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Defense Wins Championships

It’s one of the most common phrases in all sports, and rightly so. Take a look at any championship team over the last few decades—regardless of the sport— and you’re likely to also find a top-tier defensive team.

This is especially true in hockey and the NHL. In fact, we just witnessed it again.

Last week, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning won its second-consecutive Stanley Cup. And, wouldn’t you know it, the Lightning ended this season having the fourth-best overall defense in the NHL, as well as the league’s top Penalty Kill Percentage of 84.21.

Since the early 1990’s hockey has shifted to become a defense-first sport. Back then, teams looked to highly touted defensemen— Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios and Ray Borque to name a few— to lead them to the Stanley Cup. As the defense-first approach continued to grow, Forwards (who are primarily focused on getting shots on goal) across the NHL began to beef-up their defense efforts. Now, an MVP Forward must have a “200-foot game,” meaning they play just as good defensively as they do offensively.

(Yes, I am attempting to tie together AppSec and hockey; just hear me out.)

Application security is all about defense, and defense is all about mitigating risk.

Your team’s back-checking forwards are your developers chasing problems that got past them.

Your defensemen are your “shifting left” SAST applications who are designed to cut off a problem before it becomes a bigger problem.

Having good defensemen is great, but even all-star caliber defensive pairings can only do so much.  Sure, there will be less shots on goal, and they might be from lower-quality areas on the ice, but there are still shots.

But the real star of any championship defense is the man in front of the net—the goalie. Goalies are the true hero of the defense, the one who is ultimately in charge of keeping the puck from crossing that defining red line.

DAST is your application’s goalie.