ASPM and Security Testing Orchestration

Can Taylan Bilgin28 Nov 2023
Supply Chain SecuritySASTASPM

Considering the complexity of the modern application stack and developer tooling, ensuring the security of your application throughout its lifecycle can quickly become a daunting task.

Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) solutions are designed to simplify and streamline exactly this process of finding and fixing software vulnerabilities. They integrate with various sources of security data and automate testing workflows across different stages of application development. By correlating and analyzing the security data, ASPM platforms provide a unified view of the vulnerability landscape and help you prioritize and coordinate remediation actions. One of the most important types of security data comes from application security testing solutions. This blog will provide a brief overview of the security testing landscape.

Testing Orchestration

Security testing involves identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities and risks that may compromise the functionality, performance or data integrity of software. In the modern software development lifecycle, security testing should be integrated as early as possible, following the principle of shift-left testing. This way, security issues can be detected and resolved before they become costly or damaging for the software and its users.

Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

Static Application Security Testing, commonly known as SAST, is a critical component of a robust security strategy. It involves the analysis of source code, bytecode, or binary code for security vulnerabilities. ASPM platforms integrate advanced SAST tools, ensuring early detection of vulnerabilities in the source code. By pinpointing issues during the development phase, security teams can proactively mitigate risks. SAST helps identify issues such as buffer overflows, SQL injection, and other potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

Explore industry standards like OWASP Code Review Guide for best practices in SAST and look into the SAST solutions like Veracode or Checkmarx as a starting point of your evaluation process.
Secrets like API keys, digital certificates or passwords left forgotten in the source code can also be discovered by secret scanning tools like GitGuardian or the open-source TruffleHog.

Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)

Dynamic Application Security Testing, or DAST, is a testing methodology that evaluates an application's security while it's running. By simulating real-world attacks, security engineers can identify and rectify vulnerabilities that may not be apparent in static analysis.

ASPM platforms that integrate DAST tools allow you for real-time testing in dynamic environments within one consolidated source of truth. The OWASP Web Security Testing Guide is a good resource to learn more about DAST best practices.

Software Composition Analysis (SCA)

Modern applications rely on third-party libraries and components. Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is the practice of identifying and managing open-source and third-party components within a software application. SCA tools identify vulnerabilities in these components, helping security teams understand and mitigate risks associated with third-party dependencies.

Familiarize yourself with the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) for current known vulnerabilities and stay up to date on SCA scanners (e.g., Mend, Snyk, Sonatype) to minimize the risk of exploitable vulnerabilities in your third-party components.

API Security Testing

APIs play a crucial role in modern microservice based applications, facilitating communication and data exchange between different software components and consumers. API Security solutions assess and secure your APIs to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats.

The OWASP API Security Project is a great resource on API security best practices.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Security

More and more organizations are managing their infrastructure through code, increasing automation and consistency. Modern ASPM platforms extend their reach to secure IaC deployments, ensuring that security is embedded throughout the development lifecycle. This involves analyzing IaC scripts for security vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and compliance violations.

Container Security

Building secure applications can be a futile effort if those applications are deployed on insecure containers. Container security tools can scan images, reveal their content and search for known vulnerabilities.  Also take a look at CIS Benchmarks for related container security standards.

Cloud Security

With the rise of cloud-native applications, misconfigurations in service providers have been gateways for many yber-attacks. Cloud security tools aim to protect data, applications and infrastructure in cloud computing environments from unauthorized access, data breaches and other threats. Hyperscalers offer their native security modules while there are also many commercial solutions (e.g., Wiz, Aqua Security, Lacework) that aim to centralize the management of vulnerabilities discovered in infrastructures across all cloud providers.


By incorporating security testing technologies that cover your whole application lifecycle such as the mentioned SAST, SCA, API security, DAST, cloud, container, IaC security solutions, you will substantially harden your application security. Orchestrating them with a modern ASPM platform will keep you productive while your toolset grows and will give you the opportunity to get the most out of each of your security testing tool.

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