Back to Feed

Shift-Left, Right!

Shahar Man


January 3, 2024

In recent years, the term "shift left" has become a mantra in the world of software development and cybersecurity. The idea behind it is simple yet powerful – by addressing security concerns early in the development process, organizations can reduce the risk of vulnerabilities making their way into production, ultimately saving time and resources. However, as this mantra gained popularity, questions emerged about its effectiveness. Is it time for a fresh perspective?

The Unintended Consequences:

The logic is sound – catch vulnerabilities when they are easier and cheaper to fix, reducing the overall risk profile of the final product.

A two-decade-long experiment focused on "educating developers" about the importance of being security-aware has proven largely unsuccessful. Ultimately, development teams will consistently optimize for what they are paid for and where their passion lies – delivering beautiful new features.

Maintaining Professional Standards: The AppSec Team's Struggle

As shift left gained momentum, application security (AppSec) teams found themselves playing catch-up. Instead of actively participating in the development process, they were relegated to the role of program managers, chasing development teams to handle vulnerabilities. This separation between development and security teams has led to a disjointed approach, hindering the overall effectiveness of the security process. 

We increasingly hear CISOs confirming that the primary skill expected of their AppSec personnel these days is the ability to make the development teams listen, rather than embodying the security professionalism they were originally meant to possess.

The Need for a Paradigm Shift:

The challenge may not be that 'shift left' has failed us, but rather that we need to approach it differently. AppSec teams should have the technology to unleash their potential as the security experts they were trained to be, rather than constantly managing an overflow of dev vulnerabilities.

In the past 5 years, a new generation of tools (commonly referred to as CSPM) has empowered cloud security teams, offering excellent visibility and a focus on what truly matters. It's time for a similar revolution for AppSec and product security teams. Changing the status quo will enable them to translate their exceptional security expertise into substantial business risk reduction.

This change will be welcomed by development teams because, ultimately, they don't need more security tools to 'assist' them; they need fewer false tickets to handle.

Backslash Security:

Having experienced the challenges firsthand while managing significant development teams, we (Yossi Pik, and myself, founders of Backslash Security) identified the need for a more collaborative approach. Just last week I heard a prospect who expressed his exasperation and frustration with their internal processes, mention that they use the term "shift-delete" internally. This illustrates the level of dissatisfaction they feel in addressing their security challenges within the development pipeline. It's a reminder of the critical need for improved collaboration and efficiency in the AppSec domain, precisely the focus of Backslash Security's mission.

By incorporating AppSec professionals into the early stages of development, Backslash Security ensures that security considerations are an integral part of the entire process. Through this collaborative approach, we strive to enhance security without overwhelming the development process with vulnerabilities, ensuring a balanced and effective integration of AppSec expertise from the outset

Ultimately, the key is to foster collaboration, education, and a shared responsibility for security across the entire development lifecycle. By doing so, we can create a more secure  future without sacrificing the efficiency and innovation of modern software development.

Request a demo here and see how Backslash can help your organization save hours of work while staying secure.