What’s in a number? For DevSecOps professionals, the answer is “a lot.” Analytics in application security (AppSec) hold immense power, helping teams decide where to focus their priorities and pick up on patterns that uncover knowledge gaps. Reporting with clear analytics helps set standards for policies and compliance too, keeping everyone on the team honest about hitting their security goals. Let’s take a look at four key ways AppSec analytics and reporting can help your teams work smarter, not harder, while improving your organization’s security posture.
Win #1: Improve AppSec accuracy to refine processes
In any industry, analytics can help you improve accuracy and refine your existing processes. In web app security, where many organizations are feeling the strain of overworked teams and the growing talent shortage, improving accuracy and streamlining processes is crucial. Not only does it save sanity and cut back on manual work and rework, but it also arms you with knowledge of your current threat landscape so you’re better prepared to pivot when new vulnerabilities or exploits emerge.
AppSec tools that offer greater accuracy improve confidence in scanning results and, in turn, help cut back on some of that stress contributing to talent loss. False positives in reporting can easily become a huge source of such stress, raising alarms that leave teams scrambling to find nonexistent vulnerabilities. Opting for a security solution built on accuracy like Acunetix will help ensure that you’re only getting quality information in your reporting to cut back on guesswork and alleviate stress.
Win #2: Understand risk and prioritize more effectively
Everyone needs greater visibility into what is working and what isn’t, especially when it comes to security risks. Clear reporting and analytics do just that, providing everyone from leadership to boots-on-the-ground workers with the insight they need to confidently manage risk. That takes the guesswork out of security and provides more stable ground for risk evaluation and prioritization.
It helps with buy-in for more modern tools and services, too. When you’re able to send clear analytics up the chain and help leadership understand common issues or gaps in coverage – and also show how much money they can save in the long run – it’s easier to make your case for more modern tooling.
Win #3: Optimize your program and manage expectations
Reporting and analytics help you work smarter, not harder, uncovering bottlenecks and process problems that are contributing to overworked teams or subpar security. With accurate analytics in hand, you have a better understanding of what may be negatively impacting productivity so that you can bolster your security posture while also improving development speeds.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of program optimization through analytics is that your team of DevSecOps pros will have a better handle on which vulnerabilities are popping up again and again. In our most recent edition of the Invicti AppSec Indicator, we saw some alarming year-over-year trends in our data that point to the prevalence of direct-impact flaws and may help to explain why the same weaknesses are still showing up so frequently in code.
For example, although technically simple to prevent, SQL injection (SQLi) vulnerabilities haven’t become any scarcer since 2019 and are impacting government and education sectors more than ever. This is likely due to legacy code that needs updating and skill gaps that are impeding remediation and prevention. But with modern tooling that offers accurate reporting, organizations can get to the bottom of how often flaws like SQLi keep sneaking into their code and be better prepared to decide what to do about it.
Win #4: Celebrate successes and crush compliance goals
Alongside sending information about risk up the chain of command, reporting gives you a clearer path to celebrating success and demonstrating compliance. Ideally, your analytics should show a history of goals and improvements that your team of DevSecOps professionals can map back to their AppSec efforts.
Analytics and reports are often vital for demonstrating compliance – especially for organizations and government agencies dealing with sensitive data daily. As the White House continues to release guidance for improved security posture, keeping an eye on compliance and regulations around web application security will help you stay one step ahead of modern threats.
Bolstering your AppSec program with accurate analytics
Meeting modern security needs requires thoughtful strategy, refined processes, and capable AppSec tools that promote accuracy. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new solution or you’re thinking about expanding your current toolset, seek out a vendor that understands the power of analytics and reporting and can help you make it a seamless part of your AppSec program.
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