“Death Star” security happens whenever a system relies entirely on an outermost security layer — and fails catastrophically when breached. Especially as stack layers multiply, they shouldn’t all run in a single, trusted virtual private cloud (or similar isolation in a traditional data center). Sharing secrets doesn’t scale, either, as systems multiply and external services integrate with your site and user base.
Instead, we’ll be exploring methods strong enough to cross the public Internet, flexible enough to allow new services without reconfiguring existing systems, and robust enough to avoid single points of failure. Specifically, those methods are public key infrastructure (and where that's possible), federated identity (for infrastructure and websites), and capability-based security (rather than traditional role-based access control).
This talk is a Drupal-focused preview of the talk I'm developing for the O'Reilly Software Architecture Conference. If you find yourself wiring together everything from Varnish to Apache to MySQL to Solr to backup storage (and especially if you're looking for answers better than just throwing it all behind a main firewall), this talk is for you.