Security Compass Makes Visualizing AppSec Threats Simpler

Security Compass this week updated its threat modeling platform for developers to make it easier to surface application security issues.

The latest version of SD Elements 2022 adds support for developer-centric threat modeling diagrams, reusable components, more advanced reporting capabilities and 114 more just-in-time training (JITT) modules. In addition, Security Compass has now integrated its platform with the Black Duck software composition analysis (SCA) tool.

Drew Koelemay, director of product management for Security Compass, said the goal is to make it easier for application development and cybersecurity teams to collaborate using a platform that visualizes cybersecurity threats within a DevOps workflow.

That approach to application security is critical because it becomes easier for developers to understand how changes to applications improve the overall cybersecurity posture of complex app environments where there are lots of dependencies, he said.

Once that visualization is achieved it then becomes possible to create reports highlighting the most prevalent threats and weaknesses across that portfolio, Koelemay noted.

In the wake of a series of high-profile application breaches, organizations of all sizes are looking to better secure their software supply chains by implementing DevSecOps best practices. The issue that immediately arises is the cultural divide between application development teams and cybersecurity professionals. The Security Compass platform surfaces developer-centric visualizations of security issues to help bridge the historic divide that exists between those teams, said Koelemay.

For the most part, cybersecurity professionals view development teams’ lack of cybersecurity expertise to be the root cause of many of the issues they encounter. It’s not that a developer deliberately sets out to build and deploy vulnerable applications. By the time the application is reviewed—often just a few days before it’s supposed to be deployed—it’s often too late to do much about most of the vulnerabilities that are discovered. Cybersecurity professionals and application development teams need to meaningfully engage each other much earlier in the application development life cycle.

The simple truth is developers are not likely to reach out first simply because they don’t know what cybersecurity issues to look for in an application environment. Most of the time they are rushing to meet an application delivery deadline, which makes them perceive cybersecurity as a hurdle to overcome rather than an automated process integrated within their workflow. Cybersecurity professionals, therefore, need to find a way to more constructively engage developers. The onus is on cybersecurity teams to insert themselves at the front end of the application development process rather than waiting at the backend for an inevitable issue to arise.

One way or another, application security is going to improve. The only thing yet to be determined is how painful the process will be. Tools that enable DevOps teams to see for themselves what issues are being encountered should go a long way toward reducing both the level of pain being experienced and the amount of time required to resolve the cybersecurity issue at hand.

Security Compass Makes Visualizing AppSec Threats Simpler
Mike Vizard
July 14, 2022