Datadog Unfurls Application Security Service

Datadog, Inc. Today made generally available an Application Security Monitoring (ASM) service that is based on the same agent software that many DevOps teams already use to monitor applications.

Pierre Betouin, vice president of product for the cloud security platform at Datadog, said ASM is designed to make it simpler for DevOps teams to add additional DevOps best practices to their existing workflows. The ASM service is based on a runtime application self-protection (RASP) engine and web application firewall that Datadog gained with the acquisition of Sqreen a year ago.

ASM then employs distributed tracing to discover code-level vulnerabilities such as server-side-request forgeries (SSRFs), SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws. It is designed to extend an existing Datadog Cloud Security Platform that includes cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud workload security (CWS) and cloud SIEM services.

The overall goal is to make it simpler for DevOps teams to address application security by eliminating the need to deploy and maintain a separate set of agents within applications, said Betouin. That approach reduces resistance among DevOps teams that would otherwise be concerned about the additional overhead another approach to application security would add to an application environment, he added.

The number of organizations looking to implement DevSecOps best practices is expected to increase in the weeks and months ahead in the wake of a series of high-profile breaches and zero-day vulnerability disclosures. Many organizations are now performing security reviews across their entire software supply chain as part of an effort to discover any malicious malware that might have been inserted into applications.

The challenge those organizations face is that as application environments become more dynamic, maintaining application security becomes more difficult as code is continuously updated. The best way to address that engineering challenge is to extend the reach of an observability platform that many DevOps teams already have in place, noted Betouin. Ultimately, the goal is to automate application security as much as possible but that’s not going to be achievable if DevOps teams lack the context required, he added.

It’s not clear at what rate organizations are embracing DevSecOps best practices. However, it’s clear that DevOps teams are being held more accountable for application security. Most developers are now charged with becoming application security experts overnight, so the only way to effectively ensure application security is to uncover security flaws before applications are in production environments.

There are, of course, multiple ways of achieving that goal. Datadog is betting that the path of least resistance is via a cloud service that connects to agent software inserted within those applications. DevOps teams have been inserting agent software, in one form or another, into those applications for years. The issue is that with each new agent added there is yet another software that needs to be updated and regularly component updated. If not carefully tracked, a DevOps team could find itself attempting to manage an entire portfolio of agent software for every platform employed.

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