ASRTM Helps Businesses Turn Security Policies into Actionable Procedures

November 28, 2017

 

Within a DevOps context, there is a governance gap between the business, security teams, and compliance teams. In this context, governance should entail establishing the right actors and roles, creating the right process among these actors and roles, and enforcing the right controls and escalations in this process. Many organizations rely on IT for bimodal execution that enables Agile/DevOps and Waterfall/Legacy methodologies to manage a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) and custom software portfolio. However, there is often little collaboration between security and compliance teams in this process, which makes governance extremely difficult.

As sophisticated attackers continue to leverage the security gaps of organizations that are too large and moving too quickly to outpace threats, these organizations can leverage Application Security Requirements and Threat Management (ASRTM) platforms to meet business needs efficiently without sacrificing their security. These platforms provide a security context throughout the SDLC and enable businesses to govern Agile and DevOps alongside traditional Waterfall software development.

ASRTM bridges the governance gap

ASRTM solutions service diverse security, risk, and compliance use cases at a program level, and automate the definition of context-specific fine-grained controls. Moreover, ASRTM integrates with ALM and scanner tools to conform to existing processes rather than disrupt them.

Many organizations rely on security tools such as scanners to automate security controls, but lack clear scalable solutions for controls that scanners cannot automate. In the application security use case, our investigations determine that 46% of application-level risks are not covered by Static Analysis Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Analysis Security Testing (DAST) scanners. Higher level controls such as process steps (“configure and run an open source scanning tool” or “run a penetration test”) and compliance controls such as those specified by GDPR simply cannot be automated.

Security teams may become less trustworthy when developers find too many false positives in their toolchain’s built-in scanning, and trust is key in ensuring that an organization has a positive cultural attitude toward security and cohesion. These tools end up reducing the findings they produce unless they are properly configured and customized. Further, organizations may expose themselves to more vulnerabilities with the CI/CD approach in DevOps if they do not adequately plan for potential security gaps in their toolchain and security expertise.

Security and compliance risks aren’t limited to an organization’s applications, but also to the third party software they use. Many organizations rely on third party software without ascribing to it the same stringent security measures as their in-house software. ASRTM evaluates an application’s environment and uses a library of security and compliance controls to highlight possible threats. This transfers the risk of third party software back to the software vendor.

Continuing to address gaps, ASRTM weaves together a number of solutions for developers in order to streamline risk management. This workflow focuses development on business goals and supports the security professionals who struggle to reach across organizational borders to implement software security and compliance throughout.

ASRTM manages security and compliance at the program level

ASRTM eases the struggle to disseminate security and risk programs to the many layers of a business by translating high-level policy to prescribed, measurable procedure. By creating actionable controls using frameworks, baselines, and guidelines, ASRTM builds in security and compliance from the beginning before threats become problems. Without a focus on risk management early in the SDLC, handling problems later on can lead to remediation costs that consume time and resources. A study from Forrester showed a 190% ROI by using ASRTM to build controls in from the start. Further, taking care of the threat assessment earlier also facilitates auditing and compliance.

In addition to outlining security controls, ASRTM builds privacy into software and maintains a snapshot of your compliance status for auditing purposes. Where a lack of compliance can lead to vulnerabilities and financial penalties, simplifying the reporting process negotiates the lack of expertise that exists in the industry to validate compliance. ASRTM addresses the evolving needs of security in today’s organizations where the heaviest burden is placed on simply identifying information security risks.

ASRTM solutions emerge as the piece that fills the spaces created when business, security, and compliance intersect. Threat management and compliance can help to reduce the impact of the shortfalls of addressing the increasingly sophisticated cyber security attacks many organizations face today. Ultimately, these risks disrupt the strategic benefits of Agile and DevOps, and put users at risk. ASRTM solutions respond to this problem without further disruption by fitting into your business’s ecosystem instead of defining it.

The DevOps disruption requires a cultural shift

Businesses are feeling the disruption that DevOps brings with it. As companies release faster and more frequently, consumers come to expect high quality software without vulnerabilities at the same pace. Unless security and development move at this pace together, security will fall behind the pressure to release, and organizations will find themselves faced with the challenge of working backwards to secure their processes. Now is the best time to embrace application security just as closely as DevOps — but this requires a company-wide cultural shift.

Companies need to shift how they integrate security into the workflow of their developers to ensure that it is carried throughout the entire process. For developers to ensure that security is being incorporated throughout their workflows, they also need to have security training.

However, providing security courses or finding enough security professionals for this task is often unfeasible. To offset the challenge of enforcing security education, ASRTM incorporates Just-in-Time training so developers can view eLearning modules as learning becomes necessary rather than being inundated by non-relevant information.

ASRTM solutions integrate security into the backlog of development as tickets, and provide Just-in-Time training to overcome this. In this way, developers can integrate security requirements into their processes without further disruption to their workflows. They can move forward while gaining relevant security knowledge along the way.

Develop applications faster while staying secure with ASRTM

Shifting security left in the SDLC is an excellent way to reduce threats at the project level, but the need to satisfy this requirement at the program level is paramount. Application security programs struggle to take off unless they can integrate smoothly with developers under immense time constraints, and security officers who can expand the program without resistance.

The integration and automation of security in ASRTM is innovating how organizations manage threats and leverage industry expertise. Businesses are moving forward with development faster than ever, but as reputations hinge on the next great cyber attack, many move forward only to accelerate into barriers.

 

 

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