To understand the current and future state of application security, we obtained insights from five IT executives. We asked them, “What are the most common issues you see with application security?” Here’s what they told us:
- Two issues are the human attention span and the accuracy of automated systems. People who monitor or engage with security need to focus time and effort on things that matter and produce outcomes that serve a purpose. They cannot do that without accuracy, and accuracy comes from application-insight. The other is automation systems, where simply sending data is not helpful. Data must be relevant, with enough metadata to properly act. This relevance is tied to the application’s insight.
- There are so many guidelines right now. Authenticity, authorization, encryption, and availability mechanism – ensure all four are done with discipline and automation. Do the fundamentals well on APIs and mobile and modern web to avoid the majority of data breaches. When security hooks up with DevOps, it’s an impedance mismatch that causes a lot of friction.
- The most common issue I see is doing nothing to secure your applications, followed closely by taking too narrow an approach to application security (for example, looking at security from only one perspective, such as static code analysis) and falling prey to a false sense of security. I don’t have the data to identify which is the largest actual risk based on break-ins, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter point is more critical.
- We commonly see applications that are designed with security principles in mind but not from a network perspective. How an application acts on a single node in a network is different from how it behaves as it traverses the LAN and WAN. Our solution helps customers keep applications secure as they traverse networks, both local and wide-area.
- Don’t use tools. AppSec testing technology today can come as a tool or a cloud service. Technology emerges first as a tool you learn to use, run, and be responsible for its accuracy and breadth. The next wave is when the technology is delivered as a cloud service. Now, we have more services than tools. Adopt technologies like cloud services rather than tools. Delegate AppSec to third-party vendors operating at high scale in the cloud.
Here’s who shared their insights:
- Erik Costlow, Developer Relations, Contrast Security
- James McClay, Product Manager, Cybera
- Doug Dooley, COO, Data Theorem
- Joseph Feiman, Chief Strategy Officer, WhiteHat Security
- Vincent Lussenburg, Director of DevOps Strategy, XebiaLabs