Introduction to Application Security: The What, Why, and How

What Is Application Security?

As an organization, you could be building different types of applications:

  • An application that is a product by itself
  • An application to provide service(s)
  • Or an application for internal operations and tasks

Why Is Application Security Important?

Of course, application security helps you prevent cyber incidents and avoid potential attacks. And yes, that’s the main objective. But when you achieve this objective, there are more benefits that come along.

Increasing Cyber Incidents

In the process of making things easier for us using applications, we’ve opened a lot of doors to exploit these applications. Thousands of companies have faced millions in losses due to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity stats have shown that cybersecurity incidents have grown rapidly in numbers. I’d say there are three main reasons for this:

  1. Applications these days have become more advanced. They deal with a lot more critical elements (data, networks, APIs, etc.) than older applications. They’ve also grown horizontally and vertically in size, increasing the attack surface. Modern applications also involve sensitive information. Due to this, applications attract malicious actors.
  2. The reach of applications is further than ever before. A majority of applications are online and accessible from anywhere in the world over the internet. This increases the number of malicious actors who could try to exploit applications.
  3. And the third reason is the wide range of advanced tools. The first hackers had to write their own code or use a combination of utilities in a malicious way to carry out an attack. But that time is long gone. You’ll find so many advanced tools out there for almost every situation. This makes attacks easy for malicious actors.

How to Implement Application Security

Application security is a continuous process. It includes multiple practices, approaches, and iterations. I could write a lengthy post on each of these practices and approaches, but let’s keep that for another day. But I’m not going to leave you hanging. Here are some of the most common ways to implement application security:

  • Identify components with known security issues (such as servers, OSs, libraries, etc.) and fix them.
  • Focus on identifying and fixing Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE).
  • Carry out application code review.
  • Conduct penetration testing and bug bounty hunting.

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Cprime

An Alten Company, Cprime is a global consulting firm helping transforming businesses get in sync.