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Effective Application Security Can’t be Met by Tools Alone

  • 28/06/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

Developing quality applications is not getting any easier with the growing pressure on businesses to reduce costs and shorter time-to-market. Today, customersexpect quality apps to be launched faster while enterprises are focused on exceeding their demand to stay ahead of the competition. One of the main challenges posing enterprises is the security of their applications/ Software’s. Cyber threats are growing immensely with hackers adopting advanced techniques and hence there is an increasing need for enterprises to focus on application security more than ever.

Though many enterprises have increased their investments on application security, focusing only on implementing application security testing tools is just not enough. Time-to-market and cost pressures often resist most enterprises to incorporate techniques like code-level analysis. Adding to this is the growing prominence for mobile adoption across enterprises. Apart from extending enterprise applications to mobile devices, mobile apps are evolving to include end-to-end business processes. This has greatly increased the complexity and security risks of the applications landscape. In the current increasingly dynamic and threat-prone applications scenario, a right strategy for application security is imperative for organizations to effectively manage risks posing all their internally and externally developed applications.

Application security testing helps firms to identify the security vulnerabilities through comprehensive tests that discover vulnerabilities as well as evaluates the overall security risk of applications. But for effective application security, testing should be involved right from the starting stage of the software development life cycle and go on till the end, i.e., from requirements, design, development, implementation to production. The potential impact of security flaws increases greatly as we get deeper into the software life cycle. Enterprises should realize the fact that most security vulnerabilities get introduced due to mistakes and mismanagement. Hence, a thorough assessment of the application security should be implemented.

A complete application security strategy should take into account the way the applications are designed and developed, the operation of applications as well as how other supporting elements like databases, network, and operating systems are configured. A clearly defined process should be designed and integrated into the SDLC with certain set points, where the application is thoroughly checked for evaluating the risks, before moving onto the next phase of the software life cycle. Independent testing specialists with skilled and experienced testers will help enterprises to address the overall security vulnerabilities and risks at various levels of the SDLC through comprehensive application security assessment.

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