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How to stay ahead of the security curve & ensure your business is safe and thriving in 2023


As cyber threats become more complex and advanced, the need for robust application security is greater in 2023 than ever before.

But where to start?

OZ has got your back: From cloud security to automated testing solutions like FAST (Functional Application Security Testing) and IAC (Infrastructure As Code), read on to learn how the following ten technologies can work together to help keep your code secure while accelerating innovation at scale.

1) Cloud Security

Cloud security is an essential part of software development in 2023. As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, developers must understand the risks associated with using cloud services as well as the cloud security solutions that can help protect data from unauthorized access, malicious attacks, and data loss.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a key component of cloud security that empowers organizations to control who has access to their systems and data. IAM allows administrators to set up user roles with different levels of permissions based on their job requirements or responsibilities within the organization. It also enables users to authenticate themselves when accessing applications or other resources in the cloud environment by providing multi-factor authentication such as passwords, biometrics, or tokens.

Encryption is another important element of cloud security that keeps sensitive information secure while stored in the cloud environment. Encryption works by scrambling plain text into ciphertext so only authorized users can view it; this prevents attackers from being able to read confidential information if they gain access to a system or database containing encrypted data. Organizations should use strong encryption algorithms like AES 256-bit for maximum protection against potential threats like brute force attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks where attackers intercept communications between two parties without either party knowing about it.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions are designed specifically for protecting sensitive information stored in the cloud environment from accidental deletion or intentional misuse by unauthorized personnel within an organization’s network infrastructure. DLP tools provide real-time monitoring capabilities which enable administrators to detect any suspicious activity related to confidential data before any damage can be done; these tools also allow admins to create policies that restrict certain types of activities such as downloading files outside of specific locations or sharing confidential documents via email attachments without prior authorization from management personnel.

Overall, understanding and implementing effective measures for securing a company’s data in the cloud is critical for businesses operating today—especially those relying heavily on digital technology—due to its increased prevalence across all industries worldwide. With proper implementation of identity & access management, encryption, and Data Loss Prevention technologies, companies can ensure customers’ personal information remains safe while continuing to allow employees easy access when needed.

2) Automated Security Testing

Automated security testing identifies potential vulnerabilities before they become a problem, saving time and money in the long run. Automated security testing tools provide developers with quick feedback on their code, enabling them to make necessary changes quickly and efficiently.

Static code analysis is one popular automated security testing tool that scans source code for common coding errors or bugs that could lead to vulnerabilities. This type of test can be used early in the development cycle to detect issues before they become a problem. Dynamic application security testing (DAST) tests running applications by sending malicious requests from outside sources such as hackers or bots. This identifies weaknesses in web applications that static code analysis may miss due to its limited scope of coverage.

Interactive application security testing (IAST) combines both static and dynamic techniques into one package, providing more comprehensive coverage than either method alone can offer. IAST also offers real-time results so developers can address issues immediately instead of waiting until after deployment when it might be too late to fix them without costly downtime or other disruptions. Finally, penetration testing (PT) simulates attacks from external sources like hackers or bots but with human input rather than automated scripts, making it more thorough and reliable than other methods of automated security testing alone.

3) DevSecOps

DevSecOps is an emerging trend that focuses on integrating security into the software development process, reducing risk, and ensuring applications are secure from the start.

Configuration Management Systems—such as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet—empower developers to automate tasks associated with setting up servers, deploying code updates, managing user accounts, and more. This helps reduce errors caused by manual processes while also ensuring that all systems remain in compliance with organizational policies. Vulnerability scanners (Nessus, OpenVAS) identify potential security issues before they become a problem by providing detailed reports of any vulnerabilities found within the application source code or environment setup. Container scanning tools (Aqua Security, Twistlock) provide visibility into containers running in production environments so organizations can quickly detect any malicious activity or misconfigurations that could lead to a breach.

By leveraging these DevSecOps tools throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC), organizations can build more secure applications faster than ever before while reducing operational costs associated with manual processes and patching efforts after deployment. Additionally, using automated testing frameworks during development allows teams to continuously monitor for potential vulnerabilities instead of relying on periodic scans which may miss newly introduced threats over time. Ultimately, DevSecOps provides organizations with increased agility when it comes to releasing new features without sacrificing security along the way.

4) Container Security

Containers offer scalability and portability advantages over traditional virtual machines (VMs) but also introduce new security challenges.

Image scanning solutions can detect vulnerabilities in images before they are deployed into production environments. This helps identify potential issues early on, allowing teams to take corrective action quickly and avoid costly downtime or other damage caused by malicious actors exploiting known vulnerabilities. Runtime protection solutions provide additional layers of defense against attacks by monitoring containers for suspicious activity and blocking malicious requests or traffic as needed. Network segmentation solutions allow teams to create isolated networks within their container environment, further reducing the risk of compromise from external threats or unauthorized access attempts from internal users with elevated privileges.

Finally, AI-powered security solutions can be used to automate many aspects of container security management, including vulnerability detection and response times for incident resolution.

By leveraging machine learning algorithms and advanced analytics techniques, these tools can provide real-time insights into the health and status of containers while helping teams identify potential risks before they become major problems down the line.

5) AI-Powered Security Solutions

Analyzing large amounts of data quickly, AI-powered security solutions leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patterns or anomalies that may indicate malicious activity or potential vulnerabilities.

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) use AI to monitor network traffic for suspicious activities such as unauthorized access attempts, malware downloads, and data exfiltration attempts. Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) also use AI to protect endpoints from known and unknown threats by analyzing system behavior for signs of malicious activity. User behavior analytics (UBA) employs machine learning algorithms to detect anomalous user behaviors that could indicate a breach attempt or insider threat.

Organizations can also benefit from using AI-powered vulnerability scanning solutions which scan applications for weaknesses in codebases or infrastructure environments that attackers could exploit. Additionally, many vendors offer automated patch management services, also powered by AI, which allow organizations to keep their software up to date with the latest security patches without having to manually manage them on each device individually.

6) Functional Application Security Testing (FAST)

Functional Application Security Testing (FAST) is a powerful tool for ensuring the security of software applications, scanning through source code and running tests against it to identify potential security issues such as buffer overflows, SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other types of attack vectors. This ensures that applications are secure from the start—i.e., before deployment—and reduces the risk of costly data breaches or other security incidents down the line.

One example of how FAST can help protect applications is through static analysis testing which examines source code without executing it to search for possible vulnerabilities such as coding errors or insecure configurations. It also checks for compliance with industry standards like OWASP Top 10 which outlines common web application security risks that should be avoided when developing software solutions. Additionally, dynamic analysis testing runs actual tests on an application’s source code while it’s being executed to uncover additional problems not found during static analysis testing alone.

7) Interactive Application Security Testing

Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) combines static and dynamic analysis to identify security flaws in real time, allowing developers to quickly detect and fix potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Unlike traditional static or dynamic testing methods, IAST integrates with the application code itself, providing detailed insights into the application’s behavior during runtime. This gives developers a better understanding of how their code interacts with external sources such as databases and web services. By monitoring these interactions in real time, IAST can detect any suspicious activity that could indicate a vulnerability or malicious attack attempt.

IAST also provides automated reporting capabilities which allow developers to quickly review results and prioritize remediation efforts based on severity level. It further enables organizations to set up custom rulesets tailored specifically for their environment so they can ensure only relevant issues are reported while false positives are eliminated from the equation altogether.

The benefits of using an interactive approach like IAST extend beyond just identifying vulnerabilities; it also helps reduce development time by eliminating manual processes associated with other testing techniques such as source code reviews or penetration tests. As a bonus, this method is non-intrusive which means there is no need for additional hardware or software installations, making it easier than ever before for organizations of all sizes to take advantage of its advantages without breaking the bank.

8) Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is a method of testing the security of an application from outside the application. It helps developers identify and address potential vulnerabilities in their applications before they are released to production. DAST tests can be conducted either manually or with automated tools, which allow for more comprehensive coverage and faster results.

When using DAST, testers typically use two different types of scans: black box scanning and white box scanning. Black box scanning simulates real-world attacks by sending malicious requests to the application’s public interface while white box scanning looks at the code itself to detect any potential flaws that could lead to security issues.

By running these scans regularly throughout development, organizations can ensure applications remain secure as features are added or modified. Regular testing, of course, also helps developers stay up to date on best practices for secure coding so they can continue building robust software solutions without introducing unnecessary risks to their products.

By leveraging automated tools such as dynamic analysis scanners and fuzzers, teams can quickly scan large amounts of code for common weaknesses such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS) and prioritize remediation efforts based on severity level and focus resources where needed most, helping them save both time and money while ensuring maximum protection against external threats.

9) Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a type of security testing that enables developers to identify and fix security vulnerabilities in the source code of an application before it is released. SAST scans are conducted by automated tools which analyze the source code for potential issues, such as buffer overflows, SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other malicious activities. The results of these scans can then be used to determine what changes need to be made to improve the overall security posture of the application.

SAST helps developers ensure their applications are secure from external threats by providing detailed information about any potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities that may exist within their codebase. By proactively identifying and addressing these issues early on, developers can avoid costly delays or disruptions later down the line when deploying an application into production environments.

SAST allows organizations to adhere more closely to industry standards such as PCI DSS or HIPAA compliance regulations by ensuring all applications meet required levels of security prior to release.

In addition to helping protect against external threats, SAST also provides valuable insight into how well a development team is following best practices when writing code. This includes things like checking for coding errors or misconfigurations that could lead to unexpected behavior at runtime; detecting insecure coding patterns such as hardcoded passwords; verifying input validation rules; and evaluating authentication methods used throughout an application’s lifecycle. All this information can help teams better understand where they need improvement so they can take steps toward creating more secure software applications going forward.

Overall, Static Application Security Testing (SAST) offers many benefits for developers and organizations alike: improved security posture through proactive vulnerability identification; increased adherence with industry standards; greater understanding of best practices for writing secure code; and ultimately fewer risks associated with releasing vulnerable applications into production environments.

10) Security for Infrastructure As Coda (IAC)

Security for Infrastructure as Code (IaC) allows developers to define and manage their infrastructure using code, rather than manually configuring it through a web interface or other manual methods. This makes it easier to deploy applications quickly and reliably, while also providing greater control over the environment in which they run.

However, with this increased power comes increased responsibility: To ensure that your application remains secure throughout its lifecycle, there are several best practices you should follow when implementing IaC:

  • Use Version Control Systems. Version control systems such as Git can help keep track of changes made to your codebase over time and ensure that only approved versions are deployed in production environments.
  • Automate Security Testing. Automated security testing tools can help detect vulnerabilities before they become a problem by running tests on each new version of your codebase before deployment. These tests should include both static analysis—such as checking for insecure coding patterns—and dynamic analysis—such as penetration testing.
  • Monitor Changes Regularly. Monitoring changes regularly will allow you to detect any unauthorized modifications made to your system’s configuration or codebase quickly so that they can be addressed immediately if necessary.
  • Secure Access Controls. Establishing secure access controls is essential for preventing malicious actors from gaining access to sensitive data or making unauthorized changes to your system’s configuration or codebase. Make sure all users have unique credentials with appropriate levels of privileges based on their roles within the organization.

By integrating automated security checks into existing CI/CD pipelines, organizations can reduce risk while improving agility and efficiency at scale. This approach allows for faster detection and resolution of potential vulnerabilities, enabling teams to quickly address any issues before they become a problem.

Are you ready to stay ahead of the curve and ensure your business is secure in 2023? Let OZ Digital Consulting help. Our experienced team can provide top-of-the-line application security solutions tailored to fit your needs, from data analytics and intelligent automation services to cloud IT solutions. Contact us today for a consultation on how we can ensure that your applications are safe against emerging threats!