Application security - Security Pillar

Application security

Application security (AppSec) describes the overall process of how you design, build, and test the security properties of the workloads you develop. You should have appropriately trained people in your organization, understand the security properties of your build and release infrastructure, and use automation to identify security issues.

Adopting application security testing as a regular part of your software development lifecycle (SDLC) and post release processes help ensure that you have a structured mechanism to identify, fix, and prevent application security issues entering your production environment.

Your application development methodology should include security controls as you design, build, deploy, and operate your workloads. While doing so, align the process for continuous defect reduction and minimizing technical debt. For example, using threat modeling in the design phase helps you uncover design flaws early, which makes them easier and less costly to fix as opposed to waiting and mitigating them later.

The cost and complexity to resolve defects is typically lower the earlier you are in the SDLC. The easiest way to resolve issues is to not have them in the first place, which is why starting with a threat model helps you focus on the right outcomes from the design phase. As your AppSec program matures, you can increase the amount of testing that is performed using automation, improve the fidelity of feedback to builders, and reduce the time needed for security reviews. All of these actions improve the quality of the software you build, and increase the speed of delivering features into production.

These implementation guidelines focus on four areas: organization and culture, security of the pipeline, security in the pipeline, and dependency management. Each area provides a set of principles that you can implement. and provides an end-to-end view of how you design, develop, build, deploy, and operate workloads.

In AWS, there are a number of approaches you can use when addressing your application security program. Some of these approaches rely on technology while others focus on the people and organizational aspects of your application security program.