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AppSec: Now more than ever, cybersecurity should be near the top of a company’s list of priorities. Strong security measures are essential because of new and increasing threats emerging every day. They will help you protect all your data and avoid reputation damage and expensive non-compliance with privacy laws like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA.
One of the most crucial parts of cybersecurity is application security. Tim Jefferson, SVP of Engineering for Data, Networks, and Application Security at Barracuda stated that “Applications have been steadily rising as one of the top attack vectors in recent years, and the rapid shift to remote work in 2020 only intensified this.” That said, it is essential to have this first on your list.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top challenges in application security (AppSec) today. So, keep on reading to learn more. Let’s start by getting a clear overview of application security.
What is AppSec?
For starters, application security aims to integrate security at every stage of the software development life cycle. It extends beyond security testing and using the appropriate technical resources. It combines both the software development culture of your teams and the methods they employ. Having this program that addresses security from all angles, from design through deployment, will put you in the best position to build profitable apps that are also secure.
But today, application security has become an integral part of software development. And right now, companies have more dedicated AppSec programs than before. It has become a cross-departmental initiative rather than a one-off activity like routine scanning, code reviews, testing, or a transactional event connected to a security assessment.
Even though it is now part of software development, the teams involved still experience some challenges. And we’ll take a closer look at some of them.
Top Challenges in AppSec Today?
When developing or updating your application security measures, consider the challenges you may face to overcome them. Here are a few that you should know:
Lack of AppSec Professionals
In the IT industry, the IT professional is typically thought of as a “do it all.” The same way of thinking applies when discussing development because a developer in many organizations must be able to “do it all” and comprehend numerous facets of the development process.
This is a problem we come across rather frequently—the developer is expected to code correctly without weaknesses or vulnerabilities. However, we must understand that not a single professional can do all responsibilities involving numerous and complex steps. There’s a specific professional for security-related processes in software development. The only challenge is to recruit the right ones and retain them.
Due to a skills shortage, it can be difficult to source the right person, and with the strong demand for security professionals, keeping them on staff can be equally challenging. Additionally, given the increased regulatory emphasis on supply chain security, there will likely be an increase in application security specialists.
Moreover, even if a company thinks working with an outside partner will help it build its security program most effectively, picking the right one is still tricky. A wide range of abilities is needed to implement a security strategy effectively. After all, it involves more than just raising a few tools. To enable safe product development, you should get a professional with a complete range of skill sets required to implement a security program and develop the culture and capabilities you need to sustain it.
Assessing and Sustaining Your AppSec Program
Sustaining a security program is already a challenge. A good security program can evolve as the threat landscape and the available techniques and tools for software security change.
Evaluating how well and poorly your current security program is performing, making improvements where possible, and adopting new capabilities when they become practicable and available are all essential components of an effective security program. This calls for both the drive to keep working toward progress without giving up when things do not go as planned and the knowledge to evaluate and adapt the program.
Having the appropriate person by your side can also help you overcome this obstacle. They not only have a diverse skill set, but they also have experience working with various clients and projects. They can learn from their past mistakes and avoid them. And since they have gone through these cycles of experimentation and development before, they’re also more focused when developing your security program.
Lack of Budget
Another challenge for companies, especially startups, going in this direction is the budget. Since most of the money goes to marketing efforts and building the brand, most types of cybersecurity, including application security, are being compromised. As a result, more weaknesses and vulnerabilities on your apps are being exploited by malicious actors.
In light of this, it is always best to allot a budget for application security and other cybersecurity measures. After all, it will save you even more money than when you experience a data breach. Not only will you pay for the damages, you’ll also pay for non-compliance and recovery.
The Bottom Line
Attacks on applications, such as malware, disruptions, theft, and even misconfiguration exploits, are a severe risk for companies. It makes people ask themselves, can I really trust this platform with my data? That being said, your organization must invest time, effort, and money into ensuring the security of their applications. By anticipating the challenges mentioned in this blog, you’ll be able to develop more secure apps in the coming years.