Securing Applications and Digital Products


Application security includes a broad range of specialized areas, including secure software design and development, threat modeling, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and the impact of security on DevOps (and vice versa). As with other aspects of security, the move to cloud computing brings some changes to application security. The CSA guidance on cloud security specifically addresses application security considerations in cloud environments in Domain 10 of their latest cloud security guidance.

An important element of application security is Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC), an approach toward developing software in a secure manner. Numerous frameworks and resources are available to follow, including from Microsoft (Security Development Lifecycle), NIST SP 800-64, Rev. 2 [NIST2011], ISO/IEC 27034-1:2011, and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten. In addition, information resources available from MITRE, including CWE and Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE), are helpful to development teams striving to develop secure code.

A basic approach to secure design and development will include these phases: Training – Define – Design – Develop – Test; see Security Guidance: for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing v4.0 CSA 2017. A component of an SSDLC is threat modeling. Good resources on threat modeling are available from Microsoft and from The Open Group.

It is worth noting that the move to cloud computing affects all aspects of an SSDLC, because cloud services abstract various computing resources, and there are automation approaches used in cloud services that fundamentally change the ways in which software is developed, tested, and deployed in cloud services versus in on-premises computing. In addition, there are significant differences in the degree of visibility and control that is provided to the customer, including availability of system logs at various points in the computing stack.

Application security will also include secure deployment, encompassing code review, unit, regression, and functional testing, and static and dynamic application security testing.

Other key aspects of application security include vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. Both have differences in cloud versus on-premises, as a customer’s ability to perform vulnerability scans and penetration tests may be restricted by contract by the CSP, and there may be technical issues relating to the type of cloud service, single versus multi-tenancy of the application, and so on.

Evidence of Notability

To be added in a future version.


To be added in a future version.

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