Persistent challenges surrounding application security are a key concern of enterprise organizations. According to CPO Magazine, “Cybersecurity companies and law enforcement have reported an 800% surge of cyberattacks since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
But keeping pace with app security is difficult for a number of key reasons. The ongoing global cybersecurity skills shortage has made it difficult for enterprises to find talent, and cybersecurity team members are often spread too thin. Deloitte recently noted a “substantial talent gap” in cybersecurity, citing a study that revealed millions of job openings in the field. “There are not enough qualified individuals to fill millions of open positions globally,” they stated. “The cyber workforce gap is so big that a 2019 (ISC)2 study estimates it has grown to nearly four million job openings.”
The demand for more frequent app development, deployment of code, and app delivery has made app security complex and difficult to manage. Digital transformation resulting in higher velocity of applications is creating complex environments. For large enterprises with disparate tools and large numbers of siloed teams, app security issues sometimes aren’t apparent until after the app has shipped.
Finally, the move to low code development platforms and tools is also presenting security risks, as some users outside of tech development are more involved in app development. “Low-code users come from both business and tech backgrounds,” a report from DevOps.com noted. Some practitioners aren’t familiar with application security best practices and lack awareness and understanding of potential vulnerabilities and security holes.”
A majority of cyberattacks are happening at application level, and attackers exploit the largest vulnerabilities. Some specific vulnerabilities include APIs and micro services. “The new app development model is focused on microservices that are then packaged together to create a full-featured app package,” an article in CMO Magazine notes. “This can create a wider attack surface where one vulnerability in one microservice can give attackers a foothold or access to customer data.”
Solutions and strategies – app security approaches
Any comprehensive approach to app security needs to include a combination of testing and protection that work together. One key best practice is using app security testing tools, but to make sure that protection is layered, more than one type of testing tool should be applied. Today’s DevOps pipelines are complex and as a result, one size fits all app security doesn’t work anymore.
Tools should work in a coordinated fashion, but because of the complex development, organizations need to use specialty app sec tools. For example, organizations may opt for one tool for API security and another specific tool for mobile app security.
Low code platform security solutions can help organizations facing limited cybersecurity professionals. With a low code solution, technical resources or developers with security expertise aren’t required for all instances. Non-technical business users can add security to all apps while security teams can focus on other areas.
Applying a shift left strategy is another way to minimize risks. When app security is implemented earlier in the CI/CD pipeline, vulnerabilities can be addressed while the app is in production.
“In line with the latest trend in DevSecOps, shifting security left is desirable to bring in the necessary verification and audit steps early-on during the application development,” as Help Net Security states. Because AppSec becomes more effective when security and DevOps work together, organizations should focus on cultivating a culture of cooperation between these teams.
Finally, automation is another key aspect of DevSecOps best practices. “Automated security practices are the core of process efficiency because they can reduce manual processes, increasing efficiency and reducing rework,” Cloud Security Alliance explains.
Digital.ai Essential App Protection allows DevOps teams to rapidly integrate mobile app security into code pipelines. As a low code solution, Essential App Protection provides versatility and flexibility by:
Protecting mobile (ioS, Android), web apps
Easily integrating into the CI/CD pipeline without modifications