To get started, we need to understand what application security is. Contrary to popular belief, AppSec is related to the entire development process, that is, in the construction, release phase and while an application is already running, not just worrying about security in the final phase of a project. Even with the development of new security technologies, numerous cases of data breaches have been registered in recent years. The attacks keep on happening, bringing serious problems to an organization.
Data leakage, cyber attacks and security breaches will always be a problem as there are no 100% secure applications. What we can do to prevent an application from crashing is to adopt some security practices that will make our application more secure.
When we talk about secure development best practices, we’re talking about applying security throughout the development cycle. Just as having high-quality software is not just the responsibility of one area, safe software is the responsibility of everyone involved in the process.
So what is the first step to include AppSec in your company?
1. Understand that AppSec is culture
A lot is said about AppSec, but few understand that to include application security practices in an enterprise, we need to understand that this is a culture and that it needs to be cultivated every day. Cultural change will be one of the biggest challenges you will face in this implementation, and it will be a daily challenge as culture is built over time.
Sometimes we believe that developers have already acquired the necessary knowledge and that nothing else can be learned, or even changed. They understand that security is not part of the code building process, but that this is a responsibility of security time itself, and it is this error that we fall into daily, putting our applications at risk.
When we talk about secure development, we need to bring the two teams together and show that security within the development cycle is everyone’s responsibility. Thinking about security from the beginning of development is the best solution for us to reach a level of safer software.
Nowadays, there are development models and methodologies focused on building security applications. Prioritize this within your time frame.
Learn more about models and methodologies:
2. Learn the security requirements
Building a secure application inevitably goes through a well-defined process. The construction of this process can be defined by the correct use of requirements important to software security. A checklist that can contribute to security requirements is the ASVS (OWASP Application Security Verification Standard), which is nothing more than a set of requirements to ensure the security of applications.
They act by helping to develop, maintain and test the security of these applications. These requirements can be categorized into three levels of sensitivity: the more specific the data an application processes, the more requirements are needed to keep that application secure.
Understand that building secure code goes far beyond worrying about creating more secure code, needing to define a process.
3. Invest in AppSec training
Nowadays, we notice that companies take advantage of training and understand its importance, both for a specific project and for the maturity of the time.
Let’s not forget that training goes far beyond complying with current regulations, investing in AppSec training and training can help your time to reach maturity in your secure development process. As we talked about above, AppSec is also a culture and it needs to disseminate this within the teams (also know: Security Champion: you need to think about it) through training as well.
Prioritize training and maturity of your time!
Now, just get started!
Now that you understand the importance of AppSec in your company and the first steps to build this culture within your team, it’s time to get to work and prioritize security practices!