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Security Validation as Code
April 1, 2022


Cloud applications demand security validation to guarantee that the software is safe and compliant with security standards. It also aids in the prevention of data breaches and other threats prevalent to the public cloud.

In the past, security validation was typically done manually by security analysts. This was time-consuming and error-prone. With the rise of DevOps, there is now a better way to do security validation. Security Validation as Code is a new approach that uses automation to validate the security of cloud applications. In this post, we are reviewing a quick background on the subject and highlighting the benefits of Security validation as code.

Challenges with manual Security Validation in the cloud

The majority of the time, security validation is a manual operation. It lacks the repeatability and process hygiene associated with SDLC. In the CI/CD world, the existence of a manual security testing procedure creates significant operational inefficiencies. Moreover, It is difficult to manage and organize security testing across different environments.

Because security testing tools are not always integrated with the application development tools and processes, the results of security testing can be difficult to track and trace back to the source code. It would be difficult to reproduce security issues.

API driven testing to the rescue

The vast majority of modern cloud-native applications and their infrastructure are API-driven. Because every fabric of the cloud is expressed using a consistent interface and atomicity, it is possible to represent most current cloud security validation as code, completely driven by APIs. This allows for more accurate and efficient testing.

By using APIs to drive the testing process, you can better mimic how the application will actually behave when it is used in production. This can help you find and fix problems before they cause issues for your customers.

What is Security Validation as Code?

Security Validation as Code enables validation of cloud applications and infrastructure in a more automated and API-driven way. It uses the same techniques and tools that are used for other types of testing, such as unit testing, integration testing, and regression testing. But all the security tests would be codified and kept in code repositories. To have the Security Validation as Code implemented for your company, you need to have a framework or a processing engine that can validate the cloud applications against the security tests which are available in a code repository and report back the non-compliant resources to the process.

The benefits of Security Validation as Code

Validation as code strives to minimize these barriers. With Security Validation as Code, security experts can define security tests in codes. The codes are shared between multiple parties and applied in various environments. your tests would have repeatability and you can get consistent results across different environments.

With Security Validation as Code, you can marry the speed of the CI/CD process with the high-quality bar of security. You can make sure if the pipeline is completed successfully, all the security tests are passed and the application is ready to be launched.

Security validation as code is also more scalable than manual testing and can be easily integrated into existing processes and tools. Your current SDLC process could have an extra step to security validate the application and environment to make sure all the configurations and codes are under compliance.

What are the challenges of Security Validation as Code?

The biggest challenge with Security validation as code is to find the proper solution that can run the security tests your company is looking for. You need to find a tool that can be easily integrated into the process and read the codes from the repositories.

Also, companies prefer to have a set of ready-to-use out-of-box test cases to run against their applications and environments, rather than developing the security test cases and threat vectors from scratch. This is the problem space Prancer’s PAC attempts to solve. Prancer automatically learns your cloud eco-system and automates the security validation, Automated penetration testing and infrastructure vulnerability assessments.

Security Validation as code is still a relatively new concept, and there aren’t many solutions that provide it. However, we anticipate to see more solutions appear in the near future, as more businesses recognize the value of automating their security testing procedures.

If you’re interested in implementing Security Validation as Code for your cloud applications, sign up for Prancer Platform!