Having the right vulnerability scanning tools in place across the SDLC is one thing—a very critical thing, to be sure—but finding the capability to manage the outputs from those tools can be a different thing altogether. As you continue to grow your application security and vulnerability management program, it will only get harder unless you have a plan.

The AppSec Conundrum

These days, building in AppSec practices and integrating scanning tools throughout your entire development cycle is not optional. In fact, it’s crucial to secure your applications because even a small vulnerability could create a massive and potentially even business-ending problem. That’s why you must implement tools throughout the SDLC, to identify issues to be fixed before software is released.

Different parts of the SDLC require different tools. You need to analyze open source and third-party components that are used in your applications. You need to inspect the code developers create. You need to scrutinize deployed software. And you need to validate the security of applications deployed across cloud environments. Each tool generates information about the specific type of vulnerabilities it covers in its own format, and that data must somehow be captured, evaluated and addressed. With multiple tools in place, you need to bring all those vulnerability details together into a cohesive view of your AppSec posture at any given moment.

If you rely on human triage and prioritization, you simply cannot keep pace with CI/CD pipelines. You’ll create bottlenecks that block development and restrict vulnerability discovery. But competitive pressures are intense, and you have to constantly deliver new innovations, which means your AppSec cannot hold you up from getting to market fast. This tension can lead to friction between development and security teams that ultimately impedes the entire process. It sounds like a damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t situation. But it doesn’t have to be.

Four Critical Components to Be Secure and Fast

The way to maintain a robust AppSec program with rapid software delivery includes consolidating units of work so you’re getting all the critical security information you need in a manageable way to easily identify and quickly remedy vulnerabilities. To do this, you need to be able to do four key things:

  1. Compress and ingest data from individual tools. Each individual security scanning tool in your AppSec portfolio delivers an immense amount data that’s unrefined and uncompressed, and therefore difficult to use. The first step is to compress and refine that data so it’s usable.
  2. Synthesize results with similar tools. There should be overlap across your scanning tools—this is a good thing to ensure maximum coverage. But overlap means that some of the data will be duplicative. To avoid wasting time following up on multiple issues that are, in fact, one single issue, you need to unify results across similar tools.
  3. Compare results with downstream tools. Then you need to go beyond the adjacent tools to understand the linkages with other tools that cover different parts of the SDLC. For example, you need to correlate the output of a SAST tool with a DAST tool.
  4. Consolidate units of work. Now that you have a unified view of vulnerabilities from all of your deployed tools, you need to deliver that information to developers. For full and fast remediation, you need to boil the vulnerabilities down to create a single unit of development, enabling the team to open a ticket, then fix and verify issues flagged by all your tools, all within a single development session.

Part of a Comprehensive AppSec Program

It’s critical for companies to streamline the process of sifting, sorting and operationalizing the avalanche of vulnerability issues that arise in their CI/CD pipeline. It’s the only way to avoid overwhelming developers with huge numbers of tickets—which can create security paralysis and drive a wedge between security and development—so they can focus on quickly remediating application vulnerabilities. Of course, you need to have a comprehensive suite of scanning tools in place across the SDLC. And the program needs to be aligned across your infrastructure and support security governance through policy configuration.

Built Into the ZeroNorth Platform

ZeroNorth’s platform capability for Ingestion/Compression/Ingestion helps businesses organize and prioritize vulnerability data so it can be properly evaluated and quickly acted on. It compresses, refines and synthesizes data, and then compares results across all the scanning tools deployed throughout the SDLC to consolidate the units of development work needed to secure an application.

See Compression and Ingestion in Action at the RSA Conference

Visit the ZeroNorth booth (#5360 in Expo Hall North) to get a demo of our risk-based vulnerability orchestration platform around the ingestion and compression of data. You’ll see first-hand how you can consolidate units of work to improve the identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities without impeding development timeframes. If you’d like to schedule a time to meet at the show, we’ve got an easy meeting request form available now.

If you’re not going to be at RSA, you can request a demo of our Ingestion/Compression capabilities at any time.

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