Top Application Security Tips for under-resourced Security Teams

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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Firms around the world are heavily investing in application security. There are now hundreds of tools that you can use to secure numerous segments of your application framework. With increased security breaches targeting business apps, application security is a must.  

However, while application security is getting attention, businesses that have limited teams and resources are struggling. The budget of keeping up with the ever-evolving cybersecurity trends and their threats is unbearable for most organizations. Unfortunately, businesses with limited resources must also keep up with the fast pace. 

An ideal application security setup needs a functioning team that can monitor and mitigate any security flaw. Here are the top application security tips teams can use to touch base with the rest of the world, despite being under-resourced. 

  • Always classify your apps

If teams run multiple applications within the organization, classifying the apps is a step towards ensuring their security. For instance, financial institutions use several applications within their infrastructure but often have a security team with limited resources. 

It’s recommendable to study, analyze, assess, and classify every app according to its priority and usefulness. The teams should focus on apps that clients and customers externally access and don’t ignore internally used software. External apps handle more data and can be accessed from multiple network interfaces. 

Cybercriminals are always prying for security flaws they can use to enter your systems. Therefore, a class of critical apps should get more attention and be put through automated security assessments.

  • Carry out a threat assessment 

Once teams have compiled a list of sections that require extra security, it’s time to perform a threat assessment. This process lets them determine how to mitigate the possible security breaches that can happen.

Assess the possible avenues cybercriminals can use to break into the applications. Teams should determine whether the already installed security measures can detect and prevent a potential. 

However, considering the limited resources, I recommend being realistic with the extent of security measures teams can handle. 

They should also weigh the extent of damage that’ll come from a potential application security breach. Furthermore, some security breaches aren’t lethal, but most of them can be detrimental in the long run.

  • Always patch your software

Software deployments, updates, and patching provide useful data teams can use to monitor application security. Patching operating systems with updated versions is an excellent start. Hackers and other cybercriminals are constantly looking for loopholes in outdated software and systems for avenues. 

Teams can patch systems from third-party vendors or via open-source platforms. Software patching allows teams to identify security flaws in the application framework. Thanks to patching, flaws, and bugs can be detected and repaired before they can cause potential damage. 

Noteworthy, the development might be reluctant to patch your system infrastructure from time to time in fear of damaging the smooth running of the app. Thankfully, teams can introduce automated tools to help them stay on top. 

  • Train your development team

Having a security-conscious team is a big plus if you’re to mitigate application security breaches significantly. Training teams to use secure SDLC results in the development of secure apps. 

Keeping up with the latest security trends and vulnerabilities can be a tedious exercise. It gets worse when you have limited resources, and this is where a security-conscious team becomes a significant step. 

Always include the development team in the security briefings and train them to detect and mitigate possible security flaws. This step will also help organizations reduce the cost of having a separate group that only monitors, identifies, and fixes bugs and other vulnerabilities within the application infrastructure.

  • Make application logging a habit

Application logging gives teams insights into how software runs on various framework components. Data collected from logs offer useful information, including memory exceptions, backup errors, security flaws, and other bugs. 

Teams can also use the logs to investigate how a security breach occurred and investigate the flaws and how they can be sealed. Unfortunately, most teams use traditional practices. 

For instance, a network administrator uses Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) to pick out suspicious signatures in the framework. But these tools are not very effective against the already evolved application security attacks.

Teams should rely on the latest technologies and constantly log every activity in a workable format that can be easily accessed. 

  • Study and understand the app framework before using it

The development team should study and understand the application framework to learn of any possible security implications. The team should go through the details of the documentation to familiarize themselves with any security intricacies. 

  • Utilize cloud-based security products

Take advantage of any available cloud-based platforms when setting up the infrastructure of your application. Most of these cloud solutions give you ready frameworks that have been thoroughly checked and updated against any security vulnerabilities. 

This also helps teams to work within the budget. For instance, SaaS security solutions give you multiple benefits, including affordable setting up cost and removes the need to add an extra team to configure the applications. Thanks to this, teams can focus on monitoring the applications at a reduced cost. 

Wrap up

Application security is a key part of various business processes, and it’ll grow and evolve as you expand your consumer market. To attain successful application security, teams need to build and use an effective security infrastructure such as a Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). 

 

Data handling and delivery times of the applications shouldn’t be compromised either. With the above tips, under-resourced teams should develop applications without overlooking security.

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