As the cost of insecure applications grows more and more evident by the day, are we doing everything we can and should, to mitigate the risk?
Implementing an information security awareness policy will enable you to impose security responsibilities as part of your corporation’s security protocols and practices.
What is Security Awareness?
Workplace Security Awareness is a proactive approach to the dangers of online or offline threats.
A good security awareness program should educate all employees, especially developers, about incorporating security best practices. Companies willing to shift their security mindset and offer their employees security training, can enhance the safety of their business, workforce and more importantly their customers and their data.
What is security assessment that you need to be aware of?
Whether we are looking at lost customer data, misplaced data, or unauthorized system access, typically it is not a case of “if” but “when” something is going to happen that puts your company at risk. In order to understand how to establish a prevention model, we have to understand the most common mistakes that people make so that the appropriate training can be provided for prevention and / or countermeasures can be put in place to protect or defend against such attacks.
Security is a tug of war between keeping safe, whilst not impacting on the business commercially, as well as maximising UX and customer convenience, which always takes a leading role. If the system incorrectly classifies a user as a threat and blocks certain user activities that the system deems are putting the organisation at risk, customers get frustrated resulting in relaxed security protocols to maximise customer convenience and usability, without fully understanding or measuring the risk to reward ratio.
Similarly, security can often take a back seat in the development cycle, particularly if impacting the DevOps process and speed. As more and more organisations are shifting security left, enhancing DevSecOps, developers acquire more responsibility of this process, with the hope of detecting and remediating vulnerabilities early, being secure by design and minimising the window of exposure.
Don’t blame the developers
The continual battle between development and security is a well known one. Focussing on today’s business priorities, developers do their job very well – developing the software as fast as possible to meet tight business release dates to maximise revenue and profits. Bugs appear in the code not because developers are lazy or don’t care about code quality and security, but because the business prioritises the fast delivery of working code over the delivery of secure code at a slower pace.
No developer likes being told that their code is insecure, especially 6-12 months after it was written, often leading to resentment and additional procrastination. The truth is that the sooner these tasks are completed and vulnerabilities remediated, the sooner the application can become properly secured.
In order to develop more secure code, organisations need to incorporate testing into the software development life cycle (SDLC) and train their developers to write more secure code. By being able to effectively understand what vulnerabilities appear more often and by which team or which developer in a particular team, additional training can be provided so the same mistakes don’t feature again.
DevSecOps through Automation – Detect more and often
Developers are under constant pressure to release as fast as possible mainly in agile environments. Organisations can shift security left by integrating automated security testing tools (such as Bright) into their existing environments, rather than relying on security testing at a later phase when the developer has moved onto something else.
AppSec testing tools on the market today have many limitations, only able to detect known vulnerabilities, carrying out simple trivial attacks whilst trying to determine if the application is exploitable or not, often with incorrect results – the infamous false positive issue. As a result, developers are overwhelmed with unnecessary workloads, unable to prioritise vulnerabilities for remediation, impacting on the DevOps speed. These tools then need to be complemented by lengthy and expensive manual testing, typically carried out periodically a few times per year. This lack of automation slows down the whole development and release process, while also impacting on any awareness training on the go.
By automating manual processes and building tools into the CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) pipelines, development, operations and security teams can increase workflow efficiencies and trust between groups.
Automation is key to the DevSecOps approach: test as early and often as possible, get accurate actionable results, ensuring security throughout the entire software development life cycle, enabling organizations to bring high-quality, secure features and improvements to the market faster.
Bright’s AI-powered Application Testing Suite of Solutions delivers an immediate DevSecOps environment with integrated and automated AppSec testing. Developers can benefit from our tools that fully integrate into the agile development or indeed Unit Testing processes, empowering them to detect, prioritize and remediate security issues EARLY and learn from their mistakes so that the same coding malpractices are not repeated.