Application security (AppSec) vulnerabilities are increasing rapidly. According to a recent study, 61 percent of apps have a Critical or High issue outside of the OWASP Top 10.

To safeguard against these vulnerabilities, your teams must upskill to prepare for evolving threats, as well as prove readiness to confront them.

While application security software–such as SAST/DAST/IAST–is the standard in detecting code vulnerabilities in the software development lifecycle (SDLC), technical tools lack the ability to enable individuals and teams to learn the skills required to meet constantly-evolving threats. At the same time, legacy application security training tools are also ineffective.

Below, we explore the three biggest reasons traditional application security training approaches fail.

Lack of Engaging Content

A recent study found that 64% of US and UK employees find cybersecurity training to be tedious.

While this number is jarring, given the realities of conventional application security training, it shouldn’t be surprising.

Development teams are continuously faced with the pressure to deliver applications at pace, which results in a culture where features are prioritized over secure practices. Many training and development platforms lack engaging content, relying on static material and non-immersive text and videos. This rote content ultimately fails, as it does not equip developers with the tools necessary to learn how to fix real vulnerabilities in code.

Teams need a more effective approach to learn about security, ensuring it is prioritized during production, testing, and maintenance of applications. This can only occur through engaging education that drives a shift in motivation, as well as the adoption of a security-first mindset by default.

Passive Learning Practices

Traditional classroom training is based on the idea that knowledge exchange results in behavior change. Adult learning, however, is a much more complicated process, especially when it comes to transfer of complex skills.

Rather than relying on traditional learning methods, organizations must adopt real-world practices that mimic the realities of how developers code, QA teams test, and infrastructure teams configure.

For developers, detecting security blind spots within programming tasks and correlating vulnerability knowledge can be challenging. By creating real-world environments, issues within code can be highlighted in real time, making the risk more visible and the impact of insecure code more tangible.

Inability to Demonstrate Preparedness

While traditional application security training can provide a skillset foundation, it cannot enable you to continuously assess team cybersecurity skills. Without the ability to measure people’s current cybersecurity preparedness, blindspots can arise, resulting in vulnerabilities.

Immersive Labs offers an innovative methodology that exceeds the limitations of traditional application security training. Through a dynamic, scenario-based approach to learning, Engineering and AppSec teams can be mapped to align with emerging threats and your organization’s wider risk strategies, engaging in real-life interactions, making and measuring decisions in real time.

To learn more about how Immersive Labs can help you mitigate AppSec threats, read the eBook Building Cyber Resilience Across the Software Development Lifecycle.

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January 11, 2023


Victoria Campbell

Content Writer