Creating A Developer First Security Approach

October 21, 2021

WRITTEN BY THE KIUWAN TEAM
Experienced developers, cyber-security experts, ALM consultants, DevOps gurus and some other dangerous species.
Creating Developer First Security Approach: Kiuwan

These days, 92% of organizations do business in the cloud and nearly half of all corporate data is stored in the cloud. Cloud-based business creates efficiencies and cost-savings, but may also prove an attractive target for threat actors.

Today’s remote workforce and mobile devices also provide more threat vectors than ever before. The rapid adoption of web and mobile apps has the potential to open the door to these threat actors. Developers need to slam these doors shut and secure them tightly using a developer first security approach. Security testing can no longer be something done after the code is produced. Security needs to be integrated into every aspect of the CI/CD pipeline as part of a DevSecOps approach to secure application development.

DevSecOps is being embraced by developers in growing numbers. Nearly 30% of security professionals now say they are embedded as part of a cross-functional security team and part of the development process. More than half of DevOps teams are now running Secure Application Static Testing (SAST) code scanning applications. 

Security is increasingly shift left.

Why Application Security Matters

Security isn’t just limited to digital infrastructure. Source code security has become an increasing concern in the evolution of cyber attacks, such as code injection. Injection attacks can be devastating, leading as they do to data loss, corruption, loss of availability, and exposure of sensitive or proprietary data.

SQL injection is used in 65% of web application attacks.  It has been responsible for stealing and making public 36,000 personal records of faculty and students at more than 53 universities. More than 130 million credit card numbers were exposed in an attack on the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. SQL vulnerabilities were discovered in the released code base for companies including Tesla, Cisco, and Fortnite (Epic Games).

Applicatoon developers take note:, these threats can impact your company directly by providing a pathway for cybercriminals to attack your apps and network. They can also lead to greater liability and lawsuits from downstream damage. In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will launch civil action against federal contractors for cybersecurity incidents resulting from tainted software.

Once applications are complete and released, vulnerabilities can cause serious problems that go well beyond the tech trouble created. Ransomware can cause a permanent loss of data. Exposure of customer records can cause damage to company reputation and create revenue losses. When Equifax was hit with a data breach, for example, its stock price dropped 31% within a week.

Cloud application security matters.

What Is Developer First Security?

Developer first security puts developer-friendly security tools into the hands of development teams early on, 

Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a critical step in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), helping development teams to identify critical vulnerabilities in an application before it is deployed publicly. Within this stage, development teams can code, test, revise, and re-test to ensure production products perform as designed.

When you integrate SAST with your DevOps and install security directly in your CI/CD pipeline, you can seamlessly detect vulnerability earlier in the development process. By testing security and maintainability throughout the entire SDLC, your team can release secure software faster and more efficiently. 

How Can You Add Developer First Security into your SDLC?

SAST is the most effective way to detect vulnerabilities within your application source code. Identifying and remediating vulnerabilities early in the software development process keeps them from making it into the build and deployment pipeline and reduces the cost of remediation. A study by NIST, IBM, and Gartner showed that the cost of removing an app’s security vulnerability during the design phase can save as much as 60% in costs incurred when vulnerabilities are addressed during production.

Using a SAST solution such as Kiuwan allows you to deploy a developer first security approach to continuously check code for defects. Code scanning also lets you check for:

  • Efficiency
  • ‌Maintainability
  • ‌Portability
  • ‌Reliability

Kiuwan helps you identify vulnerabilities in your app and isolate code chunks so you can remediate vulnerabilities throughout the DevOps cycle and well before they are released in the wild. Pulling code apart in the production or deployment stage can be time-consuming and frustrating. When flaws get baked into a project, they can be difficult to extract. A better solution is to find the flaws and fix them before committing your code to the production stage.

Traditional approaches to security have been to patch code near the end of the development cycle or during production. When left to after-the-fact cybersecurity teams, efforts typically focus on patching and remediation. Some of these code adjustments can affect code in other ways, such as degradation of performance that impacts user experience. Such adjustments may then create more work downstream to remediate performance issues. The process has to start over again and may lead to a time-consuming loop.

Code scanning is the initial step enabling developers to recognize potential security issues early in the process. SAST produces a more secure coding output and can help set up design for the software. Dynamic application security testing (DAST) and hybrid application security testing (AIST) are more helpful during the compiling stage.

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) identifies emerging application risks each year. In 2021, broken access control, cryptographic failures, SQL injections, insecure design, and security misconfigurations topped the list of the most critical security risks to web-based applications. By adopting a developer first security approach to your software development life cycle, you can protect your code against these application code threats and dramatically improve the security of apps before they move to production and deployment.

A DevOps Approach to Code Security

Kiuwan is a global company providing an end-to-end application security platform that enhances data to facilitate informed decisions about application code security. We provide an industry-leading platform designed to secure development operations at every stage of the pipeline. 

Our tools leverage effective static application security testing (SAST) and source code analysis to identify vulnerabilities and quickly provide targeted remediation to enhance your code. This creates a streamlined approach that optimizes DevOps security and efficiently reduces cyber risks.

Contact Kiuwan today for a demo and see how you can create a seamless developer first security approach.

Would you like to know more about implementing secure application development solution in your company? Get in touch with our Kiuwan team! We love to talk about security.