Application Security Orchestration and Correlation (ASOC) – The future of AppSec solutions

Managing Application Security (AppSec) usually involves using a wide variety of tools that cater to specific situations. AppSec teams usually use tools like SAST, DAST, and IAST to discover and address vulnerabilities affecting the source code, or the application interface. Application Security Orchestration and Correlation (ASOC) solutions gather and correlate the data from these disparate sources and help security teams with insights, prioritization, and remedies. 

Application development and cyber security has evolved at a rapid pace over the past few years, hence why there are such a large number of tools available on the market today. Yet unfortunately, there aren’t many comprehensive solutions for managing application security. In order to speed up the time taken to release an app to market, cyber security is often neglected during the development phase. However, as vulnerabilities continue to surface, teams are forced into damage control mode, where they’ve had to address countless vulnerabilities on the fly. This is why tools such as SAST solutions, management solutions, and ticketing solutions exist; to address specific cyber security-related issues. The current solutions in the market are product-driven management interfaces that are built purely to focus on functional areas.

As the industry has begun to acknowledge the critical importance of cyber security at every step, whether at development, testing or maintenance, there is a need for sophisticated and integrated solutions. This is one of the reasons Application Security Orchestration and Correlation (ASOC) is becoming popular.

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Fixing the disarray of AppSec solutions with ASOC

Let us take a look at some of the most prevalent security testing methods in the industry and how ASOC can help:

  • Static Analysis Security Testing (SAST) – SAST is targeted toward reviewing and identifying vulnerabilities from source code. E.g.: SonarQube, Fortify on demand, Checkmarx     
  • Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) – DAST analyses vulnerabilities in the front-end of applications from the outside in E.g.: Burp Suite
  • Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST)  In IAST, organizations can identify security risks in a running web application based on its performance.

For organizations working on a large number of applications, with a large number of teams, it’s often a hassle to understand data from disparate sources. Specific tools usually only offer insights on select aspects which may keep a manager happy but don’t necessarily give a complete overview of risk at an organizational level. With such specific tools targeting particular vulnerabilities, management teams will often find it challenging to prioritize bugs and vulnerability fixes. As application development teams evolve, they typically move towards DevOps & DevSecOps. Solutions such as ASOC cater specifically towards agile product development methodologies. This is where ASOC stands out from the crowd

Application security orchestration and correlation (ASOC) solutions absorb data from various AppSec sources (SAST, DAST, IAST, etc.), integrating them into one platform where bug prioritization and actionable items are visible to all teams.

ASOC is the essential partner to CISOs

ASOC is the ideal solution to streamline AppSec for large enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as it provides visibility across all projects.  For CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers), ASOC is a goldmine of security-related information that provides an overview of the risks facing the organization. Through ASOC, a wealth of information and granular details with various filters are at the CISOs disposal. There is visibility across the entire application security portfolio of different apps. The CISO is able to identify them and proactively drive security practices internally as well as represent security concerns to the organization. 

The benefits of ASOC

  • Improved resource allocation – ASOC solutions’ ability to accurately eliminate false positives will mean your teams can focus on specific activities. While scanners pick up vulnerabilities on the basis of patterns incorporated with the engine, you will need to manually understand the business and application to see if the scanners are accurate. If they’re not accurate, you’ll be forced to employ the team’s manual expertise to eliminate them. The ASOC solution is capable of identifying the false positives which reduce the burden on teams, enabling your organisations resources to be allocated more efficiently elsewhere.
  • Centralized vulnerability management – ASOC integrates the data from several tools into one. This provides a unified view of vulnerabilities for DevOps teams to manage effectively. 
  • Better understanding of risk – ASOC provides an initial prioritization of vulnerabilities requiring action. CISOs would previously have had to go through these vulnerabilities manually before informing the respective security heads of any high-priority bugs that required attention. ASOC provides visibility across the entire application security portfolio. It also lets users integrate within the agile development methodology of the industry more naturally. 
  • Automated Scanning & Automated AppSec process – ASOC is invaluable to DevOps and DevSecOps teams as it represents a continuous and automated process of identifying and managing actions to address vulnerabilities.
  • Continuous integration and continuous development and deployment (CI/CD) – CI/CD is the process of dynamically pushing incremental and reliable code changes through automation. False positives become an even bigger issue in this instance when security flags are raised and there are high and critical abilities sitting in DevOps prior to production. ASOC can help CI/CD in improving automation by reducing false positives, identifying vulnerabilities, and prioritizing activities.

Entersoft’s VMS (Vulnerability Management System)

EnProbe VMS (Vulnerability Management System) is Entersoft’s secure, cloud-based platform for AppSec that functions as an ASOC. EnProbe VMS has a unified dashboard that keeps track of vulnerabilities and their status, along with the actions required by various team members. The intuitive platform gives companies a 360-degree view of vulnerabilities reported across different projects. These are then broadcast to all stakeholders – developers, programmers, leadership, and compliance teams. The dashboard includes vulnerabilities identified, categorization by severity and impact, notification of critical priority issues, and supporting technical material. The VMS tool is backed by a team of experts, who understand the application and organization’s context. This hybrid approach has experts perform remedial actions, prioritizing and interacting with customers directly from the VMS app.  

Entersoft is working on bringing its own ASOC solution to the market in the near future. The VMS roadmap focuses on facilitating deployment internally and streamlining integrations with other enterprise-level security solutions.

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