Enterprise Application Security

Securing applications at enterprise scale

0 minutes de lecture

In today's digital age, enterprises increasingly rely on software applications to streamline operations and gain a competitive edge. However, with the proliferation of cyber threats and security vulnerabilities, ensuring the security of these applications has become a significant concern for businesses worldwide.

Increased reliance on complex applications to manage operations requires securing these applications from potential threats. Enterprise application security is how organizations safeguard applications from security threats, data breaches, and other vulnerabilities.

Keep reading to discover:

What is enterprise application security?

Enterprise application security refers to the measures and processes implemented to protect enterprise applications from potential malicious actions and attacks. 

These applications include any software or system an organization uses to support its business processes, such as supply chain management systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. 

Successful enterprise application security involves identifying potential vulnerabilities and implementing strategies to mitigate the risks associated with them. For example, implementing access controls, monitoring user activity, deploying firewalls, encryption, and testing applications for potential weaknesses.

The objective of enterprise application security is to protect enterprise applications against security breaches, data loss, and unauthorized access, which could lead to financial losses, legal liabilities, and reputational damage for an organization.

Enterprise application security vs. traditional application security (AppSec)

Enterprise and traditional application security (AppSec) are essential for protecting applications from potential security threats and attacks. However, there are significant differences between the two.

First, the architecture of enterprise applications is more complex, with more moving parts and interconnected systems, making it more challenging to secure. Enterprise AppSec also requires higher security and compliance governance, issue prioritization, and scaling security to an enterprise level.

Traditional AppSec focuses on individual applications and involves code analysis, penetration testing, and vulnerability scanning techniques. This approach effectively identifies and addresses specific security issues within an application. 

In contrast, enterprise application security takes a broader approach by focusing on securing an organization's entire application portfolio. This includes individual applications and the platforms, frameworks, and infrastructure on which they run

Another critical difference is that traditional AppSec is typically reactive, focusing on identifying and addressing vulnerabilities after an incident. In contrast, enterprise application security takes a proactive approach and tries to prevent security incidents before they occur through a combination of shifting-left, prioritizing vulnerability management and remediation based on risk, and DevSecOps.

Traditional AppSec alone is insufficient for protecting an organization's entire application portfolio. Enterprise application security provides a more comprehensive approach to securing applications and can help organizations reduce their overall risk profile.

5 enterprise AppSec challenges

Enterprise application security poses several challenges, including project organization, security and compliance governance, issue prioritization, and scaling security to an enterprise (global) level.

  1. Protecting the entire lifecycle: Enterprise applications are usually complex and require significant resources to build, test, and deploy. Therefore, it is crucial to have a project plan that includes security requirements, testing, and deployment to ensure that security risks are adequately managed and that the application is secure throughout its lifecycle.

  2. Security and compliance governance: Enterprise applications often need to comply with multiple regulatory and compliance requirements, which demands a robust governance framework. 

  3. Issue prioritization: With enterprise applications, there is potential for many security issues to pop up at any given time. These issues must be prioritized based on their severity, impact, and likelihood of occurrence. Prioritizing issues is challenging, as different stakeholders have different priorities. Effective issue prioritization requires a risk-based approach, where issues are ranked based on the potential impact on the organization and its customers.

  4. Scaling security to an enterprise level: As enterprise applications grow in complexity and scale, it becomes more challenging to manage security risks effectively. Scaling security requires a holistic approach encompassing people, processes, and technology. 

Enterprise application security is complex and requires a broad approach. By addressing these challenges, as well as traditional AppSec challenges such as tool quality and developer adoption, organizations can lower their risks of security breaches and ensure that their enterprise applications are secure and compliant with regulatory requirements.

6 enterprise application security best practices

We already gave you 15 application security best practices — now, we have six enterprise application security best practices for your consideration. Following these best practices will help organizations reduce the risk of application vulnerabilities and improve the overall security of enterprise applications.

  1. Conduct application risk profiling: Conduct a thorough risk assessment of all applications to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities and risks that need addressing.

  2. Provide developer security education: Educate developers and encourage them to implement security best practices in every phase of the SDLC, from design to development and deployment.

  3. Establish a Security Champions program: Establish a group of security champions within the development team to promote and drive security awareness and best practices. This group can also be a liaison between the security team and developers.

  4. Drive developer adoption of security tooling: Integrate security tooling into the development workflow to help automate security testing and ensure that security is built into the application from the start.

  5. Embrace DevSecOps: Adopt DevSecOps principles to integrate security into the development process, from planning to deployment. This means involving the security team early in the process and treating security as a shared responsibility between development, operations, and security teams.

  6. Establish AppSec policies: Establish and enforce policies for secure coding, deployment, and configuration of applications. This can include requirements for encryption, authentication, access controls, and secure coding practices.

4 enterprise AppSec tools and technology examples

Enterprise application security tools are essential in protecting sensitive information and preventing security breaches. Enterprise application security should include a combination of tools and solutions concurrent with a strong focus on education and best practices for secure coding and application design.

  1. SAST (static application security testing): Static application tools analyze the source code and identify potential security vulnerabilities. It can detect issues like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflows.

  2. SCA (software composition analysis): SCA tools identify vulnerabilities in third-party or open-source components used in the application. These tools help organizations ensure their software is not vulnerable to known exploits and vulnerabilities in third-party libraries.

  3. DAST (dynamic application security testing): DAST tools evaluate the application's running code and simulate attacks to identify vulnerabilities. It can detect injection flaws, authentication and authorization problems, and session management issues.

  4. ASPM (application security posture management): ASPM tools bring together data from different application security tools to provide additional visibility and context about the vulnerabilities found in other tools, enabling risk based prioritization and remediation.

2 enterprise application security use cases

With increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, implementing robust security measures in enterprise applications has become crucial to safeguard sensitive data and ensure business continuity. 

Use case 1: Security for the whole application development process

Natera is revolutionizing healthcare with cell-free DNA testing and proactive treatments for patients worldwide. While the company's testing has made great strides in healthcare, its application security visibility and automation were vulnerable.

The Problem:

Some challenges Natera faced were open source vulnerabilities causing a manual security bottleneck. Natera sought new security practices to automate application security and quality assurance in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

The Solution:

  1. Snyk Code, a SAST solution, to detect vulnerabilities as early as possible in the workflow. 

  2. Snyk's plugin with JetBrains IntelliJ IDE for seamless security integration into engineering workflows. 

  3. Snyk Container to empower developers to fix vulnerabilities immediately.

 Charlotte Townsley, Natera's Director of Security Engineering, shares, "I want everybody to see security as their partner and something that enables them...And having something early in the lifecycle truly does that. So we start with the IDE implementation and integrate with the repositories. This helps us understand the context around security vulnerabilities in our dependencies, helping us make informed decisions."

Today, with Snyk, Natera is code-compliant, has improved software quality, and gained complete visibility into its infrastructure.

Read the complete customer spotlight for more about Natera + Snyk.

Use case 2: Simplifying and improving AppSec practices

Australia Post is the largest transportation logistics organization in Australia. Australia Post is responsible for providing postal services to over 12.4 million delivery points nationwide. The company also offers identity verification for banking and firearm applications and many other services. 

The Problem:

With over 200 developers and a large code base, Australia Post needed greater visibility into potential code vulnerabilities.

The Solution:

The company implemented Snyk Open Source for the contextual information developers need to remediate vulnerabilities. The simplicity of the tool, and its seamless integration, made it easy for the development teams to adopt and helped increase scanning coverage, reducing new and existing vulnerabilities. 

The security team also worked directly with the development teams to integrate security into their workflows. The success metrics are the reduction of new vulnerabilities and trends over time, as well as the engagement of the development teams. 

Evan Taylor, Australian Post's Cyber defense Manager shares that "the less impact we can have on a developer's workflow, the better, so the seamless integration aspect of Snyk was very important to us...The consumable data Snyk provides…helps us turn the dial and uplift our security maturity."

Today, Australia Post has achieved an 84% reduction in critical vulnerabilities being merged from development into test over the past six months. And after the success of implementing security scanning for open source dependencies and containers, the company is now focused on rolling out Snyk Code and assessing Snyk Infrastructure as Code to achieve comprehensive security for the modern application technology stack.

Read the complete customer spotlight for more about Australia Post + Snyk.

How Snyk can help with enterprise application security

Snyk is a comprehensive security platform for developers. Snyk integrates with various development tools, including IDEs, CI/CD pipelines, and version control systems, to provide a seamless security experience for devs.

With Snyk solutions, developers can identify and remediate security issues as early as possible in the development process, reducing the risk of application vulnerabilities even at the enterprise level. Snyk offers a range of security solutions that can help you build secure applications, including:

Discover more about Snyk’s AppSec solutions, or book a live demo to see Snyk in action!

Prochain de la série

Enterprise Cloud Security: Secure cloud deployments at scale

In the face of many threats, enterprises must take a comprehensive approach to cyber security to protect sensitive data and infrastructure in the cloud.

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Snyk est une plateforme de sécurité des développeurs. S’intégrant directement aux outils, workflows et pipelines de développement, Snyk facilite la détection, la priorisation et la correction des failles de sécurité dans le code, les dépendances, les conteneurs et l’infrastructure en tant que code (IaC). Soutenu par une intelligence applicative et sécuritaire de pointe, Snyk intègre l'expertise de la sécurité au sein des outils de chaque développeur.

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