Best Practices in Application Security to Know 

    Best Practices in Application Security to Know 

    AppSec is crucial to identify and manage the risks throughout the development lifecycle of any applications. Hence, implementing development best practices to secure application configuration, management, and deployment is paramount to reducing the number of vulnerabilities & prevent attackers.

    Some best practices that will help in effective AppSec implementation

    Begin with a Threat Assessment

    Check the main entry points through which attackers may breach the applications. Identify the security efforts already taken, and the measures that still need to be implemented, and also ascertain whether they are sufficient. The goals should be reasonable and serve as a landmark over time to achieve the desired level of security against different types of potential threats.

    Integrate Security at Each Level by Shifting It Left

    Today, security testing has to be combined with the SDLC (software development lifecycle) to rule out any security issues right from the planning stage. Every development iteration, bug testing, and deployment stage must also go through a risk analysis of potential threats.

    Quality analysts use automated tools throughout the CI/CD pipeline to assess the applications at multiple checkpoints as early as possible so that the final product is stable and free from threats.

    So, when a programmer executes the code and creates an output, it should undergo different levels of security testing, enabling the programmer to fix potential issues immediately.

    The complete module or feature should thoroughly undergo different testing levels before being promoted to the production environment.

    Decide the Priority of Issues & Rectify Them First

    Remember that during application security testing, there will be many vulnerabilities in the code, and not all of them are fixable. Prioritizing the issues is essential to ensure that severe threats are resolved quickly and don’t hamper development productivity.

    The security testing process must comprise automated metrics that show the application’s severity, vulnerability, and exploitability. Also, a manual evaluation should be done to assess if the issue has the potential to cause a business risk. The components with bugs that are not a part of the production environment should not be a priority.

    It is indispensable to ensure that the developers work on real, high-profile issues and have the chance to rectify them whenever and wherever they take place during the software development lifecycle.

    Constantly Assess the AppSec Results

    A significant amount of time and resources, including cultural and organizational changes, are invested in an AppSec program. The developers and the organization must understand the impact of the AppSec program on security to justify it and make sure that the management supports it.

    Tracking and demonstrating the success of the AppSec program would be easier if a weekly or monthly report is issued, that shows the enhancements after introducing application security measures, like:

    • Number of compliance violations
    • Number of violations of internal AppSec policies
    • Number of security defects found in production
    • Number of security defects found in the testing environment
    • Number of security incidents

    Control the App and System Privileges

    It is evident that anything related to the application security program has sensitive and valuable data, and attackers would target it, so the below-mentioned things need to be managed:

    • Access to security tools
    • Documentation of policies and processes
    • Access to CI/CD and development tools

    Following the principle of least privilege, it will be easier to ensure that every user can access only the data and systems that are imperative to their daily work.  Following the zero-trust principles for integrated systems is important, as it ensures that to function correctly, only minimal permissions are offered to every system.

    Here are the ways to choose an application security solution

    The AppSec program must provide the following:

    • Zero-policy administration – the program should auto-adapt to application updates and changes.
    • Accurate prevention – the program should offer protection against multiple attacks and not render false positives.
    • Flexible and fast deployment – the program should be flexible and quick in deployment to protection.


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