What is Application Security and Why is it Important?

How about operating an application that has the possibility of putting your precious data at risk? Doesn’t sound pleasing, right? Well, there are circumstances when you may encounter such happenings that can lead to the loss of data.

Now, to prevent this, organizations consider application security measures.

Application security is the practice of making software unhackable and invulnerable. This process is generally done during the application development and designing part. However, it ensures the security of the applications even after their deployment.

There are different kinds of services and programs an organization can use to beef up its application security. Antivirus systems, firewalls, and data encryption are a few of its examples.

Moreover, businesses and organizations can leverage different tools and services post-deployment for additional security purposes. One can also choose specialized tools for different types of applications as well.

Importance of application security

Cyber attackers are quite accustomed to the fact that data is substantially prominent to businesses. In fact, to everyone. And hence, they endeavor to steal it for different vicious purposes.

Therefore, it is important to have applications that are secured and guarded.

There might be instances where blunders would be present in the application due to the hurried development process. Or, due to any certain reason. But, the faster you scrutinize and rectify those errors, the safer it will be for your ecosystem.

For example, a simple coding mistake can result in unverified inputs and may lead attackers to intrude into the system and steal the data.

Application security tools let you avoid these errors and the hacker’s attacks in the first place. When integrated with an application development system, these tools can make the work process easier and faster.

This portrays how swiftly the market is evolving to threats and the need for robust technology to prevent such harms.

Types of application security testing

As we are getting more reliant on technology, the risk of getting caught up with online threats has also seen an upsurge. That said, the security implemented during the development phase is not sufficient to handle the menace.

To reduce the risk of applications being attacked online, application security testing needs to come into the picture.

To attain the maximum level of security, companies are incorporating security measures in the development as well as post-deployment phase.

Here is the compiled list that focuses on the types of application security testing:

1) SAST and DAST

SAST stands for Static Application Security Testing and DAST stands for Dynamic Application Security Testing. SAST aims towards the actual code of the application. Whereas, DAST checks for the harms when an application is in run-time.

Both the SAST and the DAST are responsible for a better outcome in an application. And hence, must be performed simultaneously.

2) Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST)

The IAST tools specialize in examining whether known vulnerabilities can be exploited in running applications. This tool brings in the knowledge of data and application flow in an application to anticipate advanced threat scenarios.

In addition, the advanced attack scenarios are further utilized to create test cases by using DAST.

3) Database security scanning

The application developers majorly rely on databases to ensure whether applications are communicating properly and the desired action is performed.

A database is not considered as part of an application. Yet it should not be disregarded when an application security test is being conducted.

4) Manual application penetration testing

Penetration testing includes a simulated attack intended to check for exploitable threats on a computer system or an application.

It has five working stages that are as follows:

  • Planning and examining
  • Scanning
  • Obtaining access
  • Maintaining access
  • Analysis and Web Application Firewall (WAF) configuration

5) Software Composition Analysis (SCA)

The SCA tools are notably capable of detecting vulnerabilities in the open-source components by examining the origin of existing files. And with libraries present within the software.

However, the only downside to this is that they are limited to open-source components only. They are unable to detect the in-house components of an application.

6) Mobile Application Security Testing (MAST)

MAST is a combination of SAST, DAST, and forensic techniques. It enables mobile application code to be specifically tested for mobile issues such as device rooting, data leak prevention, jailbreak, and more.

7) Correlational tools

In application security testing, false results can act as a big challenge. Correlational tools can help the testers to minimize this noise by creating a major repository of results from other application tools.

This way, when different results from different applications are put together, correlation tools can analyze and prioritize the results accordingly and can ease the work of testers.

8) Application Security Testing Orchestration (ASTO)

The ASTO was designed to bring all the application security tools in a centralized and managed way.

The main objective was to gather the reports from the tools and visualize them so automated testing shifts would become hassle-free.

Conclusion

While the online world is evolving exponentially, so do its consequences. Some hackers are constantly endeavoring to intrude in your personal space and steal your data. In fact, this is generally a bigger concern for organizations and businesses.

While putting this on an immediate halt might not be possible, there are methods like application security that can do the work for you.

It ensures a safer environment while using any application or software with its several functionalities and other types. The above guide will illuminate you about application security and its testing.

 

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