Application Security Assessment: The Key Steps


Remember how we used to double-lock our homes at night? No crime cases, but securing your home feels like a necessity. Similarly, we must ensure that our program is safe and secure from potential cyber threats and attacks.

In the process of creating secure software, application security assessment helps in identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities. Security vulnerabilities can be incredibly harmful, as attackers can exploit them and cause significant damage. According to a survey by Sophos, 66 percent of organizations were hit by ransomware attacks

In this article, we’ll be discussing why application security assessment (also known as application security testing) is so crucial in today’s environment, as well as the key steps involved in conducting such an assessment.

Application Security Assessment | Why Is It So Important?

Software applications impact our lives in numerous ways, from booking a movie ticket to ordering groceries online. However, many people are unaware of how their personal information can be exploited in the event of a data breach.

To avoid these breaches, companies invest significant amounts of money in developing safe and secure applications. The process of conducting a security assessment is carried out by developers, security analysts, or companies that specialize in offering this service.

However, everyone in the business needs to learn the basics of application security testing. Let’s get started with the steps. 

Know the Subject – The Preparation

An application security assessment is similar to a code audit as it involves knowing the program’s goals and objectives.

For an analyst, the changes mustn’t affect the objectives of the software, and this involves conducting a threat modeling exercise. Threat modeling is the process of identifying potential threats and getting a better understanding of the software application. 

Conducting an ASA 

Conducting an application security assessment is not as easy as it may sound. It involves analyzing data flows and documenting all potential threats attackers could exploit. 

For an effective assessment, developers perform various tests such as vulnerabilities assessment, penetration testing, and an overall code review.

Mainly there are two types of application security assessments:

  1. Static Testing (SAST) – Performed in the development phase of the application and is less costly as it is easier to fix errors before or during development
  2. Dynamic Testing (DTST) – Performed after the application is developed to identify potential vulnerabilities & threats that may not have been detected during the development phase of the application’s lifecycle.

As of now, there are testing techniques beyond these two but the commonly used techniques are Static & Dynamic Security Assessments.

Overall, conducting includes analyzing & testing the code with various techniques.

Final Step

Once you complete the assessment, you should check the document and report the results and address any identified vulnerabilities. 

Collaboration with the development team is crucial, as they have detailed knowledge of the project. It is important to provide clear and actionable recommendations to help mitigate any security threats. 

Although the assessment may be complete, application security assessment is an ongoing process. Why is that? We will know about it later in this article. 

Why Is Application Security Assessment An On-Going Process?

Wonder why there’s an update every other day on your favorite social media app? As attackers evolve with technology and time, we need to update security protocols as well. 

Without regular updates, attackers can easily exploit vulnerabilities for their gain, resulting in significant financial losses, reputational damage, and legal issues.

Besides that, regular changes in the architectural design of the code may open doors for more threats, and therefore, application security assessments are essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe to Hire Third-Part Analysts for Application Security Assessment?

ASA is a crucial process and it may affect the whole program if not done right. One must hire a reputed firm.

People with good budgets can get in-house security analysts and get regular checks without being skeptical about the work. 

Why Is Application Security Testing Important?

Applications are critical components of an organization, and regular security testing is essential to ensure the safety of these applications.

Consider what could happen if attackers gained access to a school or college website. They could potentially misuse the data and cause harm to the institution by broadcasting false claims or engaging in other malicious activities.


I hope that this small piece served its purpose in sharing the importance of application security assessments and the key steps of performing effective testing.  

If you think that we have missed something, please feel free to share that with us in the comment section. We will surely add it to the article for other users. 


Dmitry Kurskov, Head of Information Security Department at ScienceSoft

An IBM Certified Deployment Professional, Dmitry has more than 20 years of practical experience as an information and cybersecurity systems architect. He manages the design and implementation of security policies and solutions within the company’s IT environment and oversees the delivery of managed security services to ScienceSoft’s clients. Dmitry advocates the consistency and continuous improvement of cyber defense as the key to resisting ever-evolving cyber threats. He has contributed greatly to aligning ScienceSoft’s security management system with ISO 27001.

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