Cisco’s AppDynamics launches Secure Application to simplify vulnerability management

As growing computing complexity introduces new vulnerabilities and the number of cyberattacks soars, companies are looking for ways to rethink their approach to security. Cisco’s AppDynamics wants to address that challenge with a new service that creates greater internal collaboration while automating more of the process.

AppDynamics, which specializes in application performance management, today announced Secure Application, a new service developed with Cisco’s security team. While Cisco acquired AppDynamics in 2017, the announcement of this jointly developed product marks a step forward in the two companies’ integration.

The goal is to break down the walls that traditionally exist between a company’s application developers and its security team.

“The application and security teams have traditionally been siloed,” AppDynamics CTO Ty Amell said. “This gives them a way to speak the same language and understand security in the application context. This really gives them an opportunity to use a very similar tool and understand what vulnerabilities are in the code and see what is potentially exploitable in real time within the application.”

Such collaborative approaches have taken on greater urgency due to the increase in cybercrime during the pandemic. This comes as organizations grow more dependent on cloud-based services to serve customers, leading to an explosion in data that becomes an even more tantalizing target for hackers. The growing number of people working from home has added another wrinkle to the security picture by creating a bigger surface for attacks.

So there is an overall push to simplify security and ensure that it’s top of mind during the application development process. Some companies are doing that by making it easier for app developers to build security right in.

AppDynamics takes a slightly different approach but still prioritizes placing the security at the application layer. Secure Application is built natively into its APM platform and leverages the exiting agents. Cisco’s security team has built a feed directly into the APM that enables real-time protection.

“We feel like this is the next step in the security of having that application context and being able to see those vulnerabilities within the application,” Amell said. “This takes it a step further by being able to block those vulnerabilities from being executed against.”

Companies are now running applications in an environment where they are juggling multi-cloud architectures and cloud-native microservices. Secure Application helps spot vulnerabilities during the development process and analyze their potential impact.

In that way, security and application teams can work together to resolve issues, Amell said. Ideally, this results in fewer security alerts and better real-time detection.

“It gives visibility to the developer that they traditionally haven’t had,” he said. “It gives developers that real-time view, and it allows them to have a lot more control and insight into the security of their application. It really simplifies security management.”


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