Cloud application developers need built-in security


Almost two-thirds of respondents to the “2022 Technology Spending Intentions Survey“Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a division of TechTarget, plans to increase spending on cloud application security over the next year.

Matching these corporate spending plans, some of the vendors in the market including Snyk, Orca Security, Wiz, Contrast Security, and Lacework have seen record rounds of fundraising and valuations. Others, such as Palo Alto Networks, Synopsys Inc. and Rapid7 Inc., have made acquisitions and integrations to secure the full lifecycle of cloud applications.

Why all the activity and spending increase plans? Let’s explore the challenges of cloud application security and why organizations need to find the right approach to evolve security to meet the demands of modern software development.

The market is changing the need for cloud application security

Organizations have embraced digital transformation to gain competitive advantage and help them effectively deliver products and services to their customers. The COVID-19 pandemic too accelerated pressure on the digital transformations of companies. Together, the increase in remote working and the ability to switch to online transactions have been crucial to the survival of businesses over the past two years.

Modern software development processes using cloud services have given companies the ability to adapt quickly. Each year the Cloud Native Computing Foundation publishes survey results showing faster release cycles and greater adoption of Continuous integration / continuous delivery pipelines (CI / CD). CI / CD brings rapid innovation with faster product releases and updates, and products can be delivered and sold online more easily.

The increase in cloud-based software development makes security more important than ever, as adaptability can make or break a business, just like the release of a product that exposes customer or customer data. business or causes an outage can ruin it.

Well-managed product development teams need to include security in product development processes, but it is difficult to build security in such a way that it does not disrupt CI / CD pipelines.

As development teams grow and evolve with rapid product releases, it is difficult to ensure that secure development processes are in place. No more risk of mistakes, even simple mistakes like a mistake Amazon Simple Storage Service Improper configuration of cloud storage bucket or not implemented storage-at-rest encryption – can lead to costly breaches and loss of data.

DevSecOps tools and resources – many free and open source – are available for developers to test for security issues or configuration errors. However, developers have varying expertise in using these tools and are often unwilling to stray from their normal workflows and tool sets to use new or different security tools. Instead, they want to focus on their work as developers, spending most of their time coding product features, and not trying out new security tools.

With the cybersecurity skills shortage, security teams are generally understaffed and overworked. While security tools that monitor applications running in the cloud are useful, many issues or violations are due to configuration errors that could have been avoided had the code been tested before deployment. Another issue that creates more work for security teams to sort out and for developers to resolve outside of their normal development process is alerts for accumulating issues.

Security teams don’t want to disrupt development or create friction in the application development process. They are looking for ways to help developers secure their own code, as this is the only way for security to evolve with modern software development. This left shift test concept allows developers to start the testing process earlier to discover and fix issues earlier in the development cycle.

What app developers need to increase security

So how can testing move to the left when developers don’t want to know more about security? Security vendors can deliver products and services that automate key security processes throughout the software development lifecycle – from creation to runtime – helping developers release secure and reliable code, with the ability to quickly or automatically resolve security issues as soon as they are discovered.

The goal is to correct preventable application security errors in development before they can be deployed and to reduce the average time to resolution of issues detected during runtime.

Security providers are tackling these challenges, which are not easy to solve. Organizations don’t want to just keep adding more tools or popping up more alerts. They want the simplest solution that can have the greatest impact on reducing security risks. The goal is to correct preventable application security errors in development before they can be deployed and to reduce the average time to resolution of issues detected during runtime.

The idea that developers don’t care about security is a misconception. They want to improve the quality of the code and be sure to publish reliable and secure code. They also want to be more independent, because having to file a ticket or wait for help from the security team slows application development.

They don’t want to become security experts, use separate security tools, and be constantly interrupted by alerts.

If automated processes are in place, such as security barriers and automated testing, that raise issues that need to be addressed, developers have the fixes they need: the ability to easily secure their own code. This allows them to be more independent so that they don’t have to wait if they need help from another team, as well as avoid having to rework later if problems arise.

For security reasons, application developers should have development processes in place, as well as visibility throughout the application lifecycle, to know that security processes are in place and functioning effectively. . The security team can define policy rules to define security and compliance safeguards for developers. Security can also set up automated code analysis early in development, including software composition analysis and infrastructure-as-code scanning, to detect configuration errors which are often copy-pasted open source models.

Analysis tools are widely available, but their value lies in automating the testing process to provide developers with accurate information about coding flaws and how to fix them so that they can easily resolve issues immediately. safety with the shortest feedback loops. Test results should be delivered in the developer’s CI / CD workflow without a change of context so that they don’t disrupt development processes or waste their time with false positives.

Vendors who have built well-instrumented tools that can fully assess applications, their components, and behavior are critical, especially those who can put data together to automate key security processes throughout the application lifecycle. In this way, developers can gain the confidence to effectively secure their own code, while reducing work and risk for the security team.


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