What is application security? A process and tools for securing software

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Application security is the process of making apps more secure by finding, fixing, and enhancing the security of apps. Much of this happens during the development phase, but it includes tools and methods to protect apps once they are deployed. This is becoming more important as hackers increasingly target applications with their attacks.

Application security is getting a lot of attention. Hundreds of tools are available to secure various elements of your applications portfolio, from locking down coding changes to assessing inadvertent coding threats, evaluating encryption options and auditing permissions and access rights. There are specialized tools for mobile apps, for network-based apps, and for firewalls designed especially for web applications.

Why application security is important

According to Veracode’s State of Software Security Vol. 10 report, 83% of the 85,000 applications it tested had at least one security flaw. Many had much more, as their research found a total of 10 million flaws, and 20% of all apps had at least one high severity flaw. Not all of those flaws presents a significant security risk, but the sheer number is troubling.

The faster and sooner in the software development process you can find and fix security issues, the safer your enterprise will be. Because everyone makes mistakes, the challenge is to find those mistakes in a timely fashion. For example, a common coding error could allow unverified inputs. This mistake can turn into SQL injection attacks and then data leaks if a hacker finds them. 

Application security tools that integrate into your application development environment can make this process and workflow simpler and more effective. These tools are also useful if you are doing compliance audits, since they can save time and the expense by catching problems before the auditors seen them. 

The rapid growth in the application security segment has been helped by the changing nature of how enterprise apps are being constructed in the last several years. Gone are the days where an IT shop would take months to refine requirements, build and test prototypes, and deliver a finished product to an end-user department. The idea almost seems quaint nowadays.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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