What Is Application Security?

Applications are moving targets; they run everywhere and are constantly changing, making them difficult to secure. Application security--if delivered right--should bridge the gap between the teams that build and manage applications. Securing applications requires agility and insight on application behavior, network, workloads that run them, and ultimately the users and devices that interact with them.

How does application security work?

Application security encompasses securing an application throughout its life cycle. These three states are critical for applications to be secure:

  • Building secure applications on secure workloads
  • Securing applications during runtime, including access of applications to users and devices
  • Maintaining adaptative security on applications as they change and get updated

How is security different for applications?

In order to keep up with applications running everywhere and constantly changing, security needs to be delivered in a way that is just as dynamic. Application security must be able to stretch across public cloud, hybrid, and on-premise environments. It also needs to seamlessly work with the application environments (workloads) and tools that DevOps teams use to enable application owners so as not to become a bottleneck.

The following components are important for delivering security for applications:

  • Security close to the application
  • Security that remains continuous as applications change
  • Security that is adaptive to application dependencies

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Solutions for securing your applications

Application workload protection

Workload protection acts as a perimeter around your application workloads. Using an allow list method and micro-segmentation, your application workload is in a secure silo. In the event of a breach within your cloud, hybrid, or on-premises environment, your workloads are safe from malicious activity delivered by east-west traffic. By reducing your application attack surface, you help secure your greatest assets.

Cloud analytics for apps

Cloud analytics provides security alerts, allows for management and scalability, and extends visibility into threats across your public cloud, hybrid, and on-premises networks--all on one platform. Quick responses are critical to prevent security compromises from becoming devastating breaches. Cloud analytics gives the information IT teams need to make decisions that strengthen your security posture.

Multi-factor authentication

This kind of application security uses two forms of authentication to grant access to a system: traditional username and password, and the assurance from an associated device that the user requesting access is trusted. This zero-trust method is an additional layer of security that helps ensure threats will be blocked while your users gain secure network access.

Application performance monitoring

Performance monitoring is able to detect issues before customers notice, protecting your business's reputation and allowing you to develop a proactive solution. This end-to-end security approach uses machine learning to provide a baseline, automate anomaly detection, and help IT teams to secure applications. You can reduce the risk of a breach with real-time performance intelligence.