Application security

Application Security Posture Management: Providing AppSec (and DevOps) a big assist

Programmer working on their professional development types on a laptop computer keyboard.

Developers are persistently pressed to keep up with the volume and velocity of applications dominating today’s complex digital landscape. That acceleration also is a challenge for application security (AppSec) teams ensuring any code created (often in the cloud) remains impervious to cyberattacks.

In recent years, tools like application security testing (AST) and application security orchestration and correlation (ASOC) helped reduce those risks during the development cycle. However, these tools only capture and mitigate vulnerabilities within their purview, thereby limiting visibility IT professionals need into what is happening across the entire attack surface. To assess the full view of risk, teams often rely on subjective, time-intensive manual processes, which limit their efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to risk management.

Enter application security posture management (ASPM), which unifies point solutions into a comprehensive platform to correlate and prioritize security risks in each stage of development – from design through release.

ASPM solutions provide AppSec teams and their DevOps counterparts a holistic view of an application’s security posture throughout the development lifecycle. These solutions integrate security testing and correlate and deduplicate findings from disparate tools across an organization’s environment, so teams can track and mitigate security vulnerabilities at all stages of development. By unifying organizational risk, ASPM tools can help teams better prioritize, remediate, and manage risk across their entire attack surface.

In May 2023, Gartner analysts estimated only 5% of organizations had adopted ASPM or ASOC solutions but anticipated that percentage to jump dramatically for the former technology within the next three years. By 2026, a report said, “over 40% of organizations development proprietary applications will adopt ASPM to more rapidly identify and resolve application security issues.”

Fueling that expansion are increasingly sophisticated cyber threats and evolving attack vectors; digital transformations and regulatory pressures; and the ongoing shift to cloud-based infrastructure.

Benefits of ASPM include:

  • Real-time visibility into an organization’s application landscape to find vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and other threats more readily.
  • Prioritizing security risk through detailed contextual information extracted from previously siloed security tools. Teams can then respond more quickly to incidents than manually inspecting alerts generated by each solution.
  • Enhanced remediation with greater context and root-cause insights teams can readily locate and triage security issues across platforms.
  • Improved productivity by automating workflows and security assessments that yield actionable insights, allowing more time spent on core tasks and goals.
  • Cost and reputational savings from finding and fixing security issues before they result in breaches.

Idan Plotnik, co-founder and CEO of cloud application security provider Apiiro, believes ASPM is a game-changer for developers, reducing burden and workflow friction from handling so many, uncontextualized alerts generated by siloed security solutions.

“From a business perspective, ASPM is equally transformative,” the Forbes Tech Council member wrote in a June 2023 article. “By bringing the business, security, and development teams into one platform that unifies risk visibility, prioritization, and remediation, as well as automating the application security processes, ASPM significantly accelerates the development and delivery processes, allowing businesses to bring more secure applications to the cloud much faster.

Additionally, Plotnik said, “by ensuring a higher level of security and quality in the developed software, businesses can confidently promote their software development lifecycle as secure and reliable, giving them a competitive edge in the marketplace.”

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