Synopsys Sets Course After Agreeing to Acquire WhiteHat Security

Synopsys, Inc. plans to add dynamic application security testing (DAST) tools to its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform in the wake of agreeing to acquire WhiteHat Security from NTT Security Corp. for approximately $330 million in cash.

Jason Schmitt, general manager of the Software Integrity Group at Synopsys, said the DAST tools developed by WhiteHat will complement the existing static, interactive and software composition analysis tools that Synopsys currently provides.

The goal is to provide an end-to-end application security platform, including consulting, to help organizations better secure software supply chains, he added. NTT Security Corporation previously acquired WhiteHat Security in 2019 to extend the reach of the services it provides. Since then, SaaS platforms for testing application security have become more widely available.

The acquisition comes at a time when many organizations are trying to determine how far left to shift responsibility for application security toward developers. While developers have a role to play, Schmitt said that shifting responsibility for applications completely left is a fallacy. DevOps teams will need to rely more on platforms that provide guardrails that enable developers to build secure applications in a way that doesn’t create a lot of additional friction, he said.

Unfortunately, cyberattacks against applications are increasing in complexity and volume. That makes it a challenge for both application developers, DevOps teams and security professionals to keep track of how threats to applications are evolving, said Schmitt. As more companies rely on software to drive digital business initiatives, Schmitt said the business risks those organizations will face are only going to increase. In an era where developers far outnumber security professionals, he added that the only way to rise to that challenge is to rely more on SaaS platforms that enable organizations to implement DevSecOps best practices within their existing application development workflows, he noted.

Today, the challenge is that much of an organization’s security budget is assigned to networks and endpoints rather than applications, added Schmitt. It’s not clear to what degree that spending needs to shift toward application security or if a larger portion of the application development budget needs to be assigned to security. One way or another, however, it’s apparent that overall spending on application security needs to increase to combat the frequent attacks.

In the meantime, the historical divide that has existed between developers and cybersecurity teams should narrow as more security tools are made accessible to developers and DevOps teams alike. Otherwise, security professionals will continue to point out security issues that might affect an application running in a production environment and developers will continue to ignore issues they don’t see as relevant or that they don’t have time to patch. Not surprisingly, most vulnerabilities in applications running in production environments remain unpatched; the only way forward is to rely on automation to eliminate them before the application is ever.

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