In today’s day and age, change has become the only constant for businesses especially due to the accelerated pace of technological advancements and the pressing need for its adoption by businesses. In such a context, agility has come to occupy a central place in the business world – agility in almost all aspects of the business. And web applications/ websites are no exception. End-users, whether customers or employees, expect the websites and web applications they use to be agile, quick and efficient. With the rapid advancement of technology, cyber-attacks and data breaches are on the rise too, thereby making web application security and website security checks non-negotiable and indispensable.

The key here is that agility and efficiency of web applications should not be compromised for website security and vice-versa. Therefore, businesses need to choose a comprehensive, intelligent and efficient website/ web application security solution that effectively achieves this balance.

Website Vulnerability Scanner

A key part of such a comprehensive security solution is a website vulnerability scanner. As the name suggests, this tool scans the website for weaknesses, gaps, and known vulnerabilities, taking a proactive approach to identify and remediate vulnerabilities before bad actors can find and exploit them. These scanners are automated and often cloud-based. Manual web vulnerability scanning is fast becoming a thing of the past.

How do automated web vulnerability scanners reduce risks?

Agility and scale that enables organizations to have a first-mover advantage:

As discussed earlier, change is the only constant and businesses need to be agile and quick in adapting to changes and leveraging them to gain strategic advantages. So, web applications, which are becoming central to businesses today, to are changing on a continuous basis for better performance.

Also, a large number of applications run on third-party web servers, OS integrates with other web services and there are many moving parts to the web applications/ websites.

These factors necessitate frequent assessments of the web applications to ensure that common issues are easily and quickly detected and remediated, gaining a first-mover advantage in the race against cyber-attackers and malicious actors. Automated web vulnerability scanners enable organizations to achieve this speed, agility, and scale in running scans across a multiplicity of ports and servers and identifying a larger number of vulnerabilities in a matter of hours and minutes.

Accuracy and reduction of human errors:

With the pace at which attackers are innovating attack types and leveraging technology to exploit vulnerabilities, the number of application vulnerability variants that need to be scanned are fast increasing. For manual scanning to be successful at such a pace and scale, the organization will have to dedicated employees who engage in scanning. Considering the drudgery and repetitive nature of this work, the possibility of human error is high. The risk and cost of an employee missing an input parameter for scanning or skipping variations of a particular attack while scanning is high. Automated scanning enables organizations to reduce the risk of human errors and infuses greater accuracy into the process as these automated tools work based on rules and policies and leverage threat databases of known vulnerabilities to identify potential gaps and weaknesses.

Greater visibility to security posture:

One of the biggest contributors to cyber-attacks is the lack of visibility of the security posture. Automated website security scanning effectively addresses this challenge. The best scanning tools such as AppTrana provide quick reports after every scan and also provide security analytics, breaking information silos with to vulnerability data. Such automated scanners ensure that there is 24×7 visibility of the risk posture and business impact.

Is automation adequate to security websites and web applications?

No. Automation and automated website security scans are necessary but not sufficient to secure web applications and websites for 2 reasons:

  1. Scanning only identifies vulnerabilities and does not remediate them, unless it is part of a comprehensive security solution.
  2. Business logic vulnerabilities, unknown vulnerabilities, and zero-day threats cannot be identified by automated web scanners. The intelligence, creative thinking skills and expertise of security professionals are essential to creating custom rules, conduct penetration testing and security audits, derive insights from security analytics data and so on to ensure holistic and effective web application security.

Therefore, an automated website vulnerability scanner must be part of a comprehensive, intelligent and efficient security solution that combines the power of automation with the expertise, intelligence and creative problem-solving skills of certified security experts. Managed solutions like AppTrana help organizations to maintain high levels of application security with custom rules zero assured false positives while not compromising on the speed and agility.