Quantifying Benefits of an IBM Client’s Application Security Testing Investment

IBM Security is pleased to announce the release of a new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting titled “The Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) of IBM Security AppScan Source.” The goal of Forrester’s independent TEI study was to assess the economic and business benefits of an organization’s purchase of IBM’s application security testing solutions.

In this case, the IBM client participating in the study was a large, global enterprise that currently utilizes IBM Security AppScan Source. AppScan Source permits the client to perform static application security testing (SAST) in its application development environment.

Forrester TEI Study Methodology

In order to maintain the study’s objectivity, all editorial control was maintained by Forrester Consulting throughout the project. In addition, IBM did not participate in any of Forrester’s interviews with the client or in any follow-up discussions.

Forrester’s study methodology was as follows:

  1. The project team performed due diligence, including learning more about IBM’s application security testing solutions and the application security marketplace.
  2. Forrester conducted a comprehensive interview with an IBM Security AppScan Source client to obtain specific data with respect to the client’s costs, benefits and risks related to their financial investment in AppScan Source.
  3. The project team created a financial model that was aligned with Forrester’s Total Economic ImpactTM framework, making minor adjustments based on certain risk factors.
  4. Forrester wrote a comprehensive case study recapping its findings. The case study includes estimated return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV) and the payback period associated with an investment in AppScan Source.

Key Financial Findings from Forrester TEI Study

The study revealed significant financial benefits of an AppScan Source deployment:

  • An estimated ROI of 253 percent: Forrester defined ROI as a measure of a project’s expected return in percentage terms. The ROI percentage is determined by taking the net benefits of a project (its benefits minus its costs) and dividing that figure by the project’s costs.
  • A payback period of only six months: Forrester defined payback period as the breakeven point for an investment in AppScan Source. The payback period is achieved when the net benefits of a project (its benefits minus its costs) is equal to the organization’s initial investment.
  • AppScan Source permitted IBM’s client to conduct code review and vulnerability remediation at a much earlier stage in the development process, resulting in a 90 percent cost savings compared to remediating findings at later stages in the development life cycle.
  • Prior to deploying AppScan Source, remediation of application vulnerabilities would take an average of 20 hours for the IBM client to complete. Now, the same vulnerability findings can be addressed in a mere 30 minutes. This is akin to taking more than three days of business meetings and compacting them into a single 30-minute meeting, but achieving the same level of productivity.
  • Based on the fact that the client no longer needs to employ consulting contacts to review its code to provide evidence of scanning for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliance purposes, the client estimates that it saves $500,000 per year on compliance services that it no longer requires.

Key Business Findings from Forrester TEI Study

In addition to the financial benefits derived from its AppScan Source deployment, the client also experienced the following nonfinancial benefits:

  • Improved time-to-market for applications due to faster remediation of application vulnerabilities. This approach helps to counter the rush-to-release mentality that encourages organizations to release applications as soon as they can in order to keep pace with customer demand and company executives’ financial expectations;
  • Expansion of its overall security focus, helping to protect the organization against costly and embarrassing data breaches that could significantly impact its brand image;
  • Better visibility into application vulnerabilities, permitting it to release more secure applications;
  • More consistent coding practices that result in more effective code review;
  • A higher level of developer empowerment, reducing the number of code reviews and permitting development teams to focus on key projects; and
  • Elimination of multiple tools that were previously deployed to review code and an elimination of costs associated with those tools.

To Learn More

To learn about IBM’s placement in the “Leaders” category of “The Forrester WaveTM: Application Security, Q4 2014.”

More from Application Security

Does Follina Mean It’s Time to Abandon Microsoft Office?

As a freelance writer, I spend most of my day working in Microsoft Word. Then, I send drafts to clients and companies across the globe. So, news of the newly discovered Microsoft Office vulnerability made me concerned about the possibility of accidentally spreading malware to my clients. I take extra precautions to ensure that I’m not introducing risk to my clients. Still, using Microsoft Office was something I did many times a day without a second thought. I brought up…

3 Reasons Why Technology Integration Matters

As John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself.” With digitalization bridging any distance, the same logic could be applied to tech. Threat actors have vast underground forums for sharing their intelligence, while security professionals remain tight-lipped in a lot of data breach cases. Much like the way a vaccine can help stop the spread of infectious diseases, sharing threat intelligence and defense strategies can help to establish a more secure future for everyone.  So what…

Why Your Success Depends on Your IAM Capability

It’s truly universal: if you require your workforce, customers, patients, citizens, constituents, students, teachers… anyone, to register before digitally accessing information or buying goods or services, you are enabling that interaction with identity and access management (IAM). Many IAM vendors talk about how IAM solutions can be an enabler for productivity, about the return on investment (ROI) that can be achieved after successfully rolling out an identity strategy. They all talk about reduction in friction, improving users' perception of the…

Controlling the Source: Abusing Source Code Management Systems

For full details on this research, see the X-Force Red whitepaper “Controlling the Source: Abusing Source Code Management Systems”. This material is also being presented at Black Hat USA 2022. Source Code Management (SCM) systems play a vital role within organizations and have been an afterthought in terms of defenses compared to other critical enterprise systems such as Active Directory. SCM systems are used in the majority of organizations to manage source code and integrate with other systems within the…