How Can You Maintain Application Security During the Software Development Life Cycle?

We all know how important it is to secure your organization’s Web, mobile and desktop applications, but how do you maintain critical application security during the software development life cycle (SDLC)?

Evolving State of Application Security

During the development process, a large amount of new code is added to applications being developed. Of course, all of us want to write the code as securely as we can. However, the problem is that most of us don’t have the skills and/or knowledge to really know what we are defending the applications from.

In addition, attackers’ techniques are constantly evolving, and there are many attack vectors that don’t directly target your code. Many attacks leverage weaknesses in your IT infrastructure or third-party components to reach your applications, databases or other valuable resources.

In cases like those, solely scanning your own code won’t provide you with the security coverage you need.

Making the Case for Application Security Testing on Cloud

There are many on-premise application security testing solutions on the market, and generally they do a great job. But for smaller organizations or special application security projects at larger organizations, on-premise solutions can be prohibitively expensive. Integrating an on-premise solution into your SDLC can also be complex and frequently requires specialized skills to configure properly.

In those specialized use cases, cloud solutions are the way to go since:

  • No specialized security expertise is required.
  • Configuration is usually straightforward.
  • Certain solutions provide an API that can be integrated into your build and deployment systems.
  • Cloud solutions can be less expensive than an on-premise licensing model.

Taking Your Application Security to Cloud Nine

Take, for example, IBM Application Security on Cloud. The configuration is very basic; you require no more than the website’s URL and access credentials if applicable. It provides an API that can be easily integrated into your deployment system. In addition to performing application security testing on your Web applications, you can conveniently scan mobile and desktop apps. It generates a detailed report that your development team can use to remediate vulnerabilities and report progress to key stakeholders.

By utilizing the API, you can trigger security scans in just a few lines of code. Additionally, by incorporating cloud technology, you can save lots of time and money while still maintaining application security during the SDLC. This is critical because the earlier you detect security vulnerabilities in the development process, the easier and less expensive it is to remediate them.

If you’re curious to see this solution in action, Sign up for a complimentary trial plan of IBM Application Security on Cloud.

Learn How to Effectively Manage Application Security Risk in the Cloud

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Asaf Ashkenazi

Senior Developer, IBM

Asaf has been a software developer and technical lead for over 10 years. Most of his career has been spent working for security companies, as he started at Checkpoint doing network security. For the last 8 years, Asaf has been working on application security at IBM. Today, he is a technical lead for the AppScan cloud services which hosts different security engines for Web, mobile and desktop applications. Web application security has always been exciting for Asaf; the quick evolution of technology and the never ending battle between attackers and defenders is a challenge he loves to meet. Asaf is interested in sharing his knowledge and increasing the awareness of potential risks on the Web.