What’s the Best Strategy to Manage Application Security Risk?

“Not taking risks one doesn’t understand is often the best form of risk management,” wrote Raghuram G. Rajan, ex-governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in “Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy.”

If you are a chief information security officer (CISO), application security risk manager, IT security leader or even a compliance officer, you know how crucial risk management is to your organization’s well-being. Your mission-critical data, applications and systems are constantly under threat of potential security attacks.

Identifying key risks, preventing them and establishing a security process that manages risk in an integrated manner can make your organization less vulnerable to these threats.

You need to manage application security risk in precisely the same way.

Read the free e-guide: 5 Steps to Achieve Risk-based Application Security Management

How to Effectively Manage Security Risks

To manage security risk more effectively, security leaders must:

  • Reduce risk exposure.
  • Assess, plan, design and implement an overall risk-management and compliance process.
  • Be vigilant about new and evolving threats, and upgrade security systems to counteract and prevent them.
  • Leverage high-quality, integrated data and systems to manage organizational risk.
  • Maintain adequate business service levels while adhering to all internal and external security requirements.

Taken together, the task of meeting these requirements may seem like a tall order — and it is. Managing an effective risk-management strategy means achieving all of the above (and more) to keep threats at bay.

Why Application Security Could Be Your Weakest Security Link

Did you know that your software applications frequently represent your weakest security links? In fact, a whopping 37 percent of security risks happen at the application layer — and SQL injection (SQLI) and cross-site scripting (XSS) account for 16 percent of attack types with a disclosed cause.

The pressure on development teams to build and deploy software quickly makes it challenging for them to prioritize application security risk. Minimizing your organizational focus on security can make your applications prime targets for cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities and steal intellectual property. It’s virtually impossible for developers to spot these potential threats on their own in the rush to get apps out the door.

An Integrated Approach to Application Security Risk Management

To properly evaluate and mitigate application security risks, it’s critical to integrate your disparate security measures that are currently operating in silos into a comprehensive risk-management strategy. But how do you get started?

IBM’s complimentary risk-management e-guide can help you create a comprehensive, integrated risk-management process for your applications. “Five Steps to Achieve Risk-Based Application Security Management” provides information on all aspects of application security and outlines ways to develop an effective risk-management strategy.

Hamsa Srinivasan

Marketing Manager, Product and Content Marketing Specialist, IBM