Application security (appsec) refers to technology, tools, and processes intended to protect applications—including web applications, cloud applications, and SaaS apps—from internal and external threats. Because web applications often contain sensitive data and are available over multiple networks, web application security has become a key part of cybersecurity strategy. Web application security solutions can include hardware like an encrypted router, software like security analytics, and app delivery tools like an application delivery controller with an integrated web application firewall and runtime features to protect APIs.
Cloud application security is solutions and practices to protect data exchange inside collaborative cloud environments such as Slack, MS Office 365, and Sharefile. Common cloud application security measures include application security testing and secure web gateways to protect branch users. Because of the increasing popularity of cloud and SaaS apps, IoT devices and hosting applications in the cloud, cloud application security is an important part of any application security solution.
Another important element is cloud application security architecture. As enterprise technology infrastructure continues to evolve toward hybrid cloud deployments and multi-cloud environments, it is important for enterprises to have a holistic view of how their cloud application security is configured. This is known as cloud application security architecture. By assessing their cloud application security in context of cloud connections like enterprise data center deployments, application gateways, cloud services, and identity verification systems, enterprises can design a cloud application security architecture that protects sensitive data inside cloud apps.
43 percent of breaches include attacks on web applications1. In addition, as enterprises rely more on cloud services, it is likely bad actors will increase attacks on cloud apps, apps hosted from a cloud infrastructure, and other cloud resources. Most cloud application security breaches are motivated by a desire for money, often by obtaining and ransoming sensitive data and private information, or by gaining unauthorized access to and control of a website or web server. To mitigate security risks, enterprises need software security solutions that cover their entire app infrastructure, including cloud applications, mobile applications, and SaaS apps.
83 percent of applications have security flaws, with 1 in 5 applications having at least one high severity flaw2. This in mind, the best web application security is multi-layered to protect web and cloud applications from multiple attack vectors. There are many application security tools, which can be divided into security at the development level and security at the IT level.
Application security at the development level
Securing applications begins with the software development lifecycle by creating source code using secure development practices (This is related to DevSecOps.). Secure coding requires an awareness of common threats to web applications, such as sql injection, DDoS, malware, denial of service, and broken authentication. The OWASP Top 103 is a popular list of web application security threats that developers should address in their source code. Because software updates can create new application vulnerabilities, it’s important for developers to use application security testing to find flaws over the lifespan of an application. This is especially true of open-source applications because it’s easier for bad actors to find vulnerabilities.
Gartner says that IT managers need to protect against common attack methods rather than only identifying application development security errors4. This is especially true when organizations rely on web applications that they have not built themselves. Software security requires a defense that can block both known attacks with identifiable histories and characteristics as well as unknown attacks, which are often detected because they look different from the normal traffic to an organization’s websites and web services.
Learn how Citrix Application Security can help maintain a consistent security posture.
By simplifying the process of protecting your ecosystem of apps and APIs, Citrix application security empowers IT with holistic visibility to stop threats before they before breaches.
Because large organizations rely on an average of 129 different applications5, getting started with application security can seem like a big challenge. Nevertheless, every organization can begin to improve its application infrastructure security by following these application security best practices: