We’re already halfway through the spookiest time of the year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! In our first piece, we talked about how we can celebrate by bringing security and DevOps together for the good of software, but this week… things are about to get a little scarier.

On that note, did you know that managing an unwieldy application security program can sometimes feel like being buried alive? American writer and the official king of creepy, Edgar Allen Poe, was so obsessed with catalepsy, a condition that causes muscular rigidity and unresponsiveness, that he wrote several different stories about it. From the character of Guy Carrell who couldn’t get married due to his dark obsession with Madeline Usher from Poe’s famous work “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the idea of being buried alive is paralyzing.

If you’re wondering what on earth this has to do with application security, think about all those security scanning tools used to build secure software. Then think about the loads of data resulting from the patchwork of disparate tools. For developers, wading through these tickets and contemplating where to start on remediation of found vulnerabilities can feel like a suffocating and paralyzing experience.

No More Tools Please

Early vulnerability scanning tools were designed to help security professionals know where to look for problems in software code. Fast forward to our current day, and almost every company is dependent on being able to develop and deploy software quickly to stay relevant and competitive. EVERY company is a software company now, and every company has to quickly find problems in code.

The existing model for building secure software tends to revolve around buying a scanning tool… and then another and another… until the result is a craftsman-like approach with tons of different data formats. Aside from the extensive knowledge needed to run each tool, the even bigger challenge is figuring out how to process the deluge of information resulting from those scans. And just like any patchwork approach, this process isn’t scalable and can’t cover the needs of a growing business reliant on secure software.

The problem is not a lack of tools. Security staff has plenty of vulnerability and application scanning tools like SCA, SAST, container management, DAST and cloud configuration tools. But there hasn’t been a way to centrally manage all these security tools. And there’s also the problem of what the tools produce. Every tool provides data and alerts, but without a way to sift through all the findings, developers end up buried alive under piles of vulnerabilities to remediate, with no way to prioritize them. Vulnerabilities end up being ignored or missed. The end result? A lot of screaming into the void and no real way to truthfully answer whether or not an application is secure. This lack of clarity slows down development, delays release cycles and allows flawed software to hit the market.

Cure for a Cataleptic State

So what’s the cure for being buried alive? Security initiatives need to help identify, prioritize and manage software vulnerabilities to reduce risk to an acceptable level, without slowing down software delivery. Simple, right? At ZeroNorth, we think it can be… when everyone comes together for the good of software.

What does that look like in practice? ZeroNorth’s application security automation and orchestration platform helps organizations rapidly identify, prioritize and remove the vulnerabilities standing in the way of software excellence. Centralizing and automating application security through orchestration unburdens developers from feeling like they are being buried alive by mountains of alerts. ZeroNorth makes sense of the flood of data flowing in from various scanning tools, enabling teams to accurately identify and address vulnerabilities before they become security problems.

The ZeroNorth platform also aggregates all scanning data in one place for complete, consistent and long-term visibility into application security vulnerabilities. And because these scans happen earlier and more frequently throughout the development life cycle, security is essentially able to keep up with pipeline velocity.

While application security was once the responsibility of a few, with the movement to DevSecOps, it is now the responsibility of many. ZeroNorth unites business, security and DevOps teams to excel in this new world by continuously improving application security performance and reducing organizational risk.

When you compress thousands of application vulnerability issues into a handful of tickets for developers, which can be inserted directly into the engineering toolchain, you help keep them above ground! And with a common framework for understanding and managing risk, you keep them from screaming silently into the void. Everyone speaks the same language, and it’s the language of software excellence.

 

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