Why Do I Need Application Security Software?

Application security is one of the fastest trending topics from IT Central Station community members. Why do companies need to purchase app security software? 

Is it due to common web application vulnerability types (e.g. Cross-Site Scripting, SQL injection, CSRF injection) that these solutions fix? Are there other reasons to purchase app security software?

Thanks for helping your peers cut through vendor hype and make the best decision.


Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Delivery Manager at PeerSpot
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9 Answers
Senior Solution Architect at Micro Focus
Jul 9, 2019

Acquiring the tools is not the goal, it is to operate an Application Security program. Remember that you need People-Technology-and-Processes, not simply some cool technology tool, even if that modern tech is now much faster and clearer than ever before. An AppSec program is meant to ensure that secure software is produced and used to minimize risk to the organization. This program can include SAST testing, DAST testing, RASP runtime protection layers, or even open-source and third-party software awareness. I have also seen some companies include OS and app patching and patch levels monitoring within their AppSec program, to fully encompass all their company's software exposure. No one bats an eyelash at requiring a firewall, identify management, and similar "perimeter defenses", but a surprising number of companies produce and run their software with only functional testing being performed before release. The application's activity (and its context) is often invisible to SIEM and other network monitoring devices. The attacker is permitted into the "network" via these applications 24 hours per day (so "business is not disrupted"), and yet the IT team has no idea what those users are doing within the application ("context"). An AppSec program can help minimize the damage that could be done inside of the application, by producing robust software. By developing proper processes, an AppSec program can be added without disturbing the speed-to-development and has been shown to improve overall code security and quality while lowering overall costs.

For more fun reading, Gartner recently published the poor state of code development and security in 2018/2019: https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/news/252465457/Gartner-Application-security-programs-coming-up-short

Search for a product comparison in Application Security Tools
Director - Head of Delivery Services at Ticking Minds Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd
Real User
Jul 9, 2019

Application security software is needed to unearth vulnerabilities in the target application, show the risks associated with it. Application security helps manage risks efficiently, eliminate brand erosion, ensure compliance to standards and industry best practices. Enterprises cannot handle this with manual validation alone, which can be both time consuming and does not provide a great deal of guarantee. Providing assurance to security needs to happen with tools that are up-to-date to unearth all known vulnerabilities. Enterprises derive this confidence using security testing tools in the market.

Most of the application security tools are based on unearthing issues pertaining to top OWASP vulnerabilities and associated risks. Risk valuation on the vulnerabilities that allow you to address the highest risks first, maximize resources and minimize risks efficiently. Application Security Test tools help organizations to speed up this exercise. Unearthing and eliminating security breaches helps eliminate brand erosion, all of which require application security test tools. There are plenty of application security testing tools in the market like ZAP Proxy, BurpSuite, Acunetix to name a few.

co-founder & CEO with 1-10 employees
Jul 9, 2019

One needs application security tools and hopefully, those that can find the new and latest types of issues like https://www.deepcode.ai/ because of the adversaries trying to break your applications are quickly getting their hands on the latest research and tools. Specifically, today, when the best tools are available for free for open-source and small teams.
Tapping into the knowledge of the global development community and hundreds of millions of fixes is one of the main ways that applications can come closer to adequate security measures against a determined adversary.

Vice President USIS Technology at Equifax Inc.
Real User
Jul 9, 2019

The answer is “Do you want to be EFX and be in the news? Does your CEO or CIO want to be removed from his job? Do you want to be the one responsible for a security breach?”

It is very important to understand that security is like a defense of a fort. You have to put in various layers of security to protect your King or Queen which in most cases is your valued code or data.

You can improve the infrastructure by placing various layers like firewalls, WAF, SEIM, etc but without software protection, you have left a chink in your security armor.

SAP Consultant at S-Team Software solutions
Jul 9, 2019

Application Security software can be imbibed into devSecops, which can help detect the vulnerabilities in the early development cycle, which in turn reduces the cost of fixing the vulnerability later. Tools like HCL Appscan, AppScan source, etc can be used to automate the process which reduces the manual effort of navigating to each and every page or source code. They also have good fix recommendations and pinpoints the line of code and how a test was conducted. Finding vulnerabilities in your application before it is out in the market keeps your brand value up and customers are happy with a secure software in hand.

Chief Evangelist at Parasoft
Jul 8, 2019

Different AppSec software tools do different things. Some do penetration testing, some do binary scanning, some scan for known vulnerabilities in open-source components, some do static analysis for common software weaknesses. It depends on what your needs are.

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Co-Founder at Appknox
Jul 8, 2019

Security Software like Appknox or Qualys not only help in detecting these common vulnerability types that you have mentioned but also automate a lot of security testing thus ensuring the faster release of apps in an agile favored development cycle. It is a must-have contradict to so-called security as a show stopper for agile development of applications. Automation from security software can be utilized and scaled up without costing money to hire more resources and time lost (can be linked to money opportunities you might lose) due to delay in app release.

Software Solutions Engineer at Meteonic Innovation Pvt. Ltd.
Jul 8, 2019

Application Security is one of the important aspects which needs to be taken care of in the development phase. During development, the developer will leave some weak points which makes software to open for several attacks. Hackers will always find these week points for attacking and stealing your data.

I believe it's very difficult to find these weak sections in the code and fix it manually. Most of the times it will kill our effort as well as most of our time which may lead to delay in the delivery of our projects. So the best way to resolve this is by using automation tools.

Nowadays there are a lot of tools for finding these vulnerabilities at the development phase. Tools like Klocwork, Kiuwan and so on are at peak stage. They can find a lot of vulnerabilities like Buffer Overflow, Injection, Cross Site Scripting, Memory and Resource Leaks, Information Leakage and so on. Also, they provide support to a lot of Industry Standards like MISRA, CERT, CWE, OWASP, HIPPA Compliance, AUTOSAR and so on.

Principal Software Engineer at Deloitte
Real User
Jul 8, 2019

The dramatic rise of applications in the last decade has revolutionized every aspect of our lives. Today, applications drive many businesses across the globe. Any damage to them is going to affect their business directly. In order to win the user’s trust and to make sure that business is not hit, it is imperative that these applications are maintained in a secure manner.

Related Questions
Software Engineer at Neusoft
Mar 27, 2023
Hello peers, I am a Software Engineer at a large tech services company. I am currently researching network security functions. What aspects of network security are more concerning to small and medium-sized enterprises? Thank you for your help.
2 out of 5 answers
Regional Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Mar 23, 2023
Data breaches, malware, phishing attacks, weak passwords, insider threats, and lack of security policies are some of the most concerning aspects of network security for small and medium-sized enterprises since they may not have the same level of security measures and IT staff as larger corporations. It's important for SMEs to identify and prioritize these risks and take steps to mitigate them to protect their business and customers' data.This could include implementing strong password policies, providing security awareness training for employees, implementing firewalls and antivirus software, and regularly backing up data. In addition, SMEs should develop formalized security policies and ensure that all employees understand and follow them to maintain a secure network environment.
VP of Marketing at CyGlass
Mar 24, 2023
If we are talking strictly about the network, the issue almost all SMEs suffer from is a lack of risk visibility. Consider the risks and vulnerabilities that exist in the network from ports that are unsecured to firewall rules that are no longer effective to rogue devices that are connected and no one in IT is aware. If SMEs simply closed all of these gaps effectively, they would greatly reduce the chances that they are compromised. The second area is threat visibility - meaning an actual attack unfolding.  Once an attacker - say ransomware - bypasses an endpoint, they are free to waltz around the network for weeks. I think that the latest dwell time number is over 4 weeks. Four weeks of recon, command calls, lateral movement, credential compromise, data location, etc. That is enough time to make the ransomware attack really hurt and find all the partner companies that the attacker can move to next. Most large companies have NDR in place to detect and stop attacks - greatly lowering that dwell time and damage - but SMEs cannot afford most of those tools. There are new cloud-based NDR tools that are a lot less (CyGlass), and there are great options with Managed Detection and Response (MDR) companies like Stratejm. Either path, SMEs need to deploy tools or services that watch the network for risks, vulnerabilities, and threats.
Avigayil Henderson - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Development Manager at PeerSpot
Mar 20, 2023
Hi community,  Please share your input and help out fellow peers. Thank you.
See 1 answer
Remy Ma - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Security Services at ACE Managed Securty Services
Mar 20, 2023
When it comes to security and automation, there's no such thing as too much. That's why it makes sense to take steps to automate security for your CI/CD pipeline. Automation can help reduce the time spent on manual tasks and ensure that your code is secure before it makes its way into production. Here are some tips for automating security for your CI/CD pipeline: 1. Use a static application security testing (SAST) solution to scan code for vulnerabilities. SAST solutions can help identify and fix known issues quickly and efficiently. 2. Run regular scans of your codebase using a dynamic application security testing (DAST) tool. This will help identify any new security issues in real time. 3. Use a container scanning tool to check all your images and containers for vulnerabilities or misconfigurations. This will help ensure that no malicious code can enter the pipeline. 4. Utilize an API scanner to detect potential API vulnerabilities in your applications, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and parameter tampering. 5. Implement a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect your applications from attacks like DDoS or brute force attacks. This can help prevent attackers from accessing sensitive information.
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Ben Arbeit - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Jul 31, 2022
Thanks for this informative article.
Jairo Willian Pereira - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Security Manager at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Aug 5, 2022
OWASP is nice, but very specific and currently limited. How about trying ISO-24772 for all?
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