Start Your Application Security Program Now
Application security is no longer a choice. Between increasing attacks and regulatory pressures, organizations must establish an effective capability for securing their applications. Given the staggering number of applications and lines of code already in production, many organizations are struggling to get a handle on the enormous volume of vulnerabilities.
OWASP recommends that organizations establish an application security program to gain insight and improve security across their application portfolio. Achieving application security requires many different parts of an organization to work together efficiently, including security and audit, software development, and business and executive management. It requires security to be visible, so that all the different players can see and understand the organization’s application security posture. It also requires focus on the activities and outcomes that actually help improve enterprise security by reducing risk in the most cost effective manner. Some of the key activities in effective application security programs include:
- Establish an application security program and drive adoption.
- Conduct a capability gap analysis comparing your organization to your peers to define key improvement areas and an execution plan.
- Gain management approval and establish an application security awareness campaign for the entire IT organization.
|Risk Based Portfolio Approach
- Identify and prioritize your application portfolio from an inherent risk perspective.
- Create an application risk profiling model to measure and prioritize the applications in your portfolio.
- Establish assurance guidelines to properly define coverage and level of rigor required.
- Establish a common risk rating model with a consistent set of likelihood and impact factors reflective of your organization's tolerance for risk.
|Enable with a Strong Foundation
- Establish a set of focused policies and standards that provide an application security baseline for all development teams to adhere to.
- Define a common set of reusable security controls that complement these policies and standards and provide design and development guidance on their use.
- Establish an application security training curriculum that is required and targeted to different development roles and topics.
|Integrate Security Into Existing Processes
- Define and integrate security implementation and verification activities into existing development and operational processes. Activities include Threat Modeling, Secure Design & Review, Secure Code & Review, Pen Testing, Remediation, etc.
- Provide subject matter experts and support services for development and project teams to be successful.
|Provide Management Visibility
- Manage with metrics. Drive improvement and funding decisions based on the metrics and analysis data captured. Metrics include adherence to security practices and activities, vulnerabilities introduced, vulnerabilities mitigated, application coverage, etc.
- Analyze data from the implementation and verification activities to look for root cause and vulnerability patterns to drive strategic and systemic improvements across the enterprise.
There are numerous additional OWASP resources available for your use. Please visit the OWASP Projects page, which lists all of the OWASP projects, organized by the release quality of the projects in question (Release Quality, Beta, or Alpha). Most OWASP resources are available on our wiki, and many OWASP documents can be ordered in hardcopy.
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