The Easiest Questions are Sometimes the Hardest to Answer
Are your products secure? Today, this is the question on everyone’s lips. And given its overall importance, it should be easy to answer—but in today’s hyperconnected world, the question, and overall problem, is way more complicated than it appears.
For many companies, the continuous delivery of software capabilities is the lifeblood of the organization; it’s the core of their business, the driver of revenue and the capabilities that enable them to compete in the market. But the truth is, most companies today are still struggling with how to fully achieve and verify this goal, especially to customers who rely on them for security products.
Easy to Describe, Hard to Manage
The objective of product security is to clearly, quickly and effectively identify vulnerabilities and risk across both the developmental and operational phases of the software lifecycle. While it sounds simple enough, reality is harder. Creating and implementing a secure application development process means managing many disparate scanning tools to effectively gain awareness of vulnerabilities, a goal that is both difficult and expensive. In most cases, time-strapped security teams are burdened with managing messy scanning processes requiring a great deal of manual evaluation and tool deployment—an obvious waste of time and resources. Worse, unwieldy systems inevitably lead to erroneous reports and failed audits, both of which can cause delays in product development and significant financial loss. And as we know, all of this equals bad news for businesses hoping to keep up in an application-driven world.
So, it goes without saying that delivering a product that is not secure to customers will translate into a breach of trust, lost business and a threat to brand reputation. For perspective, consider the customers of American Airlines, who all had to wait as 70 flights were delayed in April 2015. Engine problems? Late janitorial crew? Nope. The massive holdup was the result of a flight crew iPad that crashed due to mismanaged third-party software. All the major news outlets covered the story, describing “scrambling passengers and general chaos.” Did the customers fly American again? Probably not. Did the brand’s reputation suffer? Definitely.
A Complicated Problem with an Uncomplicated Solution
To answer the question, “Am I product-secure?” all business leaders, but particularly those with limited cybersecurity resources, need “one source of truth” for risk, compliance and vulnerability. To get there, you must be able to consistently scan the entire software development lifecycle, and consolidate all of the results from both commercial and open source tools to formulate a complete, centralized and continuous view of vulnerability. This is known as orchestration, and it allows organizations to make sense of fragmented workflows among development and security teams. Orchestration saves time and money and reduces the management burden. It also allows companies to prioritize risk while delivering the highest level of product security to customers.