What is Vulnerability Management & How Cisco AppDynamics is Dealing with It.

What is vulnerability management?

Every year, thousands of new vulnerabilities are discovered, requiring organizations to patch operating systems (OS) and applications and reconfigure security settings throughout the entirety of their network environment. To proactively address vulnerabilities before they are utilized for a cyberattack, organizations serious about the security of their environment perform vulnerability management to provide the highest levels of security posture possible.

Vulnerability management is generally defined as the process of identifying, categorizing, prioritizing, and resolving vulnerabilities in operating systems (OS), enterprise applications (whether in the cloud or on-premises), browsers, and end-user applications. An ongoing process, vulnerability management seeks to continually identify vulnerabilities that can be remediated through patching and configuration of security settings.

Why do we need vulnerability management?

Network vulnerabilities represent security gaps that could be abused by attackers to damage network assets, trigger a denial of service, and/or steal potentially sensitive information. Attackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit—and taking advantage of old vulnerabilities that may have gone unpatched.

Having a vulnerability management framework in place that regularly checks for new vulnerabilities is crucial for preventing cybersecurity breaches. Without a vulnerability testing and patch management system, old security gaps may be left on the network for extended periods of time. This gives attackers more of an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities and carry out their attacks.

Cisco AppDynamics is Dealing with It

Cisco’s AppDynamics has launched a new solution for tackling security and exploit management while preserving application performance. AppDynamics, the tech giant’s application performance management (APM) arm, now offers Cisco Secure Application, software built natively into the AppDynamics platform. Cisco said that the “AppDynamics with Cisco Secure Application” will “drastically simplify vulnerability management, defend against attacks, and protect applications.”

While APM solutions usually focus on scrutinizing the performance of applications, the new offering has been designed to bring cybersecurity into the mix.

As businesses feel the strain of extended working from home models set to continue into the foreseeable future, the transition from just BYOD to full remote working, for some organizations, has increased their potential cyberattack exposure and is also applying pressure to existing data management protocols. With enterprise operations now spread across on-premise, hybrid, and cloud systems, Cisco says that data is being shifted from pillar to post, and when combined with remote laptops and devices, this situation is “testing the limits of monitoring practices and vastly expanding the IT perimeter, creating new weaknesses and vulnerabilities in even the most secure IT estates.”

As a result, some corporations may be choosing to sacrifice either security or performance. However, it is hoped that the new software introduced by the company will take some of the load off IT teams.

Cisco AppDynamics is making it easier for customers to integrate security features with application development to help customers detect threats, identify non-standard application behavior, and block attacks.

The company is adding software, called Cisco Secure Application, to the AppDynamics platform to correlate security and application information by scanning code execution for known exploits. Vulnerability data is shared with application and security operations teams so that together they can prioritize, execute, and track remediation efforts.

The vendor is adding software, called Cisco Secure Application, to the AppDynamics platform to correlate security and application information by scanning code execution for known exploits. Vulnerability data is shared with application and security operations teams so that together they can priorities, execute, and track remediation efforts.

The AppDynamics performance-management platform uses a series of agents and controllers to monitor the performance of application code, runtime, and behavior. Agents are deployed across the enterprise, from devices to containers and host application locations. The system uses AI and machine learning to correlate information from across different domains to better understand application performance and infrastructure dependencies and quickly identify problems. The system supports analytics to help IT teams understand why things are not working optimally and to predict when problems will occur.

With the introduction of the Cisco Secure Application, the above vulnerabilities and be identified within the application during production, bringing about a faster remedy. Companies won’t have to give up all the benefits of applications for security. AppDynamics claims that Cisco Secure Application melds together business performance and security insights with zero friction to protect brands against slowdowns and exploits.

What does the AppDynamics tools do?

AppDynamics provides a significant amount of detail to solve performance problems by using APM Tools and an analytics-driven approach. The agents are extremely intelligent and know when to capture important details and when to simple collect the basics, and this is for every transaction.

Our Application Performance Management solution baselines, monitors and reports on the performance of all transactions that flow through your app. Our APM solution was built for production environments, which provides an agile approach when it comes to capturing the details of transactions. Automatically determine normal performance and stop false alarms with dynamic baselining for end-to-end response time.

We score all of the transactions by doing a comparison of the self-learned baseline to the actual response time. When we determine that a Business Transaction has gone too far from its normal behavior, our agent can automatically collect full call stack details in order to troubleshooting the issue. This smart-analytics method enables AppDynamics to find and alert problems from the very beginning, so that they can be fixed before any major impact occurs.

At times the process of deep data capturing of transactions can become advantageous but AppDynamics has a feature that solves this need. We have a feature that enables full system-wide data recording. Developer mode is ideal for pre-production environments and every single request will be captured through a transaction snapshot. Also, it will shut down automatically when it is accidently left on, so that your system won’t stall if transaction volume rises.

Cisco Secure Application features include

  • Automatic runtime protection: Visibility into an application’s true behavior to easily detect attacks, identify deviations and block attacks automatically.
  • Simplified vulnerability management: Access at the code level to detect dependency and configuration level security vulnerabilities in production.
  • Security insights informed by business impact: Security details correlated with the application topology to apply business relevance to security events and helps teams focus on the incidents that matter most.
  • Collaboration between Application and Security teams: A shared context for Application and Security teams for optimal collaboration, improved security posture, and healthy digital business.

Conclusion

For any further comparison points, advantages, disadvantages or further knowledge that you might like, feel free to connect with us and share your queries.

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