When it comes to business, applications can do it all - from finance to design to operations. Because applications can impact when and how organizations meet their business goals, their maintenance and security can be important. If your application connects to the cloud, executes IoT processes, or manages your users’ network, it needs to be protected with the methods that meet user needs and offer peace of mind.
A poorly-secured application can cause havoc within a user’s business. If your application’s security is unsupported, you may be helping expose your users’ businesses to vulnerabilities and safety risks they aren’t prepared for. In response to the growing number of malware attacks, applications developers have turned to source code analysis as part of their application security scanning protocol.
Static source code analysis is the process of debugging a program or application by examining its source code without executing it. As part of a larger application security scanning protocol, source code analysis can detect the small errors that often lead to big disasters once an application has been running for some time. It can often take weeks, months, or years after an application’s release to reveal large issues with code structure, but it only takes one disaster to impact your relationship with your users.
Application security scanning should be a significant step of any application development lifecycle: it can help you understand your code structure, adhere to industry standards, and create a more efficient deployment. If you’re in search of a better way to develop or execute your own application security plan, adopting source code analysis can be a beneficial next step.
Here are three simple tips for adopting source code analysis into your application security:
Tip #1: Invest in the Right Tools
Application security tools often offer features that can assist with dynamic source code analysis. Features like automated code scan, vulnerability reports, and assets identification can help your team determine which bugs to attack first to avoid succumbing to malware attacks.
When searching for an application security tool, always opt for a resource that offers a suite of features, like IBM Security AppScan or AppScan Source. These tools are more likely to offer a wealth of application security benefits that can help you spot vulnerabilities faster. For example, IBM Security AppScan offers a secure testing environment, static and dynamic testing capabilities, and uses analytics to spot non-compliance regulation code.
Other criteria may become significant when selecting your perfect application security tool, like your specific programming languages, integration capabilities for your development platforms, and a centralized reporting system that can keep your team updated. It may be difficult to find one tool that meets all of your business needs, so consider one or more tools that meet expectations.
Tip #2: Create (and Update!) Your Application Security Protocol
Build application security scanning into your team’s daily routines by developing and managing an application security protocol. Your protocol doesn’t have to be expensive or expansive, but it should detail the process, resources, and tools necessary to complete an application security scan that meets your company’s needs.
You can use former reports, feedback, and even experience to decide what vulnerabilities and attacks to avoid or what types of outcomes to strive for. Your application security plan should include a review guide that details how to conduct a proper static or dynamic source code analysis. Explain what issues, if any, to expect and what results to look for. Use a checklist to make sure important steps are met with each review.
You should also use your protocol to determine how often to update your application security plan or source code analysis process. Define a set timeframe to review and modify your protocol.
Tip #3 - Foster an Encouraging Environment
Make it easy for your team to perform their vulnerability security duties daily by developing an inviting security culture within your team. Don’t penalize developers for repetitive or simple mistakes. Use report analysis to collaborate with your development team and build better code structure or execution. Educate your security and development teams on building industry compliant code. Incorporate previous mistakes or errors into review guides as examples.
Whether with a security plan or tighter development-security collaboration, achieving better applications with source code analysis can be a simple process. Developing an application security protocol, adopting source code analysis tools, or having a thriving security culture can be the first step to building an application security plan that benefits your entire company!