Active ASPM

Eliminating Manual AppSec Practices with Active ASPM

active aspm blog graphic

OX Security has proudly announced the launch of our pioneering Active Application Security Posture Management (Active ASPM) platform. My pride in our team’s dedication and development in bringing this solution to life is boundless. Yet my focus is not intended to dive into all of the details of this release, though I may mention a few. Instead, I want to share the critical market needs we’ve identified, which have been pivotal in shaping our company’s mission to eliminate manual AppSec practices.

Since OX was founded, my team and I have spoken with hundreds of development and security leaders to better understand their challenges. We heard that manual AppSec processes are creating considerable disruptions in the software development life cycle and are dramatically slowing the pace of innovation in application development. These leaders also pointed to challenges around hiring and retaining skilled personnel, commenting that reliance on manual processes is unsustainable when knowledge of those processes leaves the organization due to frequent turnover. So, we set out to build a solution that enables organizations to deliver secure applications faster and more efficiently by simplifying those processes and automating manual heavy lifting.

We consistently heard that DevOps and DevSecOps teams are constantly at odds with one another, negotiating over release deadlines and vulnerability remediation. DevOps is pressured to deliver a set of features on a specific schedule; DevSecOps must ensure application vulnerabilities don’t create significant security risks upon release. The problem is that neither team has the tools they need to address the issues without some serious manual effort, and this requires time in the release schedule that businesses can’t afford if they are going to stay competitive.

This feedback hit close to home for me, as I’ve experienced this conundrum firsthand, having been responsible for DevOps and DevSecOps for a line of business at Check Point Software before founding OX Security. What the OX team and I have heard, and what I saw firsthand at Check Point, is there are three fundamental challenges with the collection of disparate tools commonly used today: maintaining visibility of security gaps across the development life cycle, prioritizing the risk of vulnerabilities to your specific environment, and implementing remediation in a way that doesn’t slow down development.

 

Siloed tools don’t provide visibility across the software development lifecycle (SDLC)

Many AppSec teams today rely on cobbled-together collections of disparate security technologies, which are unprepared for the continuous change in the hyperactive threat landscape. Piecing together so many fragmented tools almost always creates coverage and visibility gaps, as each tool examines a narrow piece of the overall development life cycle. This can be particularly problematic for imported third-party code libraries and open-source components.

 

Assessing risk without context adds a burden to development and security teams

Using these collections of disjointed tools to assess the risk of security vulnerabilities also impedes development and security teams from connecting the dots and understanding the actual severity of the risk. Each tool analyzes vulnerabilities in a specific part of the development chain, but no overarching platform exists to assess the risk holistically. Even organizations that have adopted ASPM solutions are finding these do not take the attack, environmental, and business context into account while analyzing exploitability, reachability, and the impact of the vulnerability of each risk. This burden causes the development and security teams to evaluate and prioritize code vulnerabilities manually. Such a process not only slows down the pace of development but also becomes increasingly complex with the rising volume and intricacy of security and risk assessments.

 

Reliance on manual processes for remediation creates technical debt

Efficiently responding to security incidents and implementing timely remediation measures is crucial. AppSec solutions should identify vulnerabilities and facilitate quick and effective response strategies. Many of today’s AST tools and ASPM platforms don’t. Even if your team has the skills to triage and remediate serious vulnerabilities, manually reviewing the issue, assessing the risk, and updating the code or configuration creates significant technical debt, which pulls personnel away from other development work and delays releases.

 

Active ASPM creates better visibility and lightens the load of manual processes

Again, my aim isn’t to delve into every feature of the new release – our solution engineers are excited to cover that in detail. However, I do want to spotlight a few truly innovative aspects of this release to demonstrate how Active ASPM distinctively addresses the challenges previously discussed.

First, to address the problem of incomplete visibility, we’ve developed a proprietary standard called the Pipeline Bill of Materials (PBOM). More than just an SBOM-like inventory of components in users’ production apps, a PBOM is a dynamic list of everything a piece of software has gone through. It starts with the first line of code and continues all the way through to release, identifying any vulnerabilities along the way. Light-years beyond an SBOM, a PBOM is a signed ledger of each pipeline build. A PBOM tracks the entire software life cycle, including all version lineage, SLSA.dev, SaasBOM, security tool results, build hashes, and more.

Second, we employ a unique and adaptive three-layer risk assessment model encompassing business, attack, and environment contexts, significantly improving prioritization accuracy. The analysis also de-duplicates security issues and enriches the data with internal research and external threat intelligence to further sharpen the risk assessment. Applying this context to risk analysis can reduce alert noise by up to 95% (based on the feedback we’ve heard from customers).

Last, we’ve simplified remediation with “No-Code Workflow Automation,” which enables DevOps and DevSecOps teams to quickly create intuitive, customizable response plans from an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. This simplifies the creation of tailored workflows, automating ticketing and notifications, and enforcing granular policies to prevent security issues from reaching production. This no-code workflow automation also extends to container coverage. Currently, no other pure-play ASPM providers are offering this level of automation.

 

Looking forward

The launch of OX Security’s Active Application Security Posture Management platform is pivotal in our journey to redefine AppSec. I’m very proud of the new release and the teams that created it. Our commitment goes beyond pride in developing and launching this innovative solution; it’s rooted in a deep understanding of the challenges development and security teams face worldwide. Our goal is clear: eliminating the dependency on manual AppSec practices that hinder speed, scalability, and innovation. The insights we’ve gathered have been instrumental in creating a platform that addresses and anticipates the evolving needs of a dynamic digital landscape.

Our Active ASPM platform is more than a set of tools; it’s a testament to our vision of a streamlined, efficient, and secure software development process. By integrating features like the Pipeline Bill of Materials (PBOM), our unique risk assessment model, and “No-Code Workflow Automation,” we are not just offering a product but delivering a comprehensive solution for the long-standing issues of visibility, risk assessment, and remediation in the AppSec domain.

As we move forward, our dedication remains unwavering. We’re not just solving today’s problems but preparing for tomorrow’s challenges. With OX Security’s Active ASPM, we are setting a new standard in application security, ensuring that organizations can innovate rapidly and securely, free from the constraints of outdated manual processes. The future of AppSec is here, and it begins with Active ASPM.

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