Building a solid foundation | Professional security

What can toy building block developers learn in the modern age of application development? asks Maty Siman, Check-marx founder and CTO.

Software development has evolved beyond recognition over the past few years. Due to the transformation and changing market demands and increased user experience requirements, companies have been forced to create and adopt more innovative solutions, adapt their web development processes and applications and focus more on software security.

As part of these developments and the changing world we live in, the role of software developers is also changing. While developers 10 or 15 years ago wrote all their own code, now they don’t have to. Instead, they take tools and resources from different places and use them as a foundation, allowing them to focus less on building software, and more on innovation, user experience, and business case. unique sales that will make their apps stand out. It’s the new era of modern app development.

One way to summarize this is to use Lego bricks as a proxy. Modern app development, when broken down, isn’t much different from using toy blocks to build a bridge. For example, to build a safe bridge, it is not enough to focus on each brick individually to determine if the bridge is strong enough. The builder must understand the big picture, or “the architecture”.

Moving away from writing their own code, developers need to combine different elements with the architecture, which includes examining the entire infrastructure to see how stable the design really is. Here we are talking about the basis of modern application development.

With coding, as with building blocks, it’s important for developers to get the big picture. Developers now want to create flexible applications by simply putting components together. This is a positive change that has allowed developers to focus on what matters most, business logic. At the same time, however, this raises security concerns, especially when it comes to the links between components.

Developers are constantly presented with new and complex security challenges. An application violation can be devastating not only for the end user, but for the entire organization as well. As the “snap-on” model of modern application development continues to gain in popularity, what security risks organizations need to consider when “legalizing” modern application development?

When building a metaphorical Lego bridge in the world of application security, developers need to consider where components relate and how they work together to keep the applications they build secure. Modern application security focuses on two steps: making sure the building blocks are secure, and then making sure the architecture is secure. Without it, we open the applications we develop to attackers.

We have seen a proliferation of supply chain attacks over the past year, including large-scale and high-profile attacks, such as Kaseya and Colonial Pipeline, targeting large companies along various business chains. ‘supply. Hackers realized that it was easier to attack one component rather than the entire stack. It might sound obvious, but if we apply this to our bridge, it is easier to attack a crack in the bridge, rather than the entire bridge itself, and the same goes for applications. For example, rather than attacking an organization head-on, hackers instead find a vulnerable component to attack.

Mitigate

Traditionally, developers have viewed security as the problem of an organization’s IT team. But, in recent years, there has been a change in mentality and developers are realizing that the security issue affects them as well. In order to help developers prevent a “legalized” attack, organizations need to encourage them to take a more holistic, unified, and effective approach to risk management.

Developers need access to the right tools to examine the overall architecture of how the code they use integrates. This means no longer using the best solutions or codes if they don’t work together in a unified way. There is now a real need to be able to scan all the bricks and links and have different engines correlate with each other.

The developers cannot be expected to know the tricks for beating criminals because they move too fast. However, they must be able to automate detection and mitigate security risks. To help them with this task, they need to use a supply chain engine that can keep up with all the components and infrastructure, but also one that will not affect or slow down their work.

Put training on the agenda

Another important requirement is training. Despite the complexity they now face, security training for developers is still considered a low priority for businesses in many cases. And that’s where the problem lies: Developers are hungry for knowledge about writing secure code by design, but lack the support, skills, or guidance needed to execute it. This lack of knowledge prevents them from delivering the safest products to organizations, resulting in completely preventable risks.

Organizations should have measures in place to ensure developers receive the appropriate application security training, but not traditional compliance sessions. Rather, organizations should prioritize a small, interactive style of training that excites and is suited to developers reshaping software development.

Innovation in the tech sector in particular is not slowing down, and developers will need to keep pace with this rate of change if they are serious about creating solutions that enable organizations to digitally transform for the better. While it is an exciting time to be a software developer, organizations need to make sure that they empower their development teams to build secure applications. Only by implementing the aforementioned solutions can companies ensure that they are evolving modern application security in tandem.


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