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Top 5 Ways to Be Cyber Smart

Top 5 BlogWelcome to Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year in cybersecurity, with the workforce embracing a hybrid model, the COVID pandemic continuously evolving and the world of business and technology perpetually in flux.

To help kick off this month in style, NTT Application Security is here with a rundown of five of the top AppSec actions you and your organization can take right now to get cyber smart and strengthen your security posture as we finish 2021 strong and dive boldly into 2022.

Time to Get Smart

The first step to cybersecurity enlightenment is to look around you and take advantage of all available resources to stay ahead of the curve and help you keep up with the latest news and trends. While we here at NTT Application Security are partial to our own cybersecurity blog, many of our colleagues also get a ton of value out of our AppSec Stats Flash podcast and white paper series.

Need to get beyond application security and into the bigger picture? No problem. Some of our favorite websites cover the entire scope of cybersecurity news and analysis, including outlets like Dark Reading, Security Intelligence, ThreatPost, Security Magazine and Security Boulevard.

DAST the Way I Like It

Speaking of trends, it’s time to address a good trend gone bad. While there was positive intent in the original concept of “shifting left,” to emphasize static application security testing on applications in development, we have seen this result in an overcorrection where breaches are becoming even more prevalent and dangerous. One of our recent cybersecurity research studies revealed that 50% of applications in all major industries have at least one serious, open and exploitable vulnerability.

If the goal of application security testing is to create a digital future that is free from breaches, it’s time to embrace a DAST-first approach that leverages dynamic application security testing to defend your applications where breaches happen – in production!

A strong, DAST-first application security posture takes the entire attack surface into account, incorporates continuous dynamic application security testing and integrates DAST insights to increase the efficacy of SAST and software composition analysis.

For a great primer on how to take a DAST-first approach to your AppSec, check out our white papers and webinars on demand: DAST to the Future, A Modern Approach to AppSec and Making It All Work.

Cover Your Assets

Speaking of the attack surface, it’s critical to zoom out a bit and get a crystal-clear view of your organization’s digital assets. After all, you can’t secure what you don’t know you own.

To get a true understanding of your organization’s assets and where they reside, NTT Application Security strongly recommends implementing an Attack Surface Management solution. Resources like our own Attack Surface Management, made possible through a partnership with Bit Discovery forged earlier this year, tap into expansive databases and hundreds of third-party resources to create a comprehensive inventory of the attack surface, quickly and automatically.

The resulting attack surface management dashboard empowers your security team to confirm what web-facing assets and applications are vulnerable to attack and provide actionable insights on how to prioritize your defenses.

Think Big!

While it’s great to get a clear view of your company’s attack surface, don’t just stay zeroed in on your own network. Think about all the places your software connects to the rest of the Internet universe and get proactive about defending those entry points.

Applications rarely operate in a vacuum and often leverage application programming interfaces (API) to connect with other applications across the Internet, which empowers applications with incredible functionality for data sharing and integration but also increases the risk of a breach exponentially.

API Security is critical, yet often missed a step in making sure these applications and APIs can serve their purpose while keeping customer and proprietary data safe. Fortunately, new API security technologies are emerging that deliver fast, automated and accurate security testing, with direct integration into API development platforms like Postman.

Phone a Friend

With all these resources and methods to get cyber smart, it’s important to remember that you’re not fighting the cybersecurity battle alone. Our final cyber smart recommendation is to partner with cybersecurity experts to help complement your team so you can focus on your core competencies and business objectives.

Whether you’re creating your first security strategy or scaling up an existing plan rapidly, a solid cybersecurity professional services organization can help you craft and deploy an AppSec program with confidence and efficiency.

So What’s Next?

Ready to begin your journey into cybersecurity street smarts? A great first step is to register for our webinar covering the Top Breaches of 2021, taking place Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 9am Pacific/noon Eastern.

This webinar will take a comprehensive look at three of the most impactful breaches of the pandemic era, with insights into how to mitigate and prevent similar breaches in your organization. Click here to register.

For more information on how NTT Application Security can help you get cyber smart, contact us today!