Maintaining enterprise IT security is a significant challenge. With the ubiquity of public internet access and cloud-based software applications, they're essential tools to interconnect enterprises with customers and prospects, but they're also the potential target of cyber attacks from domestic and foreign criminals.
Sophisticated hackers continuously capitalize on the exposed security flaws of software applications to steal customer information, disclose or sell sensitive customer records and harm the reputation of the public company and its senior executive leaders.
According the the latest worldwide study by ABI Research, the security testing market will develop to reach $6.9 billion in revenue by 2020. That being said, secure software development remains a significant long-term problem for most businesses today.
"The biggest challenge for company software developers lies in market forces and funding," said Monolina Sen, senior analyst at ABI Research.
Software Development Security Environment
ABI believes that software developer incentives, and consequentially their priorities, are tied to implementing new features and meeting release deadlines. With companies always aiming to shorten product deployment cycles, enterprise application security is often among the first tasks to be curtailed.
Traditionally, security audits and quality assurance testing happen toward the end of the development cycle, by which point most security issues are expensive to rectify. Besides, most software developers would prefer to focus on releasing the latest features to the app users, rather than re-coding the problem areas.
The changing threat landscape and increasing frequency of application attacks, however, is now forcing all organizations to more adequately address web application security through secure software development methodologies.
Key Role of Software App Security Testing
As such, software application security testing is becoming crucial for savvy organizations to adhere to important corporate compliance regulations, while at the same time defending themselves from preventable security attacks.
ABI Research reviewed the software security approaches of six vendors: Acunetix, Checkmarx, Cigital, IBM, Qualys and Veracode. Their assessment highlights current software security development trends and provides insight into the secure software development solutions in the market.
Static Application Security Testing (SAST), or white-box testing, is one of the most effective ways to eliminate software flaws. By solving the problem at the code level, static testing can reduce the number of security-related design and coding defects.
SAST offers many advantages -- it can detect complex vulnerabilities that are not visible without access to the source code. In addition, SAST helps users locate the precise location of any flaw in the source code, which makes it an extremely useful methodology.
ABI says that implementing a robust web application security practice enables software development teams to quickly identify 'known' security exposures -- through defective code detections, patch checks and comprehensive evaluations of software user authentication services.