Application shielding has become an increasingly important concept as more companies digitize their operations and assets. Application shielding refers to protecting software apps and preventing unauthorized access or changes. There are many advantages to properly shielding line-of-business applications.
App shielding, or application shielding, helps protect apps from tampering, hijacking, and unauthorized access. It focuses on reinforcing apps themselves rather than just securing devices or networks. Application shielding fortifies apps using various methods like code obfuscation, environmental key protection, encryption, and runtime integrity checks.
Effective app shielding can deliver many security advantages. It is an app-centric paradigm that prevents security cracks that lead to data theft, fraud, operational disruptions, and compliance violations. With proper app shielding, companies can reduce risk and enable more connectivity with greater confidence.
- Preventing data theft and fraud
One major advantage of application shielding is preventing data theft and fraud.
App shielding protects sensitive data within apps through encryption and other techniques, so if hackers do gain access, critical data remains secure. It also prevents tampering, like inserting backdoors or malicious code into apps to enable future data theft.
By keeping data locked down at the app level, companies can better guard customer details, trade secrets, employee information, and other sensitive data. App shielding complements endpoint, network, and cloud security to provide an added layer of protection right at the source.
- Stopping App Hijacking and Manipulation
In addition to data security, application shielding stops app hijacking and manipulation.
Hackers are increasingly targeting weaknesses in apps themselves to take control and then exploit trust in the app for further penetration. Or they manipulate apps to improperly operate or provide false data.
App shielding specifically hardens apps to prevent takeover or manipulation. Techniques like code obfuscation, environmental key protection, and checksums make it extremely difficult for hackers to hijack or alter apps.
Runtime integrity checks also continuously validate that an app is operating as intended without unauthorized changes. This prevents hackers from tweaking apps to get them to compromise data or systems.
- Shielding Access and Integration Points
Access and integration points between apps are also shielded to limit exposure.
APIs, automation protocols, message queues, databases, and microservices enable powerful connectivity between apps. But they also introduce potential attack vectors if they are not properly secured.
With app shielding, all integration touch points are hardened to prevent exploitation. This allows apps to interoperate securely while maintaining protection.
- Operational Reliability and Stability
By preventing app manipulation and ensuring ongoing integrity checking, application shielding boosts operational reliability and stability.
Hackers often try to subtly manipulate aspects of apps to subtly trigger operational disruptions. By tampering with data validity checks, automation protocols, or error handling, they can slowly degrade performance.
App shielding specifically protects these aspects of apps. So companies can trust that apps are running as intended without disruptive glitches or slowdowns. Operations remain consistent, allowing you to focus on business innovation rather than app integrity.
- Adhering to compliance mandates
Application shielding also helps companies adhere to compliance mandates around app security and trust.
With frameworks like PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOC2, and others, there are specific controls required when handling sensitive data with apps. Companies must demonstrate that apps robustly safeguard data while also maintaining trust through continuous runtime integrity checks.
By implementing app shielding that encrypts data appropriately, prevents tampering, and does runtime validation, companies can readily comply with mandated app security controls. Audits are much simpler when apps are shielded to provide security by default.
- Flexibility for Cloud and Hybrid Deployments
Modern apps are often deployed using cloud, hybrid, or microservices architectures. Application shielding provides flexibility to consistently secure apps, regardless of deployment method.
Cloud deployments, serverless apps, containerized microservices, and headless interfaces all introduce unique security considerations. Traditional network and endpoint controls sometimes fall short of protecting these more flexible app architectures.
But application shielding travels with the app, so you get reliable security regardless of how that app is accessed or deployed. You can enable greater agility in moving apps between environments while retaining consistent shielding for each app.
- Lower security risk, greater connectivity
At its core, comprehensive application shielding lowers security risk and enables greater connectivity between apps and partners.
With app shielding, companies can authorize broader connectivity and API access with reduced risk. Third-party apps, external partners, new acquisition apps, and legacy systems can all interoperate more securely.
And older apps that may be challenging to rebuild with modern security can get a second life by implementing app shielding protections. Useful apps with sensitive data don’t need to be retired solely due to deficient security.
- Getting Started With Application Shielding
The advantages of effectively shielding line-of-business applications are compelling. Sensitive data is protected, apps cannot be hijacked or manipulated, operations remain stable, compliance mandates are achieved, and flexible deployments are supported.
Companies looking to secure their apps should consider these steps:
- Catalog all apps and interfaces with sensitivity levels based on data accessed.
- Prioritize shielding apps that have the highest data sensitivity.
- Research app shielding options that offer robust protections without limiting functionality.
- Begin implementing comprehensive app shielding, including encryption, obfuscation, key management, integrity checks, and more.
Application shielding represents the future of app security—moving beyond endpoint and perimeter defenses to fortify apps themselves. Organizations that embrace advanced app shielding position themselves well to securely benefit from continued IT innovation.
Application shielding delivers multifaceted security advantages for protecting valuable apps and data. It prevents unauthorized access and tampering to keep data safe. It stops app hijacking and manipulation attacks. It shields integrations between apps and maintains continuous runtime integrity checks. And it allows apps to remain operationally reliable while also offering deployment flexibility.
Comprehensive app shielding lowers risk as connectivity increases between apps and partners. Companies can confidently digitize more operations, knowing critical apps are shielded end-to-end. App shielding secures existing apps while also providing frameworks to develop the next generation of apps with trust and protection by default.
With exponential growth in business apps showing no signs of slowing, application shielding is essential to balance and secure innovation. Organizations that get ahead of the curve on adopting app shielding will maintain the important advantage of leveraging technology for innovation and results without compromising trust.