Over the past decade, applications have become an integral part of simplifying our day-to-day lives. However, due to the drastic increase in their use, hackers have seen an amazing opportunity to capitalize on apps causing security to be overlooked. In fact, certain statistics and trends show a drastic rise in cyber attacks targeting apps in 2020 and 2021, indicating that hackers are always looking for novel ways to victimize users.
Apps can have several flaws, which is why numerous possible exploits exist. These include stealing login information, SQL injection attacks, and malware. Still, a majority of attacks are preventable, thanks to modern security tests like static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and interactive application security testing (IAST).
Now, with the basics out of the way, let’s dive deeper into the importance of application security.
Why Do We Need Application Security?
Simply put, application security is the process of protecting apps from potentially malicious activities. The concept includes safeguarding against malware attacks, unauthorized access, and data theft.
In other words, application security protects apps from compromise and external threats. It prevents hackers from accessing sensitive data and ensures they remain usable and secure. As such, it is essential to secure an app that handles sensitive information or interacts with other apps. The benefits of robust application security are discussed below.
Better Reputation and Brand Image
Application security has become increasingly important. Using unsecured apps can result in loss of customer trust and reputational damage. In fact, suffering a catastrophic data breach or a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, for example, will not only scare away your current clients and users, it will also stain your brand’s reputation for years to come. As such, it is essential to ensure your product is as secure as possible so you can maintain a good brand image.
Improved User Experience
Application security plays a significant role in indirectly improving user experience. Robust application security ensures the product is reliable and secure, meaning users can use it confidently. A high level of security also means the app is easy to use and has no bugs or glitches that worsen end-user experience.
Increased Trust from Potential Investors
A secure application is essential for any business looking to raise funds. Potential investors need to be confident that their investments are safe and the product is secure. As such, businesses building apps should invest in comprehensive application security testing to ensure they can gain the trust of potential investors.
What Are the Different Types of Application Security Testing?
Now that we’ve established why application security is essential, the next step is understanding how to implement it. That is where the three main types of application security testing—SAST, DAST, and IAST—come in.
SAST is a type of security assessment that looks for potential vulnerabilities within the code. It is a white-box approach, which means it tests the application’s source code rather than its behavior and output. Thus, SAST is best used in the development phase when developers are still actively making changes to the code.
DAST is the opposite of SAST. As such, it examines how the application behaves while in use. This type of security assessment looks for potential vulnerabilities that are not found through static testing. Examples include authentication issues or improper authorization. DAST can be performed both in the development and production phases.
IAST combines both static and dynamic testing to provide a comprehensive view of an application’s security posture. IAST looks for vulnerabilities that may not be detectable through either SAST or DAST alone, such as session hijacking or command injection.
Application security testing is essential for any application that handles sensitive data or interacts with other apps. It ensures the product is secure and reliable and provides numerous benefits like better user experience and improved brand image.
To ensure that, you’ll need to implement the different types of robust security testing—SAST, DAST, and IAST. Each test has its own advantages and disadvantages. By taking the time to understand these kinds of security testing, businesses can find the one that’s best for them, ensuring their apps are secure and protected.