Explaining Vulnerability Assessment – How To Evaluate The Security of Applications: Intro
As technology advances, the process of conducting a proper vulnerability assessment has become more complex. Namely, a vulnerability assessment is defined as a method used to identify, quantify, and qualify all of the vulnerabilities in an information system. As you can already guess, the goal of a vulnerability assessment is to provide organizations and developers with all of the necessary information needed to determine where their systems are most vulnerable and how to mitigate those vulnerabilities.
Regarding this, one of the most significant changes in recent years has been the move to cloud-based applications. With it, this shift has brought a number of new challenges for those responsible for ensuring the security of these applications. One of the most significant challenges is that, in some cases, old vulnerability assessment techniques are not good enough to assess the security of cloud-based applications, which is why companies like oxeye.io that have a more modern approach get into the picture.
Also read: Application Security: SAST vs. DAST vs. SCA
How Do We Find & Analyze Vulnerabilities In An App?
There are countless ways to find and analyze the vulnerabilities in an application. These can be broadly grouped into two main categories:
Static analysis is a process that involves analyzing the code of an application without actually running it. This can be done manually or using automated tools, though automated solutions have been gaining a lot of traction lately. The advantage of static analysis is that it can be conducted without the need for any special hardware or setup. On the other hand, the downside is that it can be difficult to accurately identify all of the runtime vulnerabilities in an application using this approach.
Dynamic analysis, on the other hand, involves actually running the application and observing its behavior. This can be done together with tools that simulate attacks or by actually executing real attacks. The advantage of dynamic analysis is that it can provide a more accurate picture of an application’s vulnerabilities. But unfortunately, it has its downsides too – it can be pretty time-consuming, and it usually requires special hardware or setup.
In general, a combination of both static and dynamic analysis will provide the best results for most cloud-based applications. However, in some cases, one approach may yield better results than the other.
Why Is Vulnerability Assessment Important In Apps With Microservices?
With the increasing popularity of apps with microservices, it is essential to consider the security implications of this architecture. One of the key benefits of microservices is that they allow for a more modular & scalable approach to app development, which can make it significantly easier to update and deploy applications. However, this same benefit can also introduce new security risks.
For example, if an application is composed of many small services, and each one has its own security profile, the overall security profile of the application is significantly reduced. In addition, the use of microservices could make it more challenging to conduct a comprehensive vulnerability assessment. This is because each service will need to be assessed individually, which can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.
What Should Be Included In A Vulnerability Assessment
The scope of a vulnerability assessment will vary depending on the specific application being assessed. However, there are some common elements that should be included in most assessments:
- Identification of all potential vulnerabilities of the microservices
- Classification of each vulnerability according to its severity
- Recommendations for mitigating or eliminating each one of the identified vulnerabilities
- A comprehensive report detailing the findings of the assessment
As you can see, a proper vulnerability assessment can be quite complex. However, it is an essential part of ensuring the security of any cloud-based application. Without it, organizations and developers would have no way of knowing where their systems are most vulnerable and how to mitigate those vulnerabilities. Therefore, to ensure the highest possible level of security in a cloud-based application, it is crucial to make sure that you have a comprehensive vulnerability assessment process in place.
Why You Should Use Application Security Testing
You can already see why application security testing can be beneficial. It can help to identify vulnerabilities in applications before they are deployed, which can reduce the risk of data breaches and other attacks. There are a number of benefits to using application security testing, including:
- Reduced risk of data breaches and similar attacks: By identifying vulnerabilities in applications before they are deployed, application security testing can help to reduce the risk of data breaches and other attacks.
- Improved overall security: Application security testing can help to improve the overall security profile of an organization’s applications.
- Cost savings: By identifying vulnerabilities early in the development process, application security testing can help to save money by avoiding the need to fix issues later on. An ounce of prevention is worth a lot more than a pound of cure.
- Improved developer productivity: Application security testing can help to improve developer productivity by providing feedback on potential security issues.
Vulnerability assessment is a critical part of any security program, and it’s even more important in apps with microservices. It can help to identify vulnerabilities in applications before they are deployed, which can reduce the risk of data breaches and similar attacks.
Application security testing is one of the best ways to go about vulnerability assessment to better understand the health and the security profile of applications. By itself, it can help to identify vulnerabilities in applications before they are deployed, which can drastically reduce the risk of most types of attacks.