Thursday, February 1, 2024

Why Should You Consider Application Security Automation?

Table Of Contents

    As NIST recommends organizations make the most of technology to shape and craft their own cybersecurity strategies with its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) 2.0, all the leading and emerging businesses in some of the world's critical infrastructure like the banking and energy industries must consider application security automation.

    However, if you are unaware of how you can assess the security fundamentals for your applications, APIs and cloud environments, you can start by referring to an application security checklist.

    Once you have a clear idea of all your drawbacks and the gaps where automation testing tools can be beneficial for you, you can consult with a web app pentesting services company to know about the services and tools that they offer.

    But, with everyone buzzing about automated security testing, why should you consider doing that? Well, let me help you understand why you should automate your security testing process, its benefits and best practices.

    Why automate application security process?

    Automating application security processes is not just a technological convenience; it is a strategic necessity as cyber-attacks and security incidents keep getting more complex. 

    Automating application security using an automated penetration testing tool empowers you and your organizations to tackle cyber threats, speed up your application development cycles, adhere to regulatory compliance, and optimize resource allocation.

    Businesses can maintain a competitive edge by swiftly identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities. They can do this by improving their overall security posture when they shift left and move to a more secure software development framework.

    Conventional manual testing tools and techniques tend to be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Conducting manual application penetration testing for functional operations and security measures can often lead to delays in your software development lifecycle. 

    On the contrary, automated web application security testing tools allow you for faster and more frequent assessments of security issues in your web applications, mobile applications, APIs and cloud environments. This can improve the overall speed of product delivery and help integrate security measures into the development pipeline easily. 

    Automated security audits will help you and your security team with ongoing compliance with industry-specific standards and regulations such as ISO27001 certification, HIPA, and SOC2 certification. Automated tools will assess your application and cloud security posture, identify compliance gaps, and provide you with detailed reports so that you can fix these issues.

    Do your Devs take too long to fix vulnerabilities? They’d take half that time if you gave them Cyber Chief’s on-demand security coaching.

    Benefits of Application Security Automation

    1. Security becomes an Integral Component of SDLC

    Automating application security can help you and your organisation integrate vulnerability scanning into your DevOps processes. With an automated vulnerability scanning tool, security scanning becomes an integral part of development instead of being a bottleneck. This will help in building a collaborative environment where development and security coexist harmoniously throughout the entire development lifecycle.

    2. Easily Scale Security Measures as Your Business Grows

    With web application automated security testing tools and platforms, you can scale your protective measures effortlessly as your application expands. You won’t necessarily be required to increase human resources, as security automation tools adapt to growing security scanning requirements, allowing you to ship web and mobile app with zero known security vulnerabilities and monitor security at any scale.

    Swift Responses for Real-time Threat Detection

    Real-time threat detection is necessary for testing security of a web application, mobile apps and APIs with every new update released for the application. This allows instant identification and response to security threats as and when they emerge.

    Automated security testing tools act as a proactive shield and prevent security escalations as they secure your applications and APIs from potential security risks that can be exploited by attackers.

    3. Automated Security Testing provides Long-term Savings

    Managing security and assessing applications for vulnerabilities using conventional tools and techniques can be cost and resource-intensive. Automated testing tools help you to shift left and give you a more cost-effective option.

    Automating repetitive security tasks with automated web application security tools and platforms helps you save time and reduce your long-term costs.  This will also allow you and your organisation to redirect resources to strategic security initiatives. So that your investment yields maximum impact in securing your application against security breaches.

    Cyber Chief is a vulnerability assessment and security automation tool that can help you reduce your expenses in the long term. When compared to conducting penetration testing to assess the security posture of your applications, APIs and cloud infrastructure, an automated security tool like Cyber Chief can help you save money.

    With this tool, you can constantly monitor your application security without having to worry about any security vulnerabilities going undetected. You can automate repetitive scans by scheduling them daily and simply review the report once the scanning is completed.

    Too many delays in assessing and patching application vulnerabilities? Cyber Chief can help automate your security assessment and it’ll even help your Devs with patching as well.

    4. In-depth Insights into Application Security Posture

    Having an in-depth view of your application's security posture should also be an indispensable part of your application security strategy. Automated security tools like Cyber Chief will provide you and your security teams with detailed reports for any low to high-priority security issues in your web apps, mobile apps and APIs. 

    This in-depth analysis of your security posture can help you make informed, data-driven decisions and tailor your security strategy accordingly.

    The alternative is that you make decisions based on hunches and then are left wondering why your situation isn't changing. This had been the case for many of our clients before they adopted Cyber Chief and its analytics.

    5. Minimize Damage with Swift Risk Mitigation

    Incident response time is of utmost importance when it comes to mitigating potential damages for application security flaws. Automated application security tools help you with swift responses to security incidents, minimizing downtime and reducing the window of opportunity for attackers. This agility in response is necessary to ensure that security breaches can be swiftly contained, limiting their impact on your applications.

    How can you automate security processes?

    There are a number of steps you can take to automate AppSec. After you implement these steps, you are more likely to instil a culture of application security in your software development teams.

    End-To-End Security Automation For Applications

    The best automated security testing tools (also often called DevSecOps software) allow you to conduct comprehensive security tests without having to dedicate an expensive resource to manage this process for you.

    You can automate the identification of vulnerabilities within your applications and APIs by adding DAST tools to your software development lifecycle and CI/CD pipelines. Running these tools from your CICD pipelines allows you to shift left more easily than conducting manual security tests alone.

    Dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools will help you find security threats in your apps without accessing your codebase. DAST scans look at your application and API security during run-time, like a real attacker would.

    Cyber Chief is one of the best security automation tools that can help you with DAST for your web apps, mobile apps and APIs. With its schedule and scan feature, you can easily integrate security processes into the development framework of your applications.

    For this, all your developers have to do is set the time and the scans that they want to conduct. Once the scanning is done, you will be able to view the detailed report on application vulnerabilities.

    Cyber Chief is the vulnerability assessment automation tool that will provide your developers with possible solutions in the form of code snippets. Since these will be provided based on the coding language of your software application, be it Java, Python, Spring, .NET and more, your developers can use these and save time looking for fixes for the detected security alerts.

    Any vulnerability scanner will give you a list of vulnerabilities. But if you have Cyber Chief, you’ll be able to secure your web apps and APIs on autopilot.

    Source Code Review Automation

    Static application security testing (SAST) tools will help you and your organisation identify vulnerabilities in your applications very early on in your software development lifecycle, saving you valuable time and resources. The SAST automated software security testing tools scan the source code for vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting, providing developers with timely feedback for remediation.

    However, this ultimately means that your software application code will be exposed to such tools. As such, it would be advisable to integrate security testing tools or platforms that have a credible reputation and that follow data security compliance laws.

    SAST security automation frameworks will help you with continuous monitoring for secure code review so that security checks can be easily integrated into your overall software development pipeline.

    Best Practices to Shift-Left with AppSec Automation

    Conduct Comprehensive Assessments of Software Testing Requirements

    Before adding application security automation tools, you do need to conduct thorough assessments of your software development framework. This will help you understand and map out the journey from code creation to production.

    This insight is the foundation for a secure software development framework. You can then make adjustments to your software testing requirements and select the appropriate tools for security automation.

    Include threat detection and fixes in real-time

    Secondly, you need to devise a real-time approach to security fixes by integrating security activities within your code development process. Application security automation allows for immediate feedback on potential security threats so that your developers can implement fixes before code release. This real-time threat detection and implementing fixes approach will protect your web apps, mobile apps, and API security, but only if its performed in a timely manner.

    Want to do a software security assessment without exposing your code? If you have Cyber Chief you can do this from your CI/CD pipelines.

    Define Your Shift-Left Strategy

    To reap the benefits of application security testing tools in the long run you need to clearly outline the vision, ownership, milestones, and metrics and create a concise document that guides your team toward a security-first mindset.

    This strategy will serve as a blueprint for your development team and organization for application security. All while, making sure that all stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities in the web application security process.

    How to get started with security automation tools?

    Automated security testing tools like Cyber Chief will ensure that security testing of software applications becomes an integral part of the development lifecycle.

    So that security does not remain an afterthought but rather becomes a core component right from the code-writing stage to deployment. Cyber Chief will make it easy for you to integrate that added step of security assessment in your existing development pipeline for CI/CD.

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