Web Application Security in an Age of Cost Cutting

Zbigniew Banach - Fri, 06 Nov 2020 -

Security has traditionally been among the first victims of cost reductions. At the same time, for countless businesses that rely on web technologies to operate in the pandemic climate, cutting down on web security poses a huge risk. This article shows that organizations can gain far more by wisely focusing their web security budgets than by blindly cutting costs.

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Web Application Security in an Age of Cost Cutting

Between the pandemic, political instability, and economic uncertainty, 2020 has been a year of nervous cost cutting for organizations worldwide. Security has traditionally been among the first victims of cost reductions, but for the countless businesses that now rely on web technologies, cutting down on web security poses a huge risk. Instead of blindly cutting spending, organizations can save far more by focusing their limited budgets on security initiatives that bring maximum benefits.

This Crunch Is Different

Global economic dips and recessions come and go, but this year’s pandemic crisis has a technological aspect that, along with the truly global scale, makes it unlike anything else in history. The rush to remote work was a true test of maturity for web technologies – and despite minor glitches, they passed with flying colors. A large part of the global economy and workforce now resides and operates online. As people are sheltering in place, businesses are sheltering in the cloud. 

Web Security Is Now Business Security

In the on-premises days of desktop software and local server rooms, security was mostly understood to mean network and systems security. Application security was not a major concern and that attitude has carried over into many modern web operations: security is nice to have when you have the budget, but it’s the first thing to go when spending cuts loom.

Web technologies have deeply infiltrated every aspect of business IT. We’ve gone from “your business needs a web presence” (remember those sales pitches?) to a world where countless organizations are entirely dependent on web applications and cloud platforms to do business. Web security is now business security – and yet when a crisis arrives, the knee-jerk reaction is still to look for savings on security.

The Price of Incidents

The simple fact is that organizations that live or die by their web applications can’t afford to cut back on web security. Insecure websites and applications can lead to costly data breaches and even more costly downtime. With entire businesses working from home and often entrusting their critical data to cloud storage, the consequences of a successful attack can be crippling.

At the same time, cybercriminals are stepping up their game, with over half of all cyberattacks now performed by organized criminal groups. These are professionals, not script kiddies – and they can be ruthlessly effective.

The Hidden Costs of Free

The pandemic has led businesses to be much more cautious with their security spending. Faced with decreasing revenues and growing business risk, organizations often try to make do with what they already have while also minimizing upfront costs. Some limit their testing only to the most critical assets and hope for the best for everything else. Others go with free solutions in an attempt to maintain a “good enough” security posture on a budget.

But how good is good enough, and how much does free really cost? Security testing is all about accuracy and efficiency – you test, you find issues, and you fix them. Without accurate tools, good test coverage, and efficient workflows, organizations risk wasting precious time, effort, and money on roll-your-own security initiatives that bring a lot of work for little benefit. Even if the tools are free, someone will have to spend days if not weeks of their paid time getting them to work, often only to discover that they – once again – generate a lot of extra work without significant security improvements.

When in Doubt, Follow the Value

More than ever, businesses need to focus their security budgets on initiatives that bring measurable value and empower overworked security teams instead of burdening them with unnecessary work. In the web application security space, there is one approach that, when done right, can combine accuracy, coverage, and efficiency to quickly give you maximum value from every penny invested – and that is dynamic application security testing, or DAST.

As an industry leader, Invicti showcases the full potential of a modern DAST solution that has long overcome the limitations of legacy dynamic testing tools, such as false positives and insufficient coverage. It can be rapidly deployed at any stage of the software development lifecycle and features Proof-Based Scanning to provide testers and developers with ready-to-fix vulnerability reports from day one. By cutting away the cruft and streamlining security testing, Invicti can allow even a small team to secure thousands of web assets and focus limited resources where they make a difference.

5 Ways That Invicti Can Save You Money

Avoiding the potentially crippling costs of a major breach and downtime is the most obvious financial benefit of maintaining a solid security posture, but Invicti can also help organizations save money in a more direct way – in fact, at least 5 ways:

  • Streamlined workflows: Act on accurate results backed by Proof-Based Scanning to reduce time wasted on checking false positives, minimize communication overhead, and allow teams to automate with confidence.
  • Improved tooling efficiency: Integrate with many popular systems, including all the top issue trackers, to replace multiple tools and processes with a single solution.
  • Rapid time to value: See measurable security improvements in days, not months, without wasting time and money on fruitless efforts.
  • Cutting-edge security research: Get over a decade’s worth of web security research and expertise in a single, intuitive tool that anyone can use, not just security experts.
  • Reduced bug bounty payouts: Find and eliminate many common vulnerabilities in-house instead of paying bounty hunters for finding them.

Most importantly, you can sleep soundly with the knowledge that you are improving your security every single day and making the best possible use of your teams and your budget. Quite simply, Invicti brings you certainty in very uncertain times.

Your Information will be kept private.

Zbigniew Banach

About the Author

Zbigniew Banach

Technical Content Writer at Invicti. Drawing on his experience as an IT journalist and technical translator, he does his best to bring web application security and cybersecurity in general to a wider audience.