What Is AppSec and What Are AppSec Tools
September 3, 2020

AppSec + AppSec Tools Overview

Security & Compliance
Static Analysis

AppSec is essential to efficient and effective security measures that help address rising security threats to software applications. Here we discuss the principles of Application Security (AppSec), the best practices to enforce it, and the AppSec tools you should use.

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What Is AppSec?

AppSec is the process of finding, fixing, and preventing security vulnerabilities at the application level in hardware, software, and development processes. It includes guidance on measures for application design and development and through the whole lifecycle including after the application has launched.

Why Is AppSec Important?

Application security is important because vulnerabilities in software applications are common — it has been reported that 84% of security incidents happen at the application layer. By following application security measures, you can ensure that weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your software application are identified and dealt with early in the development cycle before they become serious security breaches.

AppSec Best Practices

AppSec best practices should be initiated from the start of the software development lifecycle and be adopted by the whole product team

Follow these best practices for efficient software application security:

  • Establish an application security risk profile to identify potential security vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
  • Identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities in your software application.
  • Identify and address security vulnerabilities in open source and third-party software.
  • Use the right application security tools.
  • Provide your team with application security training.

Adopting Application Security best practices will minimize risk and protect data.

▶️ Related On-Demand Webinar: Learn what best practices you should use for a secure software development project >>>

What Are AppSec Tools?

To ensure that your application security measures are efficient and effective, you need the right tools.

  • SAST: Also known as “white-box testing”, SAST is a type of software security vulnerability testing. The tool analyzes your source code as you develop your application to detect and report weaknesses that can lead to security vulnerabilities. By using this kind of tool, you can identify security vulnerabilities early in development.
     
  • DAST: Also known as “black-box testing”, DAST is a type of software security vulnerability. testing. This type of tool detects conditions that indicate a security vulnerability when running By using this type of tool, you are able to identify security errors, run-time, and environment-related issues later in the development cycle.

Secure Coding Standards for AppSec

Secure coding standards are rules and guidelines that are used to identify, prevent, and eliminate software vulnerabilities that could compromise software security.

  • CERT: CERT is a series of secure coding standards that target insecure coding practices and undefined behaviors in C, C++ and Java that may lead to security risks.
  • CWE: The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) list identifies software security weaknesses in C, C++, Java, and C#.
  • DISA-STIG: DISA-STIG is a collection of technical software security findings.
  • OWASP: The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) identifies the top web application security risks. The most popular OWASP resource is the OWASP Top 10, which are the 10 most critical security risks for applications.
  • ISO/IEC TS 17961: ISO/IEC TS 17961 is a secure coding standard for C  to detect security flaws.

A static code analyzer should be used early in the development cycle to enforce secure coding standards to ensure the best resolution to potential security weaknesses.

📕 Related Resource: SAST Overview >>

Why Klocwork Is An Ideal AppSec Tool

Klocwork Static Application Security Test (SAST) for C, C++, C#, Java, and JavaScript identifies application software security, safety, and reliability issues helping to enforce compliance with secure coding standards. It also provides you with the ability to automate source code analysis as the code is being written.

In addition, Klocwork’s Differential Analysis enables you to perform fast incremental analysis on only the files that have changed while providing results equivalent to those from a full project scan. This ensures the shortest possible analysis times.

Klocwork also provides you with the following benefits:

  • Detecting code vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations earlier in development. This helps to accelerate code reviews as well as the manual testing efforts of developers.
  • Enforcing industry and coding standards, including CWE, CERT, OWASP, and DISA STIG.
  • Reporting on compliance over time and across product versions.

See for yourself how Klocwork can help ensure that your application software is secure, reliable, and efficient.

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