Thoughts on Secure Development

Technology is dissipating into the fabric of society and is no longer just an industry but a mode of implementation through which every industry is being shaped. As technology integrates with increasing facets of our lives, we must take a more holistic approach to security and privacy. With this series, it is our hope to take a cross section of the problems facing researchers and practitioners from different backgrounds, career stages, and interest areas in an effort to reach out of our respect silos. Innovation and experimentation that occurs in research can guide and spearhead novel ways of advancing the state of the art but the road to implementation and customizing those ideas to actual solutions requires a strong interface between the actual, messy world.

As a research software engineer whose role is to take cryptographic concepts existing in theoretical domains to real-world applications, it has become apparent to me that simply creating an algorithm or writing a proof is not enough to guarantee that something will work. There are important concerns in usability, understanding end users, communication across engineering teams, complex integration, communication of security guarantees to a general populace, and the list goes on. No single role in the broader ecosystem is more important than another. It is in increasing communication that we, as a community, can build more secure systems that provide users with a stronger sense of trust as we navigate our lives in the digital age.


Lucy Qin
Research Software Engineer, Software & Application Innovation Lab
Hariri Institute for Computing | Boston University
IEEE Secure Development Publicity Chair