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Techniques for Increasing Application Security Before Production Deployment




In today's era of Digital Transformation, where various applications facilitate numerous online transactions, the importance of application security cannot be overstated. The prevalence of online activities, such as travel and shopping, exposes individuals to potential cyber threats and data breaches. A significant event that underscored the criticality of application security was the Log4j vulnerability, also known as Log4shell, causing global upheaval. Organizations worldwide had to swiftly address software vulnerabilities to mitigate potential risks. This highlights why ensuring security in applications is paramount.

 

Let's delve into techniques for enhancing application security:

 

Static Application Security Testing (SAST):

SAST is a tool for inspecting vulnerabilities in the source code without the need for code execution. This means potential vulnerabilities can be identified before deploying the code.

 

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST):

DAST involves checking vulnerabilities that may arise externally after the code is executed. It assesses whether applications are susceptible to hacking or external attacks post-deployment.

 

Software Composition Analysis (SCA):

SCA scrutinizes the libraries utilized by developers. Since most applications borrow libraries from others, it is crucial to examine whether these libraries have vulnerabilities. SCA also ensures compatibility with legal requirements.

 

Secret and Token Inspection:

This involves scrutinizing the code for explicit declaration of variables such as tokens or passwords. Developers may inadvertently expose sensitive information in the code, emphasizing the need for thorough security awareness.

Implementing these four techniques - SAST, DAST, SCA, and Secret/Token Inspection - significantly enhances the security posture of applications. Various tools available in the market can execute these techniques effectively.

 

One such tool is GuardRails, designed to identify vulnerabilities in the source code. GuardRails operates on the concept that developers, being code authors, should take responsibility for security. After developers commit the code to the repository, GuardRails scans for vulnerabilities, aligning with the concept of developer accountability.

 

GuardRails also contributes to the speed of the software development life cycle, allowing for faster software development. Instead of waiting for security teams to conduct scans or pentests, developers can address vulnerabilities promptly, expediting the application's go-live process.

 

Another notable feature of GuardRails is its capability to perform Infrastructure as Code (IaC) checks. It assesses YAML or manifest files, crucial in environments where Kubernetes and Openshift are prevalent. This proactive approach ensures that configuration files are secure before deployment.

 

In conclusion, understanding and implementing security measures are crucial for applications before they go into production. With tools like GuardRails, organizations can bolster their security defenses and streamline the development process.

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