What is Application Security Posture Management (ASPM)?

Application security posture management (ASPM) is a category of cyber security software that unifies SDLC security findings in one platform by integrating with disparate application security testing (AST) tools in order to improve an organization’s security posture across its applications. The term “security posture” refers to the overall strength and readiness of an application’s security defenses against potential cyber risks.

In recent years, application security teams have learned that scanning code is not sufficient to protect applications. Code scans alone generate too many findings and lack context. ASPM fills this gap by providing capabilities to prioritize findings in a risk-based way – which includes adding context to known exposures.

Why is application security posture management important

Application security posture management is important because today’s AppSec teams are facing too many known, unremediated, critical vulnerabilities. Detection capabilities have improved, but the ability to prioritize findings, remediate them efficiently, and report on security posture over time at the business level has not.

A World Economic Forum report reveals that 95% of cybersecurity issues stem from human error. The report also underscores the rising vulnerability of attack surfaces as security attacks become more sophisticated. 

Without ASPM, organizations lack a birds-eye view of their application security, exposing them to vulnerabilities they know about, but have yet to fix. An IBM report states that companies lacking security automation face 95% higher average data breach costs. Effective ASPM solutions help to unify vulnerabilities, assess and prioritize risks, and implement necessary measures to strengthen security posture.

Key benefits of ASPM include:

  • Unify your application security silos: There are too many findings across too many different AST tools throughout the SDLC. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses are discovered from various technologies from SAST, to DAST, to SCA, to pentests, to bug bounty programs, and more. ASPM platforms help unify these findings under one roof. By doing this, security and development teams reduce the number of UIs they need to navigate and eliminate the reliance on vulnerability aggregation via spreadsheets.
  • Prioritize AST findings with context: Stopping at just aggregating findings is a mistake that many security teams make. While it adds efficiency to the remediation process, it doesn’t help them overcome their impossible vulnerability backlogs. ASPM platforms help prioritize findings by correlating business and threat context with AST results so that security and development resources aren’t wasted on vulnerabilities that aren’t likely to put the business at risk.
  • Address the varying levels of risk associated with different applications at scale: Finding vulnerabilities without remediating them increases the business’s liability without reducing its risks. ASPM platforms help operationalize the ability to address known risks at scale by adding automation and orchestration capabilities that streamline the remediation process, like assigning ownership, creating tickets in the remediation team’s preferred tools, and personalizing views to only show remediation owners the relevant vulnerabilities to them.

ASPM vs AST: Understanding the differences

Since application security extends beyond ASPM alone, it’s important to understand how it relates to AST – a mature category of application security software. While there can be some overlap, each approach compliments the other, and they should be used in tandem.

In short, application security testing tools focus on scanning code to detect vulnerabilities and weaknesses, while application security posture management platforms focus on ensuring you can understand and reduce the most urgent risks your AST scans have detected.

It’s important to note that ASPM is not limited to ingesting data from AST scans. A good ASPM solution can also intake results from penetration tests, bug bounty programs, and other sources of identified application security issues.

Unify findings✔️
Uncover AST coverage gaps✔️
Integration with ITSM toolsBi-directionalVaries
Remediation instructions✔️✔️
Model existing business structure for vulnerability grouping✔️
Risk-based prioritizationAdvancedBasic
Asset criticality context✔️
Identifying systemic AppSec issues✔️
Risk ScoresRich contextLimited context
Scans code (e.g., SAST, SCA, etc.)✔️

Why a holistic approach to application security strengthens your security posture

ASPM helps teams implement a holistic approach to application security by unifying security efforts and ensuring full visibility of prioritized risks throughout the software development lifecycle. A Salesforce report reveals that 89% of IT leaders cite improving enterprise security posture as a top priority. However, effectively managing your enterprise application security posture has become a dynamic challenge, because of the pace of which software development is maturing. 

Organizations use various AppSec tools, including SAST, DAST, SCA, IAST and more, which leads to fragmented data and insights. ASPM platforms like Brinqa provide automated visibility into application ecosystems, offering comprehensive data collection capabilities and streamlining vulnerability management processes. 

With effective ASPM tools, you can: 

Manage your enterprise application security posture

Managing your application security posture involves more than just safeguarding digital assets. It’s a proactive strategy that protects applications through security measures that resonate with the entire organization. 

You need a unified platform that mitigates enterprise cybersecurity risks by monitoring, analyzing and improving the security of applications throughout their lifecycle. Having a single source of truth ensures all stakeholders consistently understand the application security strategy.

Prioritize risks for the entire SDLC

ASPM platforms continuously provide a unified view of scanner findings during development, testing, and through to production environments. By doing this, security risks are promptly identified, regardless of where they emerge in the application’s lifecycle. 

By employing risk-based prioritization, you can classify vulnerabilities based on their potential impact, exploitability and business relevance, directing resources toward the most critical issues first. Each vulnerability is assigned a risk score, factoring in potential impact, exploitability and business context. This approach empowers you to address security findings that matter the most first, leaving no room for guesswork and wasted remediation effort. 

Watch our webinar for deeper insights into the importance of application risk management

Watch our product demonstration to understand how ASPM and AST work together to deliver business-level application security insights.

Streamline remediation workflows

ASPM platforms enable security teams to create automation rules that  trigger the automatic creation of tickets when a new vulnerability is detected. This includes helping security teams identify asset ownership to ensure that vulnerabilities don’t fall through the cracks. Typically, mis-assigned remediation tickets are ignored and delay an organization’s time to remediation.

In addition, orchestrated workflows and integration with DevSecOps tools and security processes enable teams to keep up with the fast-paced nature of modern development in a way that satisfies both security and development teams. With ASPM, remediation teams can seamlessly incorporate security tasks into their usual workflows using the tools with which they are familiar (i.e., Jira, Azure DevOps, etc.), while security teams can manage risk in an ASPM platform designed for them.

Address the varying levels of risk associated with different applications at scale

With ASPM, you can gather and correlate data from various sources to provide a unified view of application security, from coding vulnerabilities to configuration issues and potential threats. You can also take advantage of dashboards with business risk perspectives that provide insights grouped by application, without losing the supporting details needed for vulnerability-specific remediation.

ASPM also allows you to continuously generate reports that up-level risk communication in a way that business risk owners will understand and be motivated to act on.

Ready to strengthen your application security strategy? Learn how a unified cyber risk lifecycle can help.

Strengthen Security Posture with Brinqa for ASPM

Application security posture management provides a technology platform for assessing and managing the security posture of applications. The Brinqa Platform is the only ASPM solution that improves your enterprise application security posture by unifying your application security testing results from SAST, DAST, SCA, penetration tests and more into a dynamic graph database. Brinqa correlates additional business context, threat intelligence, and compensating controls with these results to establish a business-centric view of application risk. This helps AppSec teams better understand, prioritize, remediate, and communicate which vulnerabilities are the most urgent from a business perspective. Brinqa also scales your organization’s ability to operationalize the cyber risk lifecycle without impacting existing development processes.

Are you ready to improve your organization’s security posture? Schedule a demo with Brinqa.