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Web application security testing at scale with Coverity SAST

Synopsys Editorial Team

Jun 05, 2021 / 3 min read

Remember the saga of Equifax and the unpatched Apache Struts vulnerability? It wasn’t that long ago, and it’s one of the most notorious web application security incidents to date.

As more devices and applications are connected to the web, malicious hackers get more targets in which to find vulnerabilities and exploit them. According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report, 43% of the breaches were caused by attacks that started on web applications. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in cyber security attacks. Managing web application security at scale to prevent data breaches has been top-of-mind for many CISOs for a while, and the pandemic has only emphasized that necessity. 

It has always been a race between CISOs trying to ensure that hackers don’t get access to an organization’s sensitive data via web applications, and hackers finding that one missed or unpatched vulnerability that will get them the access they want. The difference is, to prevent any such incidences, CISOs need to ensure that their risk assessment is right every time—but hackers only need to find the right vulnerability once. That’s why CISOs need to instill a security mindset in everyone, starting with developers.

Shifting security testing left

“Shift left” terminology has been used in the industry for a while. It refers to starting security testing early in the development cycle—i.e., from the developer’s desktop. However, security teams have consistently struggled with developer adoption and tool fatigue. Static application security testing (SAST), also referred to as static analysis, can help security teams with developer adoption. A SAST solution that can find security and quality issues by analyzing source code automatically, quickly, and accurately with low false positives would be the right solution for increased developer adoption. A SAST solution should also integrate into the developer’s IDE and SCMs, where they work regularly. It should analyze source code in the background, without interfering with their workflows, and it should provide accurate defect findings with remediation advice to improve developer productivity and help organizations achieve their security objectives.

Oversight into application risks

For security managers, a centralized dashboard that compiles the findings produced by static analysis and provides a high-level overview into application risks serves as a platform for continuous visibility into their application portfolio. Such a dashboard should enable security managers to generate reports against industry-recognized priority lists and application security standards, so they can assess and demonstrate compliance. A SAST solution that can identify these security risks, and ensure compliance to industry standards, can help development and security teams prioritize resources to fix the issues that matter most to them and minimize risks in their web applications.

Coverity is the SAST solution for web application security

Coverity® helps security managers empower developers to embrace SAST in their workflows, and it provides easy onboarding, integrations, and flexible deployment options for DevOps teams.

Coverity provides actionable findings with high accuracy and low false positives. It also delivers relevant training resources and remediation advice directly in developers’ IDE, via the Code Sight™ IDE plugin, so they can fix security issues in their code as they work. DevOps managers can easily deploy Coverity on premises or in the cloud, as well as integrate it into various stages of the software development life cycle. Additionally, the Coverity CLI provides a very simple way to onboard applications and see results and diagnostics of the scan.

Security managers also get a high-level view into application risks and exploitable vulnerabilities through compliance reports for key industry and security standards. They can utilize the simplified Coverity CLI to initiate scans by just pointing to the source code, without needing to specify build and configuration details. This unique capability provides additional flexibility and gives security managers quick insights into application health and risks.

Once analyses are complete, security teams can easily generate reports on critical vulnerabilities specified by security standards such as OWASP Top 10 and CWE Top 25, or industry standards such as PCI DSS and SEI CERT. And centralized dashboards and reporting provide auditors, executives, and heads of development with high-level visibility into application risk and compliance to security and industry standards.

Coverity automatically prioritizes vulnerabilities according to compliance standards, criticality, and custom rulesets to help focus development resources on the most important vulnerabilities. When used in conjunction with Synopsys Intelligent Orchestration, which automates security testing throughout the software development life cycle, Coverity can automatically initiate SAST testing on an application, based on user-defined policies, risk profiles, and severity/context-specific code changes.

In the white paper “Managing Web Application Security With Coverity,” learn how Coverity’s capabilities help development and security teams improve their web application security practices, gain visibility into application risks, and demonstrate compliance.

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The Agile Security Manifesto

White paper : Managing Web Application Security With Coverity

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