What Is Application Security?

What Is Application Security

Application Security refers to the software, hardware and techniques used to secure computer applications from external threats. It involves adhering to best practices when designing and developing apps as well as employing systems which protect them post deployment.

An effective Application Security program addresses various vulnerabilities and risks. Some of the more prevalent examples include:


Hackers frequently exploit application layers in companies’ technology to gain unauthorized access and steal sensitive information such as login credentials, company data and resources, etc. To secure apps effectively against attacks, it’s crucial that companies employ appropriate tools and best practices during development; using such an approach will help build security into each phase of software development life cycle (SDLC) to prevent potential exploits against applications.

Authentication is the process by which a server verifies whether a user or device is who they claim they are, usually by requiring both a username and password combination to validate. This ensures that they are trying to log-in themselves instead of cyber criminals attempting to gain entry.

There are various authentication solutions, each offering unique benefits. Some obfuscate or encrypt code to make it harder for attackers to read and exploit it; other tools track a user’s movements across the internet in order to detect abnormal behavior and block any potentially suspicious activities. Authentication should be integrated at every level of application security for maximum protection.

Establish a comprehensive security strategy that covers every stage of the SDLC and each step in your DevOps workflow to reduce risk, keep apps online, meet compliance standards and gain buy-in from key decision makers.

While most businesses recognize the significance of cybersecurity, not all possess the tools and processes in place to thwart cyber criminals. According to Veracode’s State of Software Security report, 83% of applications contain at least one security flaw.

If your company doesn’t yet have a comprehensive security strategy in place, now is the time to implement one. By setting up an AppSec program you’ll be able to protect apps against attack while mitigating damage caused by hackers – saving both time and money while building customer trust in the process.


Application security encompasses hardware, software, and procedures designed to identify and reduce vulnerabilities from cyber attacks. Such measures include firewalls, antivirus systems, data encryption technologies such as PGP/PGP Key/File Vault etc that prevent unauthorized access and protect data in transit or at rest – with firewalls being an example. They also can help detect insider threats which are just as dangerous as external attackers; provide visibility into how an attack is taking place as well as identify its source.

An ideal approach for securing an application is implementing security-by-design right from its inception, beginning with code. Security tools and practices can then be seamlessly woven into the app to reduce opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit any weaknesses.

Businesses face several difficulties when it comes to protecting applications. These challenges include inheriting vulnerabilities, finding qualified experts for security teams and adopting a DevSecOps approach. Inheritance occurs when applications are created without properly addressing potential coding errors or security risks during development – something often done accidentally resulting in security holes which cyber criminals exploit.

Other challenges include an absence of centralized management tools and difficulty recruiting, training, and deploying security teams. Such challenges can result in slow adoption of security practices and insufficient oversight of application vulnerabilities; DevSecOps strategies have become ever more relevant as cyber criminals develop techniques to breach applications.

To address these challenges, companies should invest in AppSec tools that assess and monitor an application’s vulnerabilities. Such tools can detect threats or alerts before the application can be compromised and even help companies correct coding issues within their applications. Furthermore, such AppSec tools may assist them with meeting compliance standards such as Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE). Doing so will boost overall security while decreasing vulnerability backlog.

Access control

Access Control Systems restrict access to information and applications on a network, preventing unauthorized users from gaining entry and helping protect data, reduce fraud and ensure regulatory standards compliance. Depending on its model (RBAC, IBAC, ABAC or DAC), an access control system might use one or more of four models: Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Identity-Based Access Control (IBAC), Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) or Discretionary Access Control (DAC). Role-based access grants permission based on users’ roles within their company enabling administrators to make adjustments quickly as necessary; additionally it helps employees have all necessary tools at their fingertips for doing their work efficiently and effectively.

IBAC allows administrators to grant access to objects based on who the user is and their duties, providing administrators with greater flexibility for granting access and limiting activity, thus lowering security breaches risk. It’s an excellent solution for organizations looking to safeguard sensitive information or limit how users access critical systems like email servers and database applications.

Attribute-based access control requires users to demonstrate they possess certain attributes before being granted access to a resource, usually done through authentication like PIN or password verification. This method makes it more difficult for malicious actors to obtain credentials as they must know or possess tokens which authenticate them; additionally, this limits how many credentials one user can use at once thus decreasing credential theft attacks.

DAC (Delegated Access Control) is an access management model in which the owner of a system, data or resource determines who can gain access to it. While some people favor this approach due to its increased flexibility and reduced restrictions on administrators setting or altering access controls, others find this model vulnerable due to potential changes made without oversight from administrators who could easily set or change them at will.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC) creates stringent access policies for individual users. MAC utilizes biometrics or face ID with other forms of verification such as smartcard, PIN or password to validate identity and prevent unauthorzie operations being completed – especially important in cloud environments where attackers could exploit compromised systems to gain entry to sensitive information.


Software applications that process data may be vulnerable to various threats, including unauthorised access, modification and deletion. Implementing effective application security measures helps protect sensitive business and customer information against attackers; this involves improving software development practices, strengthening IT infrastructure and monitoring application traffic to counter potential attacks.

Protecting applications through continuous monitoring is the best way to safeguard them, enabling developers to quickly identify and address security vulnerabilities quickly, while simultaneously prioritizing threat remediation operations. Application monitoring is a vital element of an organization’s security program, yet can be challenging without proper tools.

Not only can the right tools detect vulnerabilities, but they can also identify malicious activities and provide protection from attacks that threaten business processes or applications. This helps minimize risks related to loss of sensitive or confidential data as well as increase performance by preventing attacks that slow down or interrupt systems.

Application security monitoring can be accomplished in several ways, from automated scanning and manual penetration testing, to using tools designed specifically to identify vulnerabilities within source code or identify risks in an operational setting. It’s essential that monitoring tools be compatible with both your current IT toolset as well as with any specific needs associated with an application’s security monitoring process.

An effective monitoring strategy must also include creating an inventory of your assets and their dependencies, making it easier to spot when resources are running low and ensure the necessary systems are protected. Furthermore, understanding your compliance requirements is vital – some industries impose specific standards upon which businesses must abide.

Monitoring applications may be challenging, but it’s essential for protecting against security breaches. Utilizing the proper tools will enable you to quickly identify and resolve vulnerabilities quicker – thus decreasing exposure to threats while protecting both financially and reputationally. A great tool should fit easily with your team’s workflow while producing results on schedule. Setting clear goals and measuring success are equally as essential; using metrics will allow executives to see how their application security program is helping reduce risks while protecting business assets.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.