While a lot of highly skilled developers work in our industry, too often, I see a lack of awareness and knowledge around Application Security (AppSec). As I discussed in my podcast with Nina Juliadotter, many developers did not have AppSec curriculums available when completing their degrees. While AppSec training is becoming more popular, many people have not had the opportunity to gain this knowledge.
The gaps in knowledge and practice can leave software and entire organisations susceptible to costly breaches and attacks. If left unchecked, vulnerabilities lead to cyber security risks that impact the business and customers using those applications.
AppSec training provides developers with the knowledge to identify these risks and implement effective mitigation strategies. Here are four areas in which an AppSec training program gives your team the skills to code securely.
Leverage DevSecOps tooling
DevSecOps is a methodology that integrates security practices into the DevOps pipeline. DevSecOps tools automate security checks within the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) process, reducing the risk of human error and enhancing development speed. These tools include static code analysis tools, which identify potential vulnerabilities in code, and configuration management tools that ensure the secure setup of systems.
AppSec training guides your team on getting the most from DevSecOps tools. By understanding the function and potential of each tool, developers can integrate them into their workflows to automate security management. For example, they can use static analysis tools to examine code for potential vulnerabilities without executing it. Additionally, software composition analysis tools identify vulnerabilities in open-source components of applications. AppSec training ensures teams can effectively operate these tools, understand their outputs, and act on the insights provided.
Build secure code patterns
Secure coding involves writing code that is functional and resilient to potential threats. Building secure code patterns focuses on preventing, detecting, and resolving potential vulnerabilities from the outset.
AppSec training guides developers in writing code that prevents common security threats. For example, training can instil habits like implementing strong authentication and authorisation systems, ensuring only authorised individuals can access systems. Training also promotes comprehensive input validation to protect against attacks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
Secure coding patterns can increase software quality. For example, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is an approach that allows developers to manage data centres with versioning systems similar to how they manage source code. By writing secure IaC scripts, your team can consistently build a robust and secure infrastructure, reducing the chances of human errors and inconsistencies, which often lead to security gaps.
By reinforcing these habits, AppSec training builds a culture of security within your team, making secure code patterns a standard practice rather than an afterthought.
Secure software architecture
AppSec training equips software development teams with an understanding of the risks associated to their choice framework versus the features, ease of use or the newest shiny tech. For example, using Rust as your framework allows you to develop applications which are memory-safe, performant and come with community-created development tools to help ensure you are secure by design. However, all choices have trade-offs, and our AppSec training will help you understand them so that you make the best architectural decision.
Furthermore, as cloud-based solutions increase in popularity, understanding cloud security models has become increasingly important. AppSec training provides insight into the security challenges unique to the cloud environment. It guides teams in choosing and implementing appropriate security models, from securing data storage to managing user authentication and encryption.
Enhance web security
Cyber criminals often exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to conduct malicious activities, such as stealing sensitive user information, disrupting service availability, or even gaining control over systems. Some common web-related threats include Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL injection. These threats can severely affect your system’s integrity, confidentiality, and availability.
AppSec training trains your developers on implementing the right security headers to prevent unauthorised content or code from being loaded, ensuring that the website’s content and its users’ data remain protected from tampering.
AppSec training also guides developers on handling web-specific elements like cookies. Cookies store sensitive information, such as user authentication data, which, if compromised, can lead to unauthorised access to user accounts and potential data breaches. Securing cookies ensures that you uphold the trust of website users, reinforcing the website’s integrity and protecting both users and businesses from data breaches.
AppSec training is an excellent starting point for educating your development team on risk mitigation, software architecture, secure coding, web security, and DevSecOps tooling. It provides a holistic approach to securing software systems, instils best practices in developers, and promotes a proactive security culture.
By investing in AppSec training, you empower your team with the knowledge and tools necessary to tackle the complex landscape of AppSec. So, your team have the skills to build more secure software and gain an understanding of why security is critical, fostering a team culture that not only practices but values AppSec.
Why choose Galah Cyber’s AppSec training programs?
We offer comprehensive cyber education services to strengthen your organisation’s security posture. Our tailored training programs equip developers, managers, and tech leaders with essential cyber security skills, ensuring a proactive approach to security across your entire organisation.
Our training and education programs target your unique cybersecurity needs, fostering a culture of security awareness within your team. From real-world simulations in our Capture the Flag events to digestible knowledge sessions in our Lunch and Learn series, we support continuous learning and engagement.
Visit our Education Services page for more on what we offer.