Application security was initially considered an “add-on” for businesses. Today, it is an integral issue for all facets of application development; from planning to implementation. The number of apps created, used, distributed, and patched over networks is growing quickly.
Capable of handling a wider range of threats, it helps businesses to maintain the confidentiality of their data assets on the cloud. According to Veracode’s State of Application Security 2023, it has been witnessed that out of the tested applications, nearly 83% of 85,000 tested at least one security flaw with the total of flaws reaching up to 10 million!
With the possibility of security flaws and cyber threats capable of plummeting businesses to the end, let’s take a look at why application security is important for businesses today.
What is Application Security & Why is it Important for Companies?
Application security is defined as a process to develop, modify, add, and test security features embedded within applications. It is essential for maintaining the security and integrity of several internal or external vulnerabilities through unauthorized access. These can be carried out for data theft or code piracy
Application security market is poised for growth and is expected to reach USD 15.75 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 16.1%. The market was previously valued at USD 6.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to experience tremendous growth over the next few years. Here are a few reasons why it’s important for businesses to have application security:
- Reduction of Cyberattacks: Application security aims to protect businesses from cyberattacks and cyber threats. There are various technologies that analyze user behavior to prevent cyber threats from vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
- Security of Data Assets: A single security breach or a data leak can cost the company millions if not billions of dollars. With rising capabilities for hackers to find loopholes, application security serves to protect the data assets a company inhabits.
- Diagnose Vulnerabilities: Application security provides opportunities for businesses to diagnose vulnerabilities and perform penetration testing. This can assist in identifying and neutralizing possibilities of cyberattacks before the damage actually takes place.
How is Application Security Integrated for Web & Mobile?
Application security refers to precautionary security measures taken at the application level to help companies secure their data. It includes security considerations that take place during the creation or designing of an application, as well as systems and methods to safeguard apps after they are put into operation.
Any modern business using the cloud to store data and perform tasks need application security. But is it different for each platform? Let’s draft the difference between web application security and mobile application security.
1. Web Application Security: Web application security is software available over the internet and is hosted on a web server. Since clients connect with businesses on the internet over insecure networks, it leaves the door open to multiple vulnerabilities.
The priority for any cyber security program is to protect web apps, which are frequently business-critical and contain private customer data, making them a valuable target for attackers. Therefore, companies use web application security to secure these networks using web application firewalls (WAF). For instance, Cloudflare provides integrated solutions for WAF to enterprises.
2. Mobile Application Security: Mobile application security is concerned with how well mobile applications on different operating systems work. These include security for Android, iOS, and Windows phones.
It involves evaluating applications for security issues, the frameworks they are developed with, and the expected set of users for them. It covers applications that run on both mobile phones and tablets. For instance, IBM MaaS 360 provides a set of mobile security solutions to protect and secure mobile applications.
What Tools for Application Security Are Relevant Today?
Application security has become a crucial part of an organization in today’s digitalized world. When we speak of application security, there are certain tools that businesses can use for specific functions or purposes. Here are a few of the most common application security tools present today:
- Static Application Security Testing (SAST): SAST tools provide developers with immediate inputs while coding and assisting them in resolving problems before moving on to the next stage of the software development lifecycle. Some tools emphasize the risky code and pinpoint the precise location of vulnerabilities. Therefore, these tools can offer detailed guidance on how to fix vulnerabilities and the best way in the code to fix them.
- Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST): Using simulated attacks, dynamic application security testing (DAST) is used to identify vulnerabilities. By attacking an application as a potentially malicious user, this kind of strategy assesses the application from a realistic perspective. Following the execution of these attacks, a DAST scanner searches for results that do not match the anticipated result set and locate security flaws. These can then be fixed according to the requirement.
- Software Composition Analysis (SCA): With software composition analysis, teams can handle the security, quality, and license compliance risks associated with using open-source and third-party code in applications. For instance, JFrog provides technologically advanced software composition analysis for businesses.
Application Security: The Ultimate Security Shield?
Application security can be obtained by performing adequate testing and following the best practices for it. It’s important to regularly assess which codes must be protected and the extent of damage that may occur in case of a data breach. With the integration of various application shielding tools to detect threats in 2023, application security has emerged as the ultimate security shield that businesses need.
It’s integral that the application's security is protected against all types of attacks to ensure that the integrity of a business application is maintained. As we move more corporate data to the cloud, it is vital to put cyber security at the forefront to avoid huge unforeseen losses.