Why You Need to Rethink Your Security Governance

AppSec Program Governance

Publish Date

Mar 10, 2020

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  • AppSec Program Governance

Despite the constant pressure to get innovations to market as fast as possible, you still have a responsibility to protect your software from exploitable vulnerabilities. This is a song we have been singing for a long time now. Development and AppSec teams—and, increasingly, the hybrid relationship of DevSecOps—are the ones who complete the day-to-day work of developing secure applications. In this role, they must navigate the trade-offs of quality and security, usually doing so in tactical, per-case manner.

Aside from this technological, operational challenge, there’s a strategic imperative as well. The only way a business can effectively manage this tension, without compromising either speed to market or security, is for the entire organization to understand the landscape of cyber risk and align business decisions accordingly. This means giving teams the right tools and processes they need to integrate security at a certain velocity, thereby enabling them to make good individual decisions. But those execution activities must fit within a larger framework, so company leadership can consistently guide all teams and manage overall risk at the enterprise level. That’s where governance comes in.

The Role—and Challenges—of Security Governance
Governance provides a framework for accountability and oversight, so the business as a whole can prioritize and mitigate risks and can demonstrate—to regulators, customers, the board, etc.—that appropriate controls are in place. Without this framework, an organization doesn’t have sufficient context to understand its risk position at any given moment, let alone make decisions consistent with the desired risk profile and security posture.

The challenge facing companies looking to accelerate software release cycles and implement CI/CD pipelines is that their existing security governance frameworks simply can’t keep up. This includes the tools, processes and policies focused on the continuous delivery of secure software. Safeguarding this delivery requires continuous visibility with inline controls enabling in-process remediation. You need to be able to consistently apply vulnerability discovery across the SDLC and across your entire portfolio of applications. And your discovery and remediation processes must support internal service-level rates and agreements that align with your release cycles. This means any manual or siloed governance activities that may have sufficed in the past will no longer be tenable. In fact, enabling a governance framework that scales to the speed of software development requires a new approach.

Keep up With Software-Defined Security Governance
We live in an increasingly software-defined world, where automation delivers unprecedented levels of agility. And security governance is no exception. After all, you’ve transformed your development processes and, subsequently, your AppSec approach. So, to prevent a massive strategic disconnect that could undermine all your operational gains and threaten your overall security and risk posture, you also need to transform your security governance. This means automating your approaches to build a complete picture of risk on an ongoing basis and for implementing fast and effective remediation. Only then can you reduce the friction in communications between security and development teams and avoid disruption to software development and production.

Bringing Your AppSec Program Together
Every component of your AppSec program is critical, from the scanning tools you implement across the SDLC to the process of evaluating and acting on vulnerability data to aligning ownership and risk. Each capability plays a distinct role in supporting AppSec in a rapid-release development cycle. But they all must work together within a cohesive governance framework, so you can proactively and strategically manage risk. Further, you must provide demonstrable, credible evidence that you do, indeed, operate an effective AppSec program.

ZeroNorth Enables Software-Defined Security Governance
ZeroNorth’s software-defined security governance capability allows you to track activity and report on results for efficient security governance. This level of oversight supports modern development activities and accelerated timeframes. It also helps you:

  • consistently apply vulnerability discovery across your entire business portfolio to implement effective remediation at the speed of business.
  • define the tool sets, security gates and policies driving internal efforts to maintain frictionless communications between teams
  • avoid disruption to the SDLC by removing the need for manual security governance and scaling vulnerability discovery.

Learn More About Software-Defined Security Governance
Let us show you our risk-based vulnerability orchestration platform and its specific capabilities in the context of software-defined security governance. You’ll see first-hand how this capability breaks down friction between security and development teams and allows you to track activity and report on results. This will help you gain a coherent picture of risk and maintain effective security governance.If you’d like to see this capability in action, you can request a demo of our software-defined security governance capability at any time.

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