Why application security is important
Application security is important because it helps ensure that your organization's information and assets are protected from security threats such as data breaches, malware, denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and viruses. As the environmental landscape grows more complex, the need to identify and mitigate security risks has become essential to protecting your enterprise's assets and sensitive data.
Application security testing is a critical component of the software development lifecycle. Testing tools must be capable of checking for security vulnerabilities in both web applications and mobile applications to identify any weaknesses in the data or source code.
Creating secure applications during the application development process is a DevSecOps best practice that can reduce the potential for future frustrations while increasing return on investment.
Types of application security
A comprehensive appsec strategy helps identify, remediate, and resolve a wide range of application vulnerabilities and related security issues. The most effective and sophisticated appsec strategies also include solutions for correlating the impact of appsec-related events to resultant business outcomes.
Finding the appropriate application security tools for your organization is key to the success of any of the security measures your DevOps or security team may put in place.
There are several types of application security:
Static application security testing (SAST)
SAST helps identify vulnerabilities in code by scanning the application source files to pinpoint the root cause. The ability to review the scan results of static analysis with real-time solutions helps identify security flaws faster, reducing MTTR and allowing for collaborative troubleshooting.
Dynamic application security testing (DAST)
DAST offers a more proactive approach by simulating security breaches on a web application in a live environment to provide accurate information about exploitable weaknesses. Since DAST tests applications in production, it is particularly helpful for discovering runtime or environment-related issues.
Interactive application security testing (IAST)
IAST combines elements of SAST and DAST by working inside the app to perform analysis in real-time or at any point throughout the development or production process. IAST has access to all of the application’s code and components for more accurate results and in-depth access than its predecessors.
Run-time application security protection (RASP)
RASP also works inside of the application, but focuses more on security than on testing. RASP protects applications with continuous security checks and an automated response to potential breaches that involves terminating the session and alerting IT teams.
APM and application security
Although they are two separate practices, application performance management and application security have a symbiotic relationship. An effective APM strategy offers improved visibility into highly distributed or complex environments, including microservices architecture and cloud applications. The resulting APM data can help enhance software security by allowing a comprehensive view of an application's infrastructure and components, benchmarking ideal performance with dynamic baselining, and alerting when inconsistencies or anomalies are detected. When paired with application security solutions, APM can increase the depth of knowledge about the inner workings of your application and system in a way that provides redundancy and offers additional support for your security program.