What Exactly Is Application Security Posture Management?

What is application security posture management?

For security leaders looking for a more modern approach to improve their application security posture and better manage enterprise risk, enter application security posture management, or ASPM.

“Application security posture management analyzes security signals across software development, deployment, and operation to improve visibility, better manage vulnerabilities, and enforce controls, according to Gartner, which is bullish on the technology.

ASPM tools are designed to automate application security processes. Some of the capabilities these tools offer include an application inventory, testing, and analysis of dependencies.

With ASPM, security and software engineering teams can integrate and orchestrate application security tools and controls, Gartner points out. This leads to enhanced visibility and control and enables them to measure and manage risk more efficiently.

The Traditional AppSec Approach is No Longer Feasible

In a traditional AppSec practice, standalone tools provide visibility into a single application layer. Applications are tested for security issues throughout the SLDC using a variety of security testing tools that are often not integrated.

This approach often results in testing that is fragmented, and instead of being able to resolve issues, instead, it leads to a plethora of other security issues including false positives, duplicates, and a lack of critical context.

Because of the vast number of alerts security tools trigger, developers sometimes ignore or decide to bypass the alerts and lists of vulnerabilities coming from AppSec tools and their security teams. The end result is an inability to enforce policies and a lack of trust between developers and security teams.

Additionally, traditional application security workflows tend to be siloed and primarily prioritized by how severe they are. This hinders the ability of teams to effectively identify and address critical security vulnerabilities in a timely and efficient manner.

Core Reasons to Deploy ASPM

In contrast, because ASPM provides automated monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, it is always enforcing organizational AppSec policies and controls.

ASPM is becoming increasingly important because:

  • Enterprise applications are growing significantly more complex, making it harder to gain visibility into their security posture
  • Various security tools have been deployed that spread responsibilities across teams—and they are often managed in silos, obscuring visibility and making it a challenge to manage and share the data they capture.
  • The ability to prioritize fixing vulnerabilities has become more difficult for DevSecOps teams because there are more now than ever and many require a holistic view.
  • The rapid pace of development exceeds the capabilities of traditional application security methods.

The three main business benefits ASPM provides are a stronger security posture, better application data privacy and compliance, and superior application architecture resilience. It lets teams identify and map software assets and their interdependencies. Further, they can drill down to individual assets, which also enables teams to draw correlations among security data for deeper insights.

With application complexity growing and so many applications now deployed in the cloud, holistic solutions are needed to bring end-to-end security visibility. It has never been more important to discover all your assets and gain this visibility throughout the entire development pipeline.

Learn more about ASPM in our free guide. Download it today.

About the author: Esther Shein is a longtime freelance tech and business writer and editor whose work has appeared in several publications, including CIO.com, TechRepublic, VentureBeat, ZDNet, TechTarget, The Boston Globe and Inc. She has also written thought leadership whitepapers, ebooks, case studies and marketing materials.

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