With information comes power. The same holds true for the security initiatives we stand up. To gain the most value from an enterprise application security (AppSec) program—and to support a journey toward DevSecOps—organizations must find a single source of truth on the risk they face across the entirety of the application portfolio. How? Through better security analytics. In fact, advanced reporting on AppSec risk has become a critical piece of the security puzzle because it turns vulnerability data into a reliable stream of visibility that can be actioned. This insight provides clarity into the overall risk and health of your AppSec program, including how to make informed decisions on vulnerability remediation. You can’t manage what you can’t see, as they say. But, more importantly, you can’t manage what you don’t truly understand.
Advanced enterprise AppSec analytics can help your organizations nail down several key goals, milestones you will need to reach in order to establish and run an effective AppSec program. And, more importantly, it’s one step forward in the path to a true DevSecOps program. Because, for DevSecOps to become real, CISOs and their teams must marry security to DevOps. This is tough to do in any organization, but having clear data to inform DevOps, across the application portfolio, can help to bridge this gap.
Aside from just helping businesses enforce accountability, this type of insight allows leaders, such as CISOs and other executives, to determine where they need to focus, prioritize and direct their resources to address the biggest corporate risk issues. By pairing high-level intelligence together with more granular details, these reports can offer critical context for executives and boards, business units and application development teams.
Name Those Goals
But how can these analytics help your organization right now – both in the context of improving security and in enabling the drive to DevSecOps? Let’s look at the top three goals:
1. Identify and assess risk. Again, it all comes down to visibility. When CISOs are able to communicate and manage AppSec risk to the enterprise, they can have confidence that their organization is better meeting its compliance and risk management. This type of reporting—either at the enterprise, business or application level—then makes it easier for these security-focused executives to demonstrate AppSec risk for the people and teams who need such transparency. As part of a broader remit, this level of risk management provides the ability to evaluate risk based on legitimate data, not guesswork.
2. Drive DevSecOps practices. Reliable analytics and reporting around AppSec facilitate a stronger model of shared responsibility among security and DevOps teams. Security and engineering leaders can use these reports to collaborate and drive DevSecOps workflows, such as comparing and tracking vulnerabilities that have been detected and remediated throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC)—or pinpointing vulnerabilities that affect multiple applications.
This level of insight then empowers teams to determine what happens next. Where are the bottlenecks in the DevSecOps process? What is impacting the engineering team’s productivity? What processes need to change and why? These types of questions can be answered through better AppSec risk visibility, allowing you to communicate insight with various DevOps and business teams; drive better accountability and risk prioritization, while encouraging action to secure the biggest issues. Given that CISOs are tasked with pushing this degree of shared responsibility for AppSec, they are typically thrilled to see the way it spreads security ownership outward and frames AppSec results in a business context.
3. Enable effective business decisions: Business leaders can use AppSec reports to assess the overall health and risk of revenue-generating applications and make operational business decisions accordingly. When companies build out an AppSec program, they typically encounter a complex stack of new and legacy applications, some dated, some newly-built. Legacy applications come with a certain amount of security debt, which means the older applications in this scenario were likely never scanned, at least not comprehensively. And once they are scanned, a lot of unexpected issues usually bubble up to the surface. For a CISO, who needs to be able to report when scanning occurred and how issues were remediated, recording this scanning work is what allows her to help developers solve problems more easily.
Find Your Own Analytics & Reporting
ZeroNorth, the only company to unite security, DevOps and the business for the good of software, recently unveiled its own DevSecOps Analytics & Reporting for a comprehensive view of security risk. With capabilities performed through its DevSecOps platform, ZeroNorth automatically ingests data from AppSec scanning tools, as well as historical scanning data files or findings from external ones, and transforms vulnerability data into a single source of truth. Businesses can use these valuable reports to assess and share information on the overall health and hygiene of a security program.
ZeroNorth analytics track key AppSec trends, ratios and metrics at the enterprise level and the individual business unit or application team level, including vulnerability, application and vulnerability scanner status. As a result, businesses can now identify, prioritize and remove any vulnerabilities standing in the way of excellent software—quickly and seamlessly. Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more. We’d love to demonstrate how these analytics and reporting capabilities can help you on your journey to DevSecOps.