Why Deduplication is Important for Security

Why Deduplication is Important for Security

William Leichter

June 18, 2024

Why Deduplication is Important for Security

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Duplicates are annoying, but surprisingly hard to eliminate. 

Copies are irritating, but unexpectedly difficult to purge. 

While it might be easy to spot the exact match in the title above, the following sentences have the same meaning, but would be hard to match in a spreadsheet. Similarly, data about the threats from different tools in varying formats, can waste a lot of your team’s limited time.

Few things are more tedious than being bombarded with thousands of duplicate, redundant, or repetitive security findings across multiple tools. While this sounds like it should be easy to fix, as we add more security tools, which create more data, the problem keeps multiplying. And if you’re scanning complex software for vulnerabilities, the same issue may legitimately popup in many libraries, microservices, or applications.

Part of the problem is that we seem to keep falling back on primitive tools to analyze large security datasets – like the ubiquitous spreadsheet. We’ve all done this – under time pressure, you dump a large amount of data into a .csv file and hope you can use brute force to cut through the noise. 

Even a single code scanner will often find the same vulnerability across multiple libraries or microservices, and legitimately trigger hundreds of similar results. In this case you need to quantify, and roll-up the results, so you’re not overwhelmed by a single issue. 

It’s also frustrating and time wasting, when false positives from one system have been documented, yet alerts keep recurring through multiple channels. Once a false positive has been validated, it needs to be flagged to prevent it from repeatedly popping up daily. 

Similarly, many alerts have known causes, and developers often agree to make exceptions on low priority issues so they can focus on critical ones. But without robust and automated workflows to track exceptions, the same known issues will keep recurring, and distracting analysts and managers from real issues.

How AppSOC Can Help

AppSOC provides effective deduplication by aggregating and correlating vulnerability data from multiple security tools, eliminating redundant alerts. Our advanced deduplication engine matches similar issues by normalizing data into a common format. AppSOC can also consolidate and quantify similar vulnerabilities that occur in multiple locations.

The platform analyzes multiple data elements of vulnerabilities to identify duplicates including:

  • CVE identifiers
  • Library names and versions
  • Source file names and location
  • Vulnerability summaries and descriptions 

When multiple microservices are combined to form an application, the solution identifies unique vulnerabilities across all microservices. This reduces the noise for Security Analysts in their triaging and remediation process.

False Positive and Exception Management

AppSOC also eliminates the annoyance of recurring false positives, with automated workflows to identify false signals across tools, manage approvals, and suppress recurring noise from known issues. The platform also provides robust exception management workflows for requests and approvals, leading to reduced noise from known and approved exceptions.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Exception management tools in AppSOC

While the costs and pain of dealing with redundant data is clear, the benefits of solving this problem can be far reaching, including:

Reduction of Alert Fatigue

AppSOC automatically identifies redundant alerts and presents a consolidated view of unique vulnerabilities. This lets your team focus their attention on genuine, high-priority threats rather than sifting through redundant notifications. 

Enhanced Efficiency and Focus

Deduplication enhances operational efficiency by allowing security and development teams to concentrate on addressing unique vulnerabilities. By removing unnecessary duplication, AppSOC enables a more organized and systematic workflow, leading to faster identification, prioritization, and remediation of security issues.

Improved Risk Assessment Accuracy

When vulnerability data is deduplicated and aggregated into a single, coherent view, security teams can make more informed decisions regarding risk mitigation strategies. This leads to more effective prioritization of remediation efforts, ensuring that the most critical vulnerabilities are addressed promptly.

Resource Optimization

By filtering out redundant alerts, AppSOC helps organizations make more efficient use of their human and technical resources. Security personnel can devote their time and expertise to resolving unique issues rather than being bogged down by repetitive tasks. This efficient allocation of resources ultimately leads to cost savings and improved productivity.

Strengthened Compliance and Reporting

Accurate and concise vulnerability data is essential for generating compliance reports and demonstrating adherence to security standards. By eliminating duplicate entries, AppSOC ensures that reports are clear, accurate, and easy to compile. 

Enhanced Collaboration Across Teams

Clear and accurate data facilitates communication, ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding the status and priority of vulnerabilities. This collaborative approach leads to more cohesive and efficient workflows, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the organization’s security efforts.

Overall, effective deduplication capabilities offer numerous benefits that enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness of vulnerability management. By reducing alert fatigue, improving risk assessment accuracy, optimizing resources, strengthening compliance, and fostering collaboration, AppSOC enables organizations to maintain a robust security posture in the face of an ever-evolving threat landscape.