Building digital trust and fueling growth through application security

April 27 2023

Security awareness is at an all time high. Companies need the right tools to support innovation while building digital trust that users demand. Learn how Cisco Secure Application can help solve this challenge.

Security awareness skyrockets with every breach. In response, users are doubling down on vetting the trustworthiness of companies before transacting. This dynamic is forcing a tipping point that can’t be ignored where security is an emerging competitive differentiator and those that embrace it stand to win big in the market.

Today, the vast majority (85%) of users agree — a company’s data privacy policies factor into making safe purchasing decisions. And it’s not just consumers who feel this; currently, more than half of business buyers are also disengaging with organizations that don’t protect data. However, only a small portion (25%) of executives report active digital risk mitigation strategies that span the entire application lifecycle — even though earning digital trust has been directly attributed to revenue and EBIT growth of at least 10% annually.

A proactive security approach

Ask any cybersecurity professional, and most likely, they will say a breach is inevitable. As such, it’s not if it will happen that orgs need to focus on; it’s when — and most importantly — where. As the tech stack expands, so does the attack surface, which complicates prioritizing digital trust over other important aspects such as developer velocity and constant innovation. Organizations that are ahead of the curve use a DevSecOps approach, where security is baked in throughout the application lifecycle. They’re also the ones coupling DevSecOps with business risk observability to gain a continual automated risk assessment pulse-check across business-critical transactions. This shared context across teams is what helps build the digital trust needed to bolster growth.

Finding hidden security flaws

When users entrust their data to a company, they often have no idea how many third parties sit on the other side of the fence. Take a payment gateway provider, for example; some people understand there’s a handoff and extend transitive trust to a company’s payment vendor but others assume the transaction is provided solely by the company and don’t give the risk a second thought. Either way, a third-party breach can quickly impact your bottom line if user data is involved. Thus, it’s a potential liability to evaluate a vendor’s security posture based only on external compliance checks and certifications because third-party compliance measures often only cover existing, identified security threats — not new and emerging ones.

Threat visibility and continuous risk scoring

Last year, 41% of surveyed organizations had at least one API security incident, and well over half (63%) of those incidents were accompanied by a data breach or data loss. Additionally, more than three-quarters of technologists (78%) report their company is vulnerable to a multi-staged attack over the next 12 months that would affect the full application stack. The right security automation tools provide a one-two punch to tackle this conundrum.

API adoption continues to rise — much to the delight of bad actors who see them as an easy target, and the security landscape, in general, is constantly shifting. Cisco Secure Application leverages the power of application monitoring from Cisco AppDynamics, threat intelligence feeds from Cisco Talos, risk meter scores from Cisco Kenna and API security from Cisco Panoptica to deliver a one-two punch that CVSS scores alone can’t provide. Instead of alerting to a newfound vulnerability and delivering a CVSS score, Cisco Secure Application shows an organization how likely it is that a discovered vulnerability will negatively impact their specific configuration and stack ranks remediation priority lists by likelihood of business-critical impact, including if any APIs are at risk.

Protect digital trust — and your bottom line

As we’ve seen at the RSA conference this year, security is a critical driver of consumer trust and, ultimately, business growth and while organizations are making progress, security work is never “done.” To meet the demands of today’s security-conscious users, companies must enable high-performance applications with a solution that is free from worry about data security. By adopting a proactive approach and implementing comprehensive app security measures, including the right tools, organizations can build and sustain the digital trust needed to fuel business growth.

Unified performance monitoring and business risk observability

Learn more about Business Risk Observability and new feature additions to Cisco Secure Application that support growth while building trust.

Audrey Nahrvar is a product marketing manager with a background in application security and ethical hacking. Audrey held positions at Autodesk and Shutterfly before joining AppDynamics in 2017 as a security engineer first and then promoted to security architect. In her off hours, Audrey enjoys spending time with her husky, in the mountains.

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