3 Ways to Ensure Security When Scaling AppDev

Cloud technology continues to be adopted by businesses of all types and sizes, but it’s still essential to consider security. According to IDC, in the past two years, 79% of organizations have experienced at least one cloud data breach. Even more alarmingly, he says, 43% reported 10 or more violations during that time.

Here are three ways to improve security while increasing hyperscale application development: DevSecOps for the cloud, API security, and securing the software supply chain.

Implement DevSecOps for the cloud

While 75% of organizations make changes more than once a month, according to a Micro Focus survey, a 14% increase over the past five years, security testing is lagging behind. In the age of everything as code, security testing must be continuous and automated to improve quality and performance.

The goal is to accelerate security testing to keep pace with DevOps, with flexible, secure, and developer-friendly security automation. And here there are several things you can do.

Aim for flexible, cloud-native security integration

DevSecOps focuses heavily on automating application deployment and infrastructure operations to produce tougher, more secure, and more resilient applications. It is important to choose the right set of security tools that could easily be integrated into the native CI/CD pipelines of various cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services’ CodeStar, Microsoft Azure DevOps, and Google Cloud Platform DevOps. This will help organizations catch security vulnerabilities early in the software lifecycle and help them keep pace with high-speed delivery.

Automate to reduce risk and improve compliance

A wide variety of security testing can be integrated into the CI/CD pipeline as automation. This includes SAST (static application security testing), IAST (interactive application security testing), DAST (dynamic application security testing), SCA (software composition analysis), software configuration analysis. infrastructure and monitoring. Manual tests can be added as needed to complete.

Infrastructure test patterns as code

Master images for VMs, containers, and infrastructure stacks enable automated deployments and immutable infrastructure. Assessing these IaC images for a secure configuration can detect gaps and weaknesses before production, and therefore reduce costs and risks.

Work on developer convenience and training

To speed up the security testing process and give developers immediate feedback, IDE security plugins and pre-commit hooks work extremely well. Security training for developers also improves the quality of code production.

Focus on API security

APIs are used more to improve business processes by sharing and analyzing data between various applications with speed, agility and consistency.

But APIs also pose risks. According to Micro Focus Fortify’s 2019 Application Security Risk Report, API abuse has nearly doubled in the past four years. Some 35% of analyzed web applications and 52% of mobile applications have API security issues.

Practitioners need to secure application backdoors to deal with increased exposure. Here are some things to consider and some steps to take.

Don’t make your API documentation too public

Attackers target the weakest link in distributed architectures and vendor integrations. APIs can be used as the first attack vector to switch to other networks, servers, workloads, applications, and other APIs. When each API comes with detailed public documentation, hackers can use it to expose multiple sources of potentially sensitive data and services connected to business applications on mobile, SaaS, or web platforms.

Monitor automated attacks on your custom APIs

Attackers often create automated API attacks to abuse the unique business logic that organizations build into their APIs. Attackers collect large-scale, high-volume data using the same data analysis tools that practitioners use to aggregate and correlate data to extract meaningful patterns.

Attackers can use your data to perpetuate fraud, build social networks, target users with phishing attacks, or perform brute force hacks. Two types of automated attacks that all industries face are credential stuffing and scraping.

Integrate API testing into your CI/CD pipeline

A specific focus in shift-left API security practices is securing the build pipeline with a range of security testing tools. These include dependency scanners, static scanners, dynamic scanners, schema validators, fuzzers, and vulnerability scanners. The type of security tools required varies depending on the artifacts moving through the pipeline, what needs to be built, and where it needs to be delivered.

Perform extensive testing with authentication or authorization

SAST and DAST can uncover exploitable weaknesses and conditions in your custom API code. But the code that is your business logic rarely follows well-defined patterns, and SAST or DAST signatures can be constructed accordingly. It is important to deepen authentication or authorization testing beyond superficial checks such as detecting weak forms of authentication such as basic access and digest, or the testing tool may only analyze how identifying information is entered, transmitted or stored.

Take care of your software supply chain

Supply chain-related attacks increased dramatically in 2021. There was a 650% increase in software supply chain attacks, aimed at exploiting weaknesses in upstream open source ecosystems, according to the 2021 report from Sonatype on the state of the software supply chain.

From the massive Equifax breach to the SolarWinds Orion hack and the Apache Log4j/Log4shell hack, these are real red flags to consider your supply chain security risks.

Proactively find open source dependencies and vulnerabilities

Developers tend to use open source software to meet exorbitant commercial demands. Companies should use security tools that provide transparency into software composition and provide 360-degree risk assessment of components and libraries to reduce unintended insider threats through open source software developers’ use dangerous source.

Proactively identifying and mitigating software risks before they become widely known ensures a more resilient software supply chain. Create software assessment and risk mitigation processes that include software composition analysis, SAST, and DAST.

Constantly check and react quickly to incidents

Threat actors will continue to search software supply chains for attack vectors. Rapid response to zero-day open source incidents results in positive customer experiences. Greater transparency in software helps consumers respond to incidents more quickly.

Ensure the integrity of your software artifacts throughout the software supply chain by generating a software bill of materials (SBOM) that contains an inventory of all software components. Visibility into software dependencies enables faster identification, early risk assessment, and improved time to mitigation.

Don’t wait to be hacked

Application security continues to evolve from moving left to moving everywhere as we move into the cloud era. Enterprises can deliver business acceleration and transformation at scale securely and transparently by integrating security into CI/CD platforms, testing API exposure via left-shift methods, and ensuring visibility transparency of software in your supply chain.

Hear a panel of experts talk more about this issue in the Cloud Security Alliance’s on-demand webinar, “Critical App Sec Capabilities that Accelerate Cloud Transformation.” Panelists are Suvabrata Sinha, Global CISO at NXP Technologies; Martin Knobloch, global AppSec strategist at CyberRes and board member of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP); and Sujatha Yakasiri, Research Director at CSA Bangalore and Senior IT Specialist for Information Security at EdgeVerve.

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Steven L. Nielsen