How CISOs and CEOs Can Build a Cyber Resilient Org with a Complete ASPM

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In the wake of the SolarWinds attack and subsequent charges filed against the company’s CISO, The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) drafted the Secure Software Development Attestation Form, suggesting CEOs and COOs bear some responsibility for software security issues.

This isn’t the first time such a sentiment has been expressed…

  • The NIST Cybersecurity Framework emphasizes leadership commitment as a key pillar
  • The ISO requires top management to demonstrate commitment to information security
  • The SEC has repeatedly highlighted the importance of board oversight of cybersecurity
  • The ENISA promotes a “whole-of-society” approach, stressing that the responsibility is cybersecurity is shared across organizations
  • And tighter NYDFS rules explicitly hold board members and executives accountable for cyber risk

It’s a clear message: Security isn’t just a functional issue. It’s a C-level imperative.

So, how can CISOs and CEOs work together to ensure agility, innovation, and security? By prioritizing both business and cyber resilience, which, according to McKinsey, is already a top priority for CEOs.

Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) can help. Here’s how.

ASPM provides much-needed transparency to fix broken incentive systems and improve security culture

It’s one thing to agree that cybersecurity is important. It’s another to implement incentive systems that promote this. Developers, for example, are responsible for preventing and fixing cybersecurity issues. But are they incentivized to do so? In most organizations, the answer is no. 

They’re driven by the pressure to ship code faster, stay competitive, and increase productivity. They’ve likely adopted agile methodologies, and are responsible for metrics related to velocity, lead time, and code churn. With such a focus on speed, quality issues can arise which ultimately impact security.

“Shift Left” is meant to introduce security measures earlier, but it doesn’t solve the incentive problem,  nor does it solve the complex issue of transparency across multiple repositories, products, applications, and infrastructure. More often than not, security isn’t well integrated into developers’ workflows and native environments, which slow them down.The result? Policies get ignored, vulnerabilities make their way into the software supply chain, and breaches cause financial losses and reputational damage.

Complete ASPM makes security a team sport by enabling security teams and developers to work better together to drive effective outcomes and better decisions for the entire business. Developers can fix vulnerabilities without leaving their own native environment, and thanks to dynamic risk scoring, they can focus their efforts on the most critical 1% of vulnerabilities.

With code to cloud visibility, security and business leaders can rest assured that developer efforts are always being focussed where they’re most impactful. And, because they can see who fixes what, and when, new incentive systems can now be introduced to drive accountability. Developers benefit, too. 

Consolidation is cost-effective

CISOs and CEOs have always been laser focussed on strategic cost-cutting that optimizes processes, eliminates inefficiencies, and fosters innovation. Recent economic uncertainty has, of course, driven urgency here. 

In order to properly assess risk and make good decisions for the business, security and business leaders need context inclusive of their entire environment. But today, the average AppSec team uses 49 tools. None of them effectively bring data, workflows, and reporting together into a single view to give businesses total transparency and control. It’s no wonder 90% of security professionals would consider consolidating their tech stack into a single platform. 

Complete ASPM solutions can replace and/or consolidate existing security tools into a single platform. Think of it as a mission control center. 

Not only does this consolidation help lower costs (both in the form of licensing fees and in the personnel required to manage numerous tools), but it also helps eliminate tool silos and remove blind spots between tools. Win-win! 

But they need your help, starting with your buy-in.

ASPM offers complete visibility and control

In today’s digital age, resilience relies on technology and software. After all, “every company is a software company.” But it’s dangerous out there.

Research shows that 61% of DevSecOps professionals and 78% of CISOs believe today’s attack surface is unmanageable, and generative AI is making it even easier for bad actors to launch large scale, highly sophisticated attacks. Even one “minor” weakness or vulnerability in your application’s code could cause a breach, compromise customer trust, and give competitors a leg up.

That’s why CISOs need to be more immersed in the nitty gritty of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), and why CEOs should be proactively involved in cybersecurity decisions. After all, cyber resilience = business resilience.  

Complete ASPM automatically identifies risk across all components, tools, libraries, languages, CI/CD pipeline, cloud infrastructure, and more. It gives security teams and the C-Suite an “always on,” holistic view of their risk throughout the software development cycle, and important information about quality, business impact, and priorities. This way, they can make data-driven decisions that improve their security posture, all in one platform.

Build a comprehensive compliance program with ASPM

New security frameworks and compliance standards are designed to provide greater transparency into the security of an organization’s software development and delivery processes. 

While these standards are useful in understanding an organization’s security posture, they place additional burden on already stressed teams, and a lot of teams are struggling to keep up.

It’s become a game of whac-a-mole, with CISOs constantly trying to plug security gaps to stay compliant and prevent breaches. But, with so many disparate tools in their tech stacks (49, remember?) it’s become an impossible task. 

Complete ASPM provides active secure quality defense, holisitce software threat surface management, and right-now decision support capabilities for security and business leaders. Comprehensive reporting and analytics also make it fast and easy to deliver evidence to comply with standards and regulations such as SSDF and SLSA.

Achieve business and cyber resilience with Cycode

Cycode is the leader in ASPM, and trusted by leading companies like PayPal, UBS, and Ford.

Our Complete ASPM Platform provides complete visibility, prioritization, and remediation across the SDLC, promotes collaboration between security teams and developers, and makes it possible for organizations to prioritize security, without slowing down the pace of innovation.

Interested in learning more about Complete ASPM? Sign-up now for ASPM Nation, a free virtual Summit featuring business and security leaders from some of the world’s most innovative companies.

You can also book a demo now to see the platform in action.