Are your internal drives protected against data theft? Yes? Awesome! But what about customer data, sales figures and other sensitive information that is accessible via CRM and ERP systems?
In this article, we are going to examine why application security is a crucial component of any effective cybersecurity concept and how access management software can help protect your applications against unauthorized access.
What Is Application Security?
The term application security summarizes the processes, tools and methods used to protect your applications against external cyber-attacks, as well as unauthorized access and attacks from within. It is vital that the measures you set protect your applications against external and internal threats and abuse throughout the duration of their lifecycles. IT security experts recommend taking measures both on the software and hardware levels.
Why Do We Need Application Security?
Oh, brave new world! Do you remember the time when cyber security meant protecting static websites and desktop applications? Today, most organizations deploy a colorful mix of third-party and open-source systems and standard software components, alongside other types of applications (e.g. desktop, web, mobile, microservices). These programs are usually accessed via networks, which inevitably exposes them to all sorts of threats.
Most businesses allow not just their users to access the data that is managed within these applications, but also grant access to business partners, suppliers and other relevant parties.
Such a slack approach to data management can quickly turn into an exploitable weakness. If important systems such as SAP or Microsoft® Dynamics NAV are not sufficiently protected, you’ll have internal and external perpetrators walking all over you.
What Is the Purpose of Application Security?
First off, application security is a malleable concept that should be discussed and defined as part of an ISMS (Information Security Management System). Those in charge should create a security profile for each application that is used in the company and precisely define the role of this application with regard to the company’s resources: What is the application allowed to do, what is it not allowed to do?
Another measure to combat data abuse and other security risks is to compile a threat model. This involves identifying and prioritizing potential threats to the company’s resources and might include anything from a broken storage medium to large-scale hacker attacks. All incidents as well as any actions taken in each case must be sufficiently documented.