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Why Building a Modern AppSec Program is Vital for Digital Business

Here’s why building a modern AppSec strategy is essential as we increasingly depend on apps.
Here’s why building a modern AppSec strategy is essential as we increasingly depend on apps.

This is the first of a six-part blog series that highlights findings from a new Mend white paper, Five Principles of Modern Application Security Programs. Be sure to look out for our upcoming blogs on each of the five principles.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digitalization plans for global organizations by three years, while the adoption rate for digitized products and services increased by seven years. Moreover, 60 percent of companies say they’re continuing to increase investments in digital transformation

At the heart of all of those technological changes are applications, which enable companies to make IT more efficient and uncomplicated, improve business agility, control and capitalize on unstructured data, and gain a competitive edge. In fact, companies now have an average of 976 discrete applications, an increase of more than 13 percent over the past year. Unfortunately, many companies have not created modern application security programs and strategies that can support these changes. 

That’s bad news, because increased dependence upon apps also increases the risk of a cyberattack, and 63 percent of IT and security leaders say it’s difficult to monitor, detect, and prevent attacks at the application level. Likewise, 71 percent say their portfolio of applications has become more vulnerable to attack in the past year.

The result is that threat actors have ramped up their attacks on applications. In 2021, organizations experienced an average of 270 attacks, and 51 percent of organizations experienced a data breach

This rapid movement to a digital world only ratchets up demand for faster software development, leaving application security teams in a bind. Just as application security has become both more important and more complex to implement, shrinking development cycles leave less time to do so. 

How do companies reconcile the need for speed in software innovation with the equally pressing need for effective application security? Organizations need to better understand the challenges they face in building applications—things like increased attacks on open-source software and the software supply chain; lack of IT and security staff experience and proficiency; difficulty keeping up with updates and patches; increased software complexity; and compliance issues, just to name a few issues.

Building a modern application security program that can support demanding development cycles without eroding security starts with several key tenets, outlined in a new Mend white paper: Five Principles of Modern Application Security Programs. The paper explains how holistic and modern AppSec programs that move beyond checking compliance boxes rely on meticulous prep and planning, shifting left intelligently, automation, governance, and fostering a culture of DevSecOps. 

IT and security teams that want to ensure their organizations have a modern application security program for today’s application-driven world plan should download a copy today.

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