Enterprise security automation

What is security automation?

Web security automation can scan web applications for vulnerabilities quickly, automatically, and reliably. This provides a huge boost to organizations' cybersecurity ROI - as well as greatly increasing the speed at which they can react to emerging threats.

On paper, web security automation sounds almost too good to be true. But what does it actually mean? Is it even truly possible to automate your cybersecurity function?

The challenges of enterprise cybersecurity

Let's rewind and begin by examining the problem. Enterprises face two main cybersecurity challenges (outside of not getting hacked):

Firstly, the sector faces a worldwide shortage of talent. This means that services like penetration testing are expensive and can be difficult to scale due to a scarcity of resources.

Secondly, many large businesses have a huge amount of online real estate to protect against malicious actors. This is difficult because of the situation outlined above.

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Penetration testing

Find out why Burp Suite Professional is the world's most widely-used penetration testing toolkit.

The solution: cybersecurity automation

In an ideal world, you'd have a large team of skilled penetration testers on-call 24/7. They'd never get sick or be otherwise unavailable, and certainly wouldn't make mistakes. They'd also have unlimited time to spend on your projects. All this for a very reasonable fee.

We don't need to point out the problems with this scenario. It's a pipe dream. But you can now get closer to it than you might think - thanks to security automation.

First, let's be clear: we're not about to suggest that you try to go without penetration testing. But web security automation software like Burp Suite Enterprise Edition will reduce the burden on your manual testers. This can be of great assistance in improving your cybersecurity ROI.

How does security automation work?

Web application security testing products can either work from the outside (simulating the actions of a real hacker), or from the inside (by assessing source code). While all scanners tend to struggle with lesser-known bugs, Burp Suite Enterprise Edition allows you to quickly remove critical vulnerabilities like SQL injection (SQLi) and cross-site scripting (XSS).

This frees up time for your pentesting team. You'll no longer be paying smart people to do work best done by a scanner. Instead they'll have time to look for bugs that require direct human analysis. If you want more value for money from penetration testing, then this is a great way to get it.

Some web vulnerability scanners receive criticism for returning large numbers of false positives, which then need to be weeded out. This accusation is most commonly levelled at SAST (static application security testing) scanners. Thanks to its augmented DAST (dynamic application security testing) methodology, Burp Suite is far less prone to this problem.

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Application security testing

Find out more about the different types of web application security testing.

Integrating web security automation with your development environment

Agile development has created a huge increase in release velocity for web applications. If you create a lot of web applications, then security automation can greatly increase the speed of your security testing. It puts security testing right in your development pipeline. And a scanner doesn't require an appointment like a pentester does. It's always there.

Of course, more testing potentially means more bugs to fix. Integration with existing development systems will help to streamline this process. Burp Suite Enterprise Edition can integrate with any CI/CD system through its REST API. It also integrates with Jira. This bridges the gap between security and development.

Most developers aren't security experts. That's why every bug found by Burp Suite Enterprise Edition comes complete with expert remediation advice from our world leading research team. Our customers tell us that Burp Suite Enterprise Edition helps put security closer to their product teams - while helping developers better understand vulnerabilities.

Does security automation work for operations of all sizes?

Enterprise businesses place much greater demands on cybersecurity automation solutions than SMEs do. Where an SME might have a few web applications to secure - with a fairly relaxed update schedule - larger enterprises often have tens of thousands. This can lead to updates being released at breakneck pace.

Given the scarcity of security resources, this makes effective penetration testing difficult for large businesses. New approaches to security automation can assist here - but need to be scalable in order to do so. Any solution also needs to be flexible enough that a business can introduce and withdraw sites at will, without wasting resources on further configuration.

Burp Suite Enterprise Edition is an indefinitely scalable security automation solution. Working as it does, through a pool of agents, it allows its users to scan and periodically review many web applications concurrently. This scanning can be scheduled - with results being delivered directly to developers, product, operations, and security teams.

What should you look for in an enterprise security automation solution?

So, as you can see, there are a number of features it's important to look for when choosing a cybersecurity automation solution for enterprise. The most crucial of these are:

Reliability

It should go without saying, but the solution you choose should be robust enough to detect all commonly encountered security vulnerabilities. It should do this while producing a low number of false positives. In our opinion, DAST is the best way to do this. Burp Scanner is battle-tested and known for its reliability even where complex applications are concerned.

Flexibility

Your chosen cybersecurity solution should afford you the flexibility to use it as you see fit. Beware of vendors that lock their users into specific ways of using software. Burp Suite Enterprise Edition's agents can be repurposed on demand. This gives you all the coverage you need - without locking you into expensive multi-year arrangements.

Scalability

Automation can help large businesses reap huge rewards in terms of cybersecurity ROI, by removing many critical vulnerabilities before a pentest is conducted. But this only works if a solution can to scale to fit. Look for a solution offering indefinite scalability. This will allow your chosen solution to perform correctly and grow with your business.

Integration

A solution that's ignored is worse than no solution at all. By fully integrating new systems with your existing development pipeline, you can help to ensure they will be properly adopted by the people who need to use them. CI/CD integration and intuitive dashboard layouts greatly ease this process.