corporation. I have spent a
> | >lot of time and effort on how we should apply security guidance to our
> | >product life cycle, such as adding threat modeling and doing security
> | >review. But after I have convinced them that security is important,
> | >we brought up a discussion on how we should charge our customers.
> | >
> | >Many of you have customer experience. They want to pay the minimum
> | >and have all the features. If they can choose not to pay, they won't.
> | >If we tell them threat modeling will add x human-weeks of development
> | >and we have to charge them x thousand dollars more, they won't pay.
> | >Moreover, they expect the system to be secure enough and if there is
> | >anything wrong, they would think that is our fault.
> | >
> | >If any of you have any experience on dealing security with customers
> | >and how you would deal with this issue, please throw in two cents. Any
> | >comments or related articles would help too.
> | >
> | >Warm Regards.
> | --
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