Application Security Issues and how to Solve them

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Application Security Issues and how to Solve them

Application Security Issues and how to Solve them

Applications security is the process of identifying vulnerabilities and security problems in apps to enhance their security. While the bulk of the process happens in the development stage, there are strategies and tools used to improve application security once the apps are fully developed and deployed. Application security has, therefore become an integral aspect for realizing overall organizational security. For modern enterprises, applications facilitate daily internal operations and interactions among end-users. Securing applications is essential, given the rising threat landscape as cyber adversaries use advanced technologies to create threats. However, applications security is a challenge for DevOps professionals and software engineers since systems have become more complex, and hackers continue targeting application layers.

Importance of application security

In the State of Software Security Vol. 10 report by Veracode, it found that 83% of 85,000 tested applications contained one or more security flaws. The same research found that 20% of the apps contained a high severity security flaw, while other apps had several vulnerabilities. The sheer number of apps with a security weakness is troubling. Everyone makes mistakes, including developers. The main challenge is identifying security weakness in a timely manner to protect a company from exploitable vulnerabilities. The sooner the identification of the risks in the software development lifecycle, the more an enterprise is from attacks and breaches. For instance, detecting a coding error that can lead to SQL injection attacks is crucial to preventing sensitive information leakage.

Also, the nature of application development has changed significantly in recent years. Current methods involve integrating security in the development lifecycle. Such application security tools assist developers in simplifying the development process and making it more effective. In effect, the changing app development nature has impacted application security processes. Continuous application deployment and integration deliver finished products or updates to consumers daily, thus the need for proactive security methods to ensure app security.

In the Gartner Hype Cycle for Application Security, 2018, it states that IT managers require not only identify common app development security flaws but to also anticipate for and protect from current attack techniques. Application security threats evolve every day due to the emergence of new malware and intrusion techniques. Maintaining strong app security is vital to protecting businesses from attacks.

Application security statistics

  1. According to a 2019 survey by Forrester, a global research company, 42% of companies attributed external attack incidents to software security vulnerabilities, and 32% on flawed web applications. Increased use of open-source mechanisms in enterprise applications complicate efforts to address the issue.
  2. Exploit that successfully made it to the app production environments increased from 2.3% in 2019 to 9.3% in 2020. Numerous conditions, such as more incentives in the cybercrime world, more focus on distributed architectures, and faster app deployment cycles are responsible for the rise in exploits.
  3. SQL injection attacks remain to be the top app security concerns as they accounted for almost 50% of all application security incidents in 2020. SQL injection is an incidence where an adversary modifies an application’s SQL query in a malicious way not intended by the software engineer. These types of attacks can put an app, mostly web apps, at a critical risk.

Top applications security issues

Applications remain to be the weakest links as long as organizational security is concerned. Findings from various leading industry researchers indicate that exploiting software and applications vulnerabilities is a top method preferred for external attacks. For instance, the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report revealed that hackers prefer web apps as the attack vector for data breaches.

According to Forrester’s 2020 State of Application Security Report, it predicts that app vulnerabilities will be among the most used methods for executing external attacks. It further indicated that hackers often target vulnerabilities in web applications and software. Despite this, most companies invest more in securing other attack vectors like networks. Ponemon Institute clearly states in a research report that “investment in application security is not commensurate with the risk.” The report notes that there is a large gap between application risk levels and what enterprises spend to protect their apps while they spend more on network security, yet the network risks are much lower.

Getting application security right

While investing in any of the existing app security tools is an excellent idea, it is also vital to focus on threat detection and remediation. One of the most effective ways to realize this is using a mature app security model. A security model must identify app security risks and prioritize them to facilitate the implementation of mitigation strategies. A mature security model must include technologies and measures to assist security teams in identifying all applications security vulnerabilities and how to address them quickly. Otherwise, spending time sorting new alerts and deciding which ones to address first might leave an organization exposed to many dangers.

Furthermore, malicious cyber actors keep updating themselves with the evolving app security and software development cycles. Companies, in turn, require to keep devising better application security strategies to keep up with emerging threats. For instance, cybercriminals attack modern applications by compromising API endpoints with inadequate security and unvalidated API payloads, client-side attacks, and injecting malicious scripts. Also, emerging application architectures present new attack surfaces. With this in mind, security professionals and organizations alike require to focus more on addressing pertinent issues like implementing security on every app development stage.

Getting Started with Cyber Security Agency

Cyber Security Agency can help you secure your company from external attacks exploiting security vulnerabilities in your applications. We have access to the most qualified security professionals who are vastly informed on enhancing app security. Identifying vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them is an effective way of maintaining robust security.

With our qualified security experts, Cyber Security Agency offers various applications security services to protect your business from current threats. Managing threats is essential to preventing sensitive business data from falling into the wrong hands. We have proven methods of strengthening application security to prevent data breaches and retain the reputation of your business.