Why ASPM is the future of AppSec: Key points from our newest whitepaper

Written by:
Sarah Conway

June 18, 2024

0 mins read

Today’s software development teams are releasing code at an unprecedented speed. While this means more innovation, it also means new challenges for today’s security teams. The growing complexity and speed of development, supercharged by AI, leads to increasingly complex software supply chains and an ever-increasing backlog of issues for security teams to manage. However, it’s more important than ever for security teams to reduce application risk, as IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach report found that the average cost of a zero-day vulnerability attack rose to $4.45M in 2023. 

The new Snyk and Accenture whitepaper covers how application security posture management (ASPM) responds to these emerging challenges by providing unprecedented visibility into all application assets and their relationships. Read on for some of the highlights from the paper.

Download the full whitepaper here. 

Today’s AppSec teams have an incomplete picture of risk

Many of today’s application security teams struggle to reduce risk. In fact, IBM predicts that 45% of organizations will experience software chain breaches by 2025. There are two main reasons why this is the case.

Lack of security context

Traditional risk measurements (e.g., CVSS score) often don’t tell the whole story behind a vulnerability alert, making it difficult for businesses to know which vulnerabilities to prioritize. For example, two vulnerabilities with the same CVSS score might pose completely different risk levels to the business. One vulnerability might impact an internal-facing application that’s no longer used , while the other impacts a business-critical, public-facing application that contains sensitive customer information. 

However, many organizations lack the resources to draw these types of distinctions. They don’t have the business context to understand which applications are business-critical and which versions are currently in production. This incomplete picture of risk makes it difficult for teams to decide which vulnerabilities to prioritize. 

Not enough visibility

Many organizations also lack proper visibility into their applications. As a result, security teams can’t identify coverage gaps in security controls, making it impossible to gauge risk accurately. 

When security teams don’t have a full view of the activities and applications that fall under their purview, they can’t properly share responsibility with development teams without overwhelming them. A long list of unprioritized vulnerabilities is difficult — if not impossible — for developers to remediate, leaving security gaps and increasing risk. This reality also throws a wrench in DevSecOps initiatives, slowing development lifecycles and raising costs. On the flip side, IBM estimates that organizations with high DevSecOps adoption save an average of $1.68 million compared to businesses with low or no adoption. 

Existing solutions lack org-level controls and safeguards

The unprecedented amount of security alerts and unprioritized noise is a recent challenge for most teams — thanks to emerging technologies like AI, fast-paced software supply chain practices, and growing development tech stacks. Because dealing with such a massive list of security issues is a relatively new challenge, many of today’s current approaches lack important context and visibility. 

Legacy application security solutions often have low developer adoption rates because they are difficult to use and require developers to switch contexts too frequently. Many of them are also unable to provide comprehensive application and business context. 

While some organizations set up homegrown solutions to compile and prioritize their security alerts, the do-it-yourself approach leads to a high total cost of ownership and still lacks complete visibility into application environments.

Why ASPM is the answer 

Application security posture management (ASPM) provides a new approach to prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities in context. It offers a centralized dashboard that provides visibility into application assets and their relationships, as well as which security controls are running where and how they align with organizational policies.

ASPM prioritizes risk based on context derived from a broad understanding of the application, deep insights into the business environment, and runtime intelligence from the deployed in-production application.

It also responds to the unique needs of several teams across the enterprise:

  • Application security leaders must create and manage AppSec programs at scale. They must also collect metrics that prove their security investments are effective. AppSec leaders also aim to partner with development teams to ensure applications are built securely without compromising velocity. ASPM addresses these needs by providing consolidated reports and offering prioritized alerts to development teams, focusing on the fixes that matter most. 

  • Development teams must continue developing with velocity and need resources that enable them to fix issues as efficiently as possible. ASPM gives them the support they need by laser-focusing on the security issues that matter most and providing guidance on remediating vulnerabilities in context. 

  • Business leaders, like CISOs, want greater visibility into application security risk as part of their overall risk dashboard. ASPM answers these requirements by integrating and correlating the views of risk across applications and runtime. It also provides insights into controls throughout the software supply chain, minimizing security gaps.

Snyk + Accenture’s approach to ASPM

While many organizations might like the idea of ASPM, some emerging ASPM tools are challenging to implement and require numerous third-party integrations to become fully operational within an organization’s environment. Together, Snyk and Accenture answer these implementation challenges by providing security at scale with minimal business interruptions and context shifts. 

Snyk AppRisk, our ASPM offering, secures all developers’ code throughout the SDLC and provides fast, accurate, and actionable findings. We integrate directly into application developers’ native workflows by scanning code in existing supply chain management (SCM) software, developing features and fixes within the IDE, and offering 1-click remediation at pull requests. Platform developers can leverage AppRisk with automated building and testing directly in their native CI/CD pipeline and within deployed clouds and clusters. 

Accenture extends this security approach with cyber strategy offerings, such as documentation of ASPM program objectives and benefits, cross-functional communication and education strategies for scaling security initiatives, and feedback loops for piloting, optimizing, and refining application security programs. Accenture’s services also enable teams to operationalize and build runbooks that accelerate the onboarding of new applications and workflows onto an ASPM solution. 

Together, Snyk and Accenture offer organizations:

  • Faster deployment of security programs

  • More holistic security program design

  • Faster mean-time-to-resolution

  • Better risk reduction

  • Increased developer productivity 

To learn more about Snyk and Accenture’s approach to ASPM, download our whitepaper Why ASPM is the future of AppSec today. 

We also invite you to register for the upcoming Snyk and Accenture webinar “Empowering Developers, Automating Security: The Future of AppSec”, which will be held Thursday, June 27 at 1 PM EDT. Rich Bukowczyk, Managing Director at Accenture, who leads application security for North America, will join Snyk’s Chris Suen, Senior Director of Product Management, to share how Snyk and Accenture are helping mutual clients adopting ASPM to govern and optimize their AppSec programs and deliver a true business transformation — one that involves all the key aspects of people, process, and technology.

Snyk is a developer security platform. Integrating directly into development tools, workflows, and automation pipelines, Snyk makes it easy for teams to find, prioritize, and fix security vulnerabilities in code, dependencies, containers, and infrastructure as code. Supported by industry-leading application and security intelligence, Snyk puts security expertise in any developer’s toolkit.

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