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How ASPM is Changing the Game in Application Security
Oct 18, 2023
Software development has rapidly evolved, adopting cloud computing, DevOps practices, and open-source libraries to streamline software delivery and resilience. This shift has allowed developers to roll out software at an unprecedented pace. However, this speed comes with a cost. Traditional application security measures have not kept pace with this development revolution, allowing developers to push code faster than it can be adequately assessed and secured. Consequently, applications are often launched with vulnerable code exposing critical business functions to cyber threats.
Cybercriminals take advantage of these security gaps, often discovering vulnerabilities before the organizations themselves become aware of them. Failing to promptly identify and mitigate these security exposures can have severe consequences. These can range from costly data breaches compromising sensitive information to compliance failures leading to legal and reputational damage to product downtime.
To overcome these challenges, application security teams are beginning to adopt more proactive measures such as Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) to more effectively protect their organizations – a new term in the market to describe a category of application security software used to better reduce the risk of known vulnerabilities.
What is ASPM?
ASPM is a comprehensive response to these problems. It takes a holistic approach to application security, analyzing and managing the security posture throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC). It begins during development and continues through deployment and operational phases, accounting for the ever-changing threat landscape. ASPM tools are designed to give security leaders and teams enhanced visibility into the security status of their applications from a business risk perspective, enabling better management of vulnerabilities and enforcing security controls. This is in contrast with the incumbent approach of acting based on visibility provided at the code level, without much context on the infrastructure it runs on, or business context of the vulnerability itself.
As applications become more complex and security responsibilities span multiple groups, obtaining a comprehensive view of the overall security posture becomes increasingly challenging. ASPM addresses this issue by integrating and correlating security data from various sources, providing a consolidated view of application security findings. By prioritizing specific security issues based on risk factors and implementing policies to enforce security controls, ASPM empowers organizations to respond efficiently to application risks.
How Does ASPM Work?
ASPM unifies a combination of technologies and allows you to orchestrate aspects of remediation from a central hub that integrates smoothly into existing workflows and processes. This minimizes human error and improves the application security team’s ability to scale risk reduction.
One of the primary aspects of ASPM is the integration and application of security tooling throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC). By ingesting data from various sources, such as SAST, DAST, SCA, Pen Tests, and more, ASPM tools can correlate and analyze security findings holistically. This provides a comprehensive view of individual applications’ security posture and components. This correlation allows for improved prioritization and triage of security issues, ensuring that high-risk-to-the-business vulnerabilities are prioritized and addressed promptly.
Why Do I Need ASPM?
ASPM is critical for organizations aiming to effectively manage their application security while operating within budget constraints and maintaining pace with rapid software development and deployment. Without ASPM, organizations would require large teams to manually assess and remediate security issues, which would strain resources and slow development. However, ASPM addresses this issue by bringing security assessment and remediation closer to the developer, integrating security seamlessly into the software development process. By doing so, security measures can be implemented earlier in the SDLC when more cost-effective. This early security implementation ensures that potential vulnerabilities are identified and addressed immediately, reducing the likelihood of costly and time-consuming security breaches later on. Therefore, ASPM not only improves an organization’s security posture but also optimizes resource utilization and enhances the overall efficiency of the development process.
By accurately prioritizing the biggest risk vulnerabilities and spending less time on low priority security bugs unlikely to impact the business, developers are able to reduce more risk in less time. This time savings translates into shipping more secure code faster.
What Doesn’t Fall Under ASPM?
ASPM is not a single Application Security Testing (AST) tool or solution for scanning vulnerabilities but a comprehensive approach to managing application security posture. It doesn’t replace other essential security measures such as firewalls, encryption, or access controls, which are all still valuable for improving base security posture. Instead, it enhances these solutions, evolving the overall security posture to become more mature.
ASPM is also not a one-size-fits-all solution. The effectiveness of adopting ASPM will vary based on organizationally specific security needs, risk tolerance, and application development processes. Organizations with the most to gain are those running into the problem of too many findings from their AST tools and pen tests are spread across a number of teams and tools, especially when it spans a mix of older and newer technologies.
Furthermore, ASPM is not a substitute for proper security training and awareness among developers and stakeholders. However, ASPM does provide a holistic view of knowledge, assessing what teams are making mistakes, so security training can be more precisely targeted to optimize effectiveness and create more security champions.
Brinqa: Proven ASPM at Scale
Brinqa is leading the way in ASPM at scale, protecting the world’s largest enterprises. The platform’s unified approach centralizes and prioritizes application security findings, streamlining the remediation process. Through continuously updated dashboards and reports, Brinqa motivates business owners to take timely action. One of the key differentiators of Brinqa is its ability to eliminate silos and prevent data overload. Rather than drowning stakeholders in excessive information, Brinqa meticulously distills the most valuable intel, converting it into actionable insights rather than overwhelming data. This targeted focus on relevant information ensures businesses can respond effectively and efficiently to the ever-changing application security landscape.
Read The No BS Guide to ASPM to learn more about how ASPM can enhance your organization’s application security posture.