Not all security vulnerabilities are created equal
|Jack Mannino in Security Tuesday, May 25, 2021|
IT security professionals are in a constant battle with cybercriminals and not all security vulnerabilities are created equal, targeting specific areas helps improve effectively assessing and remediating issues.
Applications are the heart of employee and user productivity. There are billions of applications each with a specific function, value and, unfortunately, they also provide one of the easiest openings for cybercriminals and hackers to gain access to critical IT infrastructure and information assets. While most IT security professionals implicitly understand the concept of a security assessment, some still misunderstand the nuances of effectively assessing and remediating issues across their entire on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure. To ensure nothing is left to chance, it often helps to take a step back and go back to the basics.
Not all security vulnerabilities are created equal
First and foremost, organizations need to be sure they have the right tools to see below the surface of the code, and no, there is no singular tool, technique, or technology that will solve all of your problems. Since not all security assessments are created equal, security teams will need to target a specific area for maximum impact. The six areas of focus and their corresponding considerations include the following:
- Applications: Securing software for web, client, and server applications requires modeling systems like an attacker would and pinpointing areas of weakness that can be exploited. Security teams will need to provide secure code reviews and web application penetration testing to identify security bugs and flaws while helping development teams rapidly remediate any discovered issues. Security testing should be embedded throughout development, from the commit level through deployment.
- Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things (IoT) presents its own unique set of security challenges and requires a broad skill set for assessing. Organizations should aim to secure their IoT devices and corresponding infrastructure through source code reviews, dynamic software, and hardware testing, forensic analysis, and reverse engineering. Modifications to the attack surface throughout the supply chain can have significant security consequences across the stack.
- Networks: On-premise, cloud, and hybrid network environments are under continuous attack across the board. This means that network security assessments should explore the digital footprint of an organization and rigorously test the organization’s defense ability to withstand attacks. Understand your asset inventory in real-time and ensure your risk level is tolerable depending on the system’s classification.
- Mobile: Mobile assessments should explore how an application can expose security and privacy concerns for users and determine how to prevent these issues from happening. Organizations will need a partner that specializes in iOS and Android security and focuses on discovering how security controls can be circumvented in order to breach client-side and server-side defenses. Each mobile platform release includes security updates that can impact your programmatic defenses and privacy controls.
- Cloud: To successfully maintain secure cloud software infrastructures, as well as guide teams into the cloud securely, organizations will need a partner that has deep expertise with AWS, Azure, and GCP and supporting multi-cloud deployments.
- Cloud-Native: Building systems the Cloud Native way offers security opportunities, as well as new challenges. Teams should perform security testing and help protect Kubernetes, Docker, and the microservices that power their software. Infrastructure as Code provides opportunities to streamline security controls and proactively manage configuration drift before these issues lead to a breach.
There is a constant battle between cybercriminals and IT security staff, especially when it comes to code developed in-house. As seen with the volume of news touting new breaches, the reality is that a single missed punctuation or use of a specific “trusted” open-sourced library or code fragment could potentially open up new security leaks or vulnerabilities to an entire organization, as well as their partners and customers. Standard quality practices should include ongoing security assessments in order to get ahead of this curve. By proactively performing these continuous assessments, teams open the opportunity to uncover vulnerabilities in a timelier fashion.
This content is made possible by a guest author, or sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of App Developer Magazine's editorial staff.
Become a subscriber of App Developer Magazine for just $5.99 a month and take advantage of all these perks.
MEMBERS GET ACCESS TO
- - Exclusive content from leaders in the industry
- - Q&A articles from industry leaders
- - Tips and tricks from the most successful developers weekly
- - Monthly issues, including all 90+ back-issues since 2012
- - Event discounts and early-bird signups
- - Gain insight from top achievers in the app store
- - Learn what tools to use, what SDK's to use, and more