Saturday 7 May 2022

Application security testing within AEM Boundary and Tools

Evolution of AEM from on-prem/AMS to AEM As Cloud service has reduced the security concerns to a certain limit. But there are areas an AEM architect should be concerned about, when the code moves to production.

Role of Application Security Testing (AST)
The application security is a major consideration when new design techniques are adopted and DevSecOps are in demand. Application Security Testing (AST) tools available as On-Premise,Cloud or as a SaaS offering. The current tech-market comprises of Application Security Testing (AST) tools offering core testing capabilities — which can be of type static, dynamic, interactive and various optional, specialized capabilities testing;

Below given a set of the AST techniques in brief
Static AST (SAST): SAST analyzes an application’s source, bytecode or binary code for security vulnerabilities - Mainly during development & testing phases.
Dynamic AST (DAST): DAST analyzes applications in their running/dynamic state during testing mainly during operational phases.
DAST Simulates the attack on web-application(AEM) and APIs(within the boundary of AEM application)
Software composition analysis (SCA):    SCA is used to identify other open-source and, less frequently, commercial components in use within an AEM application. From this, known security vulnerabilities, potential licensing concerns and operational risks can be identified.

Interactive AST (IAST): IAST checks a running application, For e.g In case of AEM via the Java Virtual Machine [JVM] and examines its operation to identify vulnerabilities.

Fuzzing: Fuzz testing relies on providing random, malformed or unexpected input to a program to identify potential security vulnerabilities — For e.g., a memory leaks or buffer overflows or application crashes.

Mobile AST (MAST): MAST generally use traditional testing approaches (e.g., SAST and DAST) that have been optimized to support languages and frameworks commonly used to develop mobile and/or Internet of things (IoT) applications. Since mobile & IoT is a related technology with AEM, we must consider such techniques.

Some of the market leaders in AST

There are many AST tools available in market, but below given a set of tools which we came across during our evaluation.
Synopsis, Checkmarx, Veracode, Contrast security, Invicti, Data Theorem are some of the options which can be considered for Application security testing.

Please comment if you have come across any other tools suitable for AEM projetcs.

An architectural thought should be around the selection of tools available in market, the time frame for testing, frequency and penetration level etc. 

The consideration for tool selection must factor pricing vs a freemium model, low-code applications, notification/ alert strategies, language options, IDE & Dashboard supports, customer experience etc.

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