Convenient Mobile Payments! Retail Therapy! Online Sales! But What About Application Security Testing?
Mobile and web applications have become an integral part of daily life. We use multiple applications every day to conduct online commerce, complete financial transactions and simply read the news. Business users are bombarded by an even larger number of applications that they need to interact with on a regular basis. Whether we access these applications from a personal or business perspective (or both), we’re often cocooned in the misguided notion that everything around us is safe and we’re in a protected environment where threats cannot not affect us or harm us — until the day when they actually do.
Instead of being stubborn, taking precautionary measures and waiting for attacks to occur, organizations need to pursue an active application security testing program that’s based on a fundamental understanding of risk management. Our fully updated risk management e-guide provides the best practices and advice that you need to make that happen.
A New Perspective on Risk Management
In the past, the term risk management instilled fear because we incorrectly associated it with costly, tedious processes and a feeling that lingering threats were lurking in the background and ready to pounce on us at any time. This was before we really understood the inherent value of application security risk management and how easy it was for organizations to implement effective risk management initiatives. Now we’re advocates of risk management-based application security testing activities.
Five Steps to Application Security Risk Management
Managing risk is all about identifying, assessing and prioritizing risks and taking pre-emptive measures to address those risks. Our updated e-guide outlines five easy steps to achieve risk-based application security management, which are summarized below.
1. Create an Inventory of Application Assets and Assess Their Business Impact
A consolidated view of your organization’s applications can help turn application security management from a collection of ad hoc processes that are carried out at a local level into a strategically managed discipline. This approach helps you gain better visibility into the state of application security in each of your business units and across your enterprise.
2. Test Your Applications for Vulnerabilities With Cognitive Application Security Testing Technology
IBM has applied its groundbreaking work in machine learning to the realm of application security testing. IBM’s Intelligent Finding Analytics (IFA) solution uses machine learning capabilities to reduce the number of static application security testing (SAST) false positives with up to 98 percent accuracy. Intelligent Code Analytics (ICA) extends the capabilities of IFA by applying machine learning to the identification and markup of APIs. IFA and ICA show developers precisely where security issues are located in code and gather them into fix groups, a practice that enables multiple problems to be remediated simultaneously.
3. Determine the Risks and Prioritize Vulnerabilities
With the information gathered in early phases of the risk management process, your security team will now have a comprehensive view of applications across your enterprise, including detailed assessments of the business criticality of each application and the vulnerabilities within each application. This gives the team a complete picture of overall application risk and enables it to determine which vulnerabilities to prioritize for remediation.
4. Remediate the Risks
Now that you’ve established priorities, your security, development and quality assurance teams can work collaboratively to remediate vulnerabilities within applications. Remediation is often mistakenly envisioned as a one-time activity. This, unfortunately, leads many businesses to remain at risk, even after they’ve taken appropriate measures to protect their mission-critical applications. Remediation is best viewed as an ongoing process that begins with identifying new risks, and then mitigating and managing them in the future. It is certainly not a one-and-done proposition.
5. Measure Progress, Demonstrate Compliance and Monitor Performance
A hallmark of a successful application security testing program is the ability to obtain executive buy-in for your ongoing activities. As such, IBM’s application security solutions provide focused remediation reports that help you monitor and manage your compliance activities and document remediation progress for your executive team. Your overall goal should be to educate management, convincing them that a risk-based approach to managing application security makes it easier to focus resources on activities that improve compliance while maintaining the steady cadence of application releases that you need to remain competitive.
To learn more about achieving a risk-based approach to application security testing, download our fully updated e-guide now.