Forrester: Show, Don’t Tell, Your Developers How To Write Secure Code
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Forrester: Show, Don’t Tell, Your Developers How To Write Secure Code

Applications are the most frequent external attack vector for companies; as a result, security leadership made application security a top initiative in 2022. However, application security can only improve if developers code securely or remediate existing flaws — unfortunately, many developers don’t receive training with proper security know-how.

In this report from Forrester, you will learn how to get better at using Application Security Testing to heighten your developers’ security senses.

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Developers are key to Application Security

AppSec is challenging; security engineers are held accountable for the security of the code that developers are writing. At the same time, developers don’t have the skills or resources to write secure code – most of them have never sat an application security exam in university!

To claw their way out, organizations should look at integrating developer-friendly Application Security Testing (AST) tools –earlier in the software development lifecycle.

Here’s what you will find in this report

  • Developers aren’t taught application security in top computer science programs in the US.
  • A new generation of application security testing tools is helping developers learn on the job.
  • Secure coding practices can be promoted with guardrails, just-in-time training, and “security champions” programs.

GitGuardian helps these companies bring Dev. Sec. and Ops. together

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Over a hundred thousand developers write secure code with GitGuardian

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GitGuardian is a great tool to improve security starting from the development. I greatly appreciated the pre-commit integration that allows developers to very easily prevent accidental commits.

What I like the most about GitGuardian is the ability to automatically scan source code and detect leaked secrets. It has enabled us to add additional security control to our CI/CD pipeline, and enabled us to shift further left in the SDLC by implementing pre-commit hooks for developers to test their code before it is committed.

The perfect GitHub companion! It helps you track any sensitive data you may have shared in the repos, either public or private. Its algorithm is pretty advanced and I've never had any false positives.

We have definitely seen a return on investment when it finds things that are real. We have caught a couple of things before they made it to production, and had they made it to production, that would have been dangerous. For example, AWS secrets, if that ever got leaked, would have allowed people full access to our environment. Just catching two or three of those a year is our return on investment.

Overall, GitGuardian has also helped us develop a security-minded culture. We're serious about shift-left and getting better about code security. I think a lot of people in the organization are getting more mindful about what a hardcoded secret is.

Time to remediation is now in minutes or hours, whereas it used to take days or weeks previously. That's the biggest improvement. Because it is automated and visible to the author, someone from the security team doesn't have to remind them or recheck it. That means the slowdown in the deployment process has definitely been improved by an order of magnitude. There is easily a 30-hour improvement on time to remediation, which is about an 85 percent decrease.

The solution has reduced our mean time to remediation. We are down to less than a day. In the past, without context, knowing who made the commit, or kind of secret it was, sometimes it was taking us a lot longer to determine the impact and what actions needed to be taken.

I can say that tracking down a hardcoded secret, getting it migrated out of source code, getting the secret rotated, and cleaning the Git history took much longer from commit until the full resolution before GitGuardian. We weren't notified until it was too late, but with GitGuardian, we know almost instantly.

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