Application Security Trends to Watch for

Application Security Trends to Watch for

Ensuring the security of your applications is crucial in today’s ever-evolving threat landscape. These practices safeguard software and data from malicious attacks, ensuring integrity, confidentiality, and availability of critical information.

Application security, or AppSec, refers to the practices, tools, and procedures employed during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to detect, repair, and safeguard against application vulnerabilities. AppSec activities may involve conducting a comprehensive, secure code review, enlisting the services of a pen tester, or implementing updates to an existing framework, all aimed at enhancing an organization’s security posture.

Application security practices and activities are beneficial in proactively identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, which helps prevent mission-critical data from falling into the wrong hands. When an organization experiences a data breach, the resulting financial damage from remediation, data loss, downtime, customer attrition, and reputational damage can be catastrophic. In contrast, proactively identifying security flaws, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations allows organizations to fix them before attackers can exploit them, saving time and money and preserving customer trust and brand image.

As remarkable security breaches put the field into the limelight, application security has become increasingly critical in recent years. A recent report, Check Point Research Reports a 38% Increase in 2022 Global Cyberattacks, by Checkpoint says that, compared to 2021, global cyber-attacks had increased by 38% in 2022. This sudden incline reiterates the necessity for increased enterprise interest and effort to enhance overall security posture. According to a recent report, Gartner Identifies Three Factors Influencing Growth in Security Spending, with overall spending predicted to hit $7.503B in 2023; companies are increasing their investments in AppSec to achieve this. It is a 24.7% increase from the previous year.

As technology advances, the factors affecting application security are expected to keep growing and changing over time, giving way to new and emerging trends in the application security landscape. These trends include integrating security tools with DevOps, a greater reliance on security automation and threat modeling, and shifting toward a design-led approach. This article looks into significant trends that are shaping application security.

Also Read: Six Robust Practices to Prevent APT Attacks

More Adoption of Security Tools in CI/CD

With the advent of new AppSec tools that integrate with CI/CD, there has been a shift towards performing scanning activities earlier in the development lifecycle. These tools empower developers to identify potential security vulnerabilities before the code is checked and released. Furthermore, traditional software development platforms now offer security features, which has elevated the importance of AppSec in the developer tooling ecosystem.

AppSec can integrate security into automated development workflows. The initial step is to automate security testing as part of CI/CD pipelines. It is important to avoid overwhelming developers with too many false positives and unactionable alerts. This can hinder productivity, and developers may not take security alerts seriously. Hence, curating the alerts transmitted to developers is necessary, ensuring they receive only actionable signals. This approach can help AppSec make security a core part of automated development workflows.

Developers Taking Ownership of Security

Typically, security analysts lack the expertise to repair code independently without developers’ involvement. As a result, they must revert to the original developer to address security concerns in code that may have been produced several weeks or months prior. This approach of retroactive problem-solving can be time-consuming and cause internal conflicts regarding responsibility.

With appropriate tools, developers can identify potential security threats early. As security technology becomes more integrated with DevOps processes, development teams are increasingly responsible for implementing and automating security tools and tests. This paradigm shift means that teams must now take on additional responsibilities beyond application security, such as infrastructure security for code, as well as for containers and cloud platforms.

This trend liberates security teams from repetitive and tedious manual tasks. It empowers them to concentrate on delivering high-value contributions by utilizing their security knowledge to tackle complex challenges and ensure security supervision. Launching automated remediation campaigns for the most crucial issues can provide accurate information to the relevant engineers, enabling them to take immediate action without the need for the security team’s constant monitoring.

Importance of threat modeling

Threat modeling is an important aspect of application security but still evolving. The core concept of threat modeling involves identifying potential threats, mitigating them, and continuously validating and adjusting the model as needed. As software development becomes increasingly incremental, threat modeling becomes relevant at every stage of the development cycle. However, security experts lack consensus on the best way to approach threat modeling, including balancing manual and automated methods. Security teams must embrace automated threat modeling solutions for real-time monitoring and analysis as applications become more complex. These solutions will be crucial in selecting algorithms, frameworks, libraries, authentication, and cryptography to identify and mitigate threats.

Also Read: Think Like a Hacker – High Demand Skills for Cybersecurity Professionals

The attack Surface Will Continue to Expand

The cybersecurity attack surface has been expanding for years due to technological advancements. Unfortunately, experts expect this trend to continue in 2023 as well. The global pandemic has enhanced the trend of a distributed workforce, which has advantages, such as access to a larger talent pool. However, if proper measures are not in place, it can also make a company vulnerable to attacks. Multiple systems, plugins, access keys, tokens, machine accounts, and automation can provide entry points for attackers. Organizations that do not prioritize security in their organizational layout are at risk of experiencing data manipulation, loss, or theft.

Summing Up

In today’s landscape, application security has become a critical concern. Organizations must adopt best practices to protect their applications from an ever-increasing attack surface and more sophisticated threats. However, this is a top priority, and it seems good news. And companies are investing more in security measures. With tighter controls and a clear remediation plan, businesses can avoid becoming the next data breach headline. As organizations become more knowledgeable and equipped to protect themselves, the importance of application security will continue to grow.

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