Hacker attacks on business applications, such as databases and software, are a rapidly growing threat to enterprises. To help them meet this challenge, Verizon Business on Thursday (July 9) introduced a comprehensive, new Application Security Program that takes a risk-based approach to protecting the critical data contained within each application.
Immediately available in the U.S. and in a number of countries around the world, the program helps large-business customers better understand and identify the potential security threats to their applications, and take steps to protect them. Customers also have the option to pursue a Verizon Cybertrust Application Certification, which verifies that their information-security controls, policies and procedures meet a stringent set of standards.
"Businesses are often stuck in a Catch-22 situation when it comes to applications," said Kerry Bailey, Verizon Business senior vice president of global services. "While enterprises must adopt new applications to conduct their day-to-day operations and remain competitive, the focus tends to be on functionality and efficiency, not security. If you deploy an application without proactively evaluating the security ramifications, there could be a steep price to pay."
As shown by Verizon Business' "2009 Data Breach Investigations Report," hackers often sneak into and compromise a company's sensitive data and business systems via insecure applications. Of the 285 million compromised records from the 90 confirmed breaches in 2008 that were examined by the report, 79 percent were compromised via Web applications.
In addition to the sheer volume and success of attacks, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Compounding this growing trend is that the traditional software-development cycle often does not address security, which makes enterprises even more vulnerable to security breaches. Moreover, fixing vulnerable applications can be challenging, costly and time-consuming.
Adds Bailey: "Verizon offers one-stop shopping to address an enterprise's complete application-security needs. Using each customer's unique risk profile, we can help the business identify high-priority applications - and the vulnerable, critical data contained within them - before intruders have the opportunity to exploit the applications and harm the business."
The Verizon Application Security Program comprises three tiers: Baseline, Assess and Certify. Customers enter the program at the first tier, and can continue through the second and third tiers, based on customers' unique business requirements. To mitigate security risk, new applications can be vetted before they are deployed.
"Verizon's Application Security Program addresses an important area that is often overlooked by enterprises - securing the applications that are critical to business operations," said Amy DeCarlo, principal analyst - managed IT services at Current Analysis. "This program allows for a more thorough look at enterprise applications to ensure they are not only available but secure. With more attacks targeted at the application layer, this kind of attention to application security is essential."
In the first tier of the program, Verizon security experts conduct an initial application-risk assessment, which consists of baseline scanning and reviewing the software development lifecycle of the applications. Verizon determines the types of data consumed by specific applications, which is critical to establishing each application's risk level, and also determines which applications present the highest risk for the business.
The second tier focuses on high-risk applications. Verizon conducts a full-scale review to assess the criticality and severity of impact to the business if these assets were to be exploited. Typical assessment activities include application vulnerability assessments, penetration testing and security source code reviews.
The third tier offers customers the option of pursing the prestigious Verizon Cybertrust Application Certification, which verifies that an organization's information-security controls, policies and procedures have been examined, measured and validated against a stringent set of Verizon security standards. The certification is rigorous, and renewal requires annual recertification. Certified customers can display and share the Verizon Cybertrust seal with customers, partners and prospects to demonstrate that information security is a top priority for them.
Customers can choose to remediate on their own any vulnerabilities identified by the Application Security Program, or to outsource the remediation to Verizon Business. Verizon Business offers a wide range of remediation services to prevent, detect and respond to vulnerabilities, including secure application development training, identity and access management, and disaster recovery.
Verizon Cybertrust Security
The Verizon Application Security Program joins Verizon Business' robust portfolio of security solutions, aimed at helping enterprises and government agencies manage security risk and protect critical company assets. The portfolio includes governance risk and compliance solutions, data loss and prevention solutions, identity management solutions, and managed security services. The company's more than 1,100 security professionals around the globe deliver these offerings through a range of managed services, professional services and technologies, based on what best suits the customer. More information is available by visiting http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/products/security.
About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.