Application Security

AppSec Certifications – What do I need to know?

Adoption of best practices in application security (AppSec) is crucial to ensure application and data protection throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) flow. For this to happen, it is critical that the AppSec professional lead and maintain integrity throughout the entire lifecycle.

For this, models are used to attest to the maturity of the software, OWASP SAMM, and offer security requirements, OWASP ASVS (and OWASP MASVS for mobile device requirements). In addition, other important practices, such as threat modeling and training, contribute to the team’s maturity. These materials are just some examples, a tip, consume the resources offered by OWASP, and there are many other interesting projects.

However, the AppSec professional should not only limit himself to the cited resources but also seek certifications that attest to their knowledge. Nowadays, the security market requires highly qualified professionals, and certifications are a way of validating these professionals’ skills.

Application Security Certifications

Certifications are a way of proving your knowledge through a test from a particular institution. Currently, several institutions allow you to obtain a certification, for example, CompTIA, GIAC, EC-Council, (ISC)², etc.

In addition, certification allows professionals to stand out in the job market by demonstrating their knowledge. The certification has several benefits, among them: professional development, prominence in the job market, in addition to the knowledge acquired.

It is worth remembering that the certification differs from a certificate, the latter can usually be obtained by completing a course or training, while certification is obtained after an exam. Currently, most training platforms offer a certificate at the end of a course, attesting that you have completed it, regardless of whether you have an evaluation or not, and if you do, these platforms generally do not use mechanisms to check whether the student has consulted during the test.

Currently, certification exams can be taken in training centers, similar to an entrance exam, these centers are associated with the institutions that offer the certification, are usually partners, and even offer training to obtain the certification. Some institutions offer the possibility to take the exam remotely from your own home, however, there are several requirements to be met.

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However, it is important to remember that all acquired knowledge is useful and can be very well used, the market values professionals with a thirst for knowledge, therefore, the important thing is to always seek to learn and stay up to date. From this, we have some certifications that are very welcome in the application security area:

  • Certified Application Security Engineer (CASE):
    • This certification has two paths, .NET and Java, and requires a minimum of 2 years of experience in the respective programming languages. Focused on professionals who work in development, testing, management, and application protection, involving all phases of the SDLC, focusing on the importance of implementing safe methodologies and practices. Exam content ranges from threat modeling, OWASP TOP 10, Code Review, SAST, and DAST (automated or manual).
  • Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP):
    • The CSSLP is intended for both developers and information security professionals responsible for implementing best practices in each phase of the SDLC. The exam is divided into 8 domains, involving concepts, requirements, architecture and design, implementation, testing, SDLC management, implementation, maintenance, operation, and supply chain of secure software.
  • GIAC Certified Web Application Defender (GWEB):
    • The GWEB certification focuses on directing the professional to deal with common errors in Web applications (these typically represent the majority of security problems). It focuses on developers, security analysts, and application architects. Some of the content covered in the certification: input validation failures, cross-site scripting (XSS), and SQL injection, as well as a deep understanding of authentication, access control, and session management.

The aim is not to cover the entire menu covered by the certifications, but rather to direct the professional to some of the contents covered by each one of them. Investing in your career is crucial for your professional success, and one of the ways to do this is by seeking training and qualifications. If you still don’t feel prepared for certification, Conviso Platform offers a training module called People & Culture, which focuses on offering practical and gamified training in various technologies involving application security.

In this way, AppSec certifications are a great way to add value to a professional’s resume and highlight their skills in the area of application security. Additionally, certifications provide professionals with the skills and tools they need to protect themselves. Remember to carefully research the options available on the market and choose the one that best suits your professional goals and the needs of the company.

In conclusion, certification is a great way to show commitment and expertise in the field, as well as help to ensure that applications and data are protected from threats. Although certifications are important, courses and practical knowledge will always be welcome, so if you don’t have the resources to pay for a top-of-the-line certification, invest as much as you can in your career.

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About author


Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and currently studying postgraduate studies in cyber defense. I have 4 years of experience in the area of Information Security and, at the moment, I am working as an Application Security Consultant at Conviso. Passionate about technology, science and Information Security.
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