This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of DOCUMENT Strategy magazine.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a set of strategies, technologies and tools that organizations use to manage, store and access electronic documents, images and other types of digital content. The goal of ECM is to support the creation, capture, storage, distribution and use of digital content in a way that is efficient, secure and compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
ECM systems typically include a range of features and capabilities, such as document management, workflow management, version control, records management and collaboration tools. They may also integrate with other systems and applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
ECM is used by organizations in a variety of industries, including healthcare, financial services, government, and manufacturing, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business processes. It can help organizations better manage the vast amounts of digital information they generate and handle on a daily basis, and ensure that important content is easily accessible and properly protected.
ECM Security Challenges
There are several security challenges that organizations must consider when implementing an Enterprise Content Management system:
Data breaches: ECM systems often store sensitive and confidential information, such as financial records, customer data and intellectual property. If this information is not properly protected, it could be accessed by unauthorized individuals, leading to data breaches and potential legal and reputational consequences.
Insider threats: ECM systems may also be vulnerable to insider threats, such as employees who intentionally or unintentionally leak sensitive information or access content they are not authorized to view.
Unsecured data transfers: When transferring data between systems or devices, there is a risk that the data could be intercepted by third parties. This risk can be mitigated by using secure protocols and encryption when transferring data.
Lack of access controls: ECM systems must have robust access controls in place to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive content. This includes measures such as user authentication, role-based access and permissions management.
Compliance risks: ECM systems may be subject to various laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States. Failing to comply with these regulations could result in fines and other penalties.
To address these security challenges, organizations should implement robust security measures and controls, including data encryption, access controls and regular security audits. They should also ensure that their ECM system is properly configured and regularly updated to protect against emerging threats.
What is Security Testing and Why Is It Important?
Security testing is a type of software testing that searches for security vulnerabilities in applications. Security testing is mainly concerned with identifying weaknesses in applications that attackers can exploit. Security testing can be done manually or using software tools — this is known as automated security testing.
Security testing is a structured process of evaluating system security, identifying potential security vulnerabilities, and recommending how to remediate them. Modern development teams are incorporating security testing into the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to uncover security issues early in the development process and prevent real-world attacks.
The main purpose of security testing is to identify threats to a system, measure potential vulnerabilities and prevent threats from causing a system to fail or be exploited.
Types of Application Security Testing Tools and Techniques
SCA: Software Composition Analysis (SCA) is an application security methodology for managing open source components introduced into a software project. SCA tools can discover all relevant components, supporting libraries with their direct and indirect dependencies. They can also detect software licenses, deprecated dependencies, vulnerabilities and potential exploits. The scanning process creates a bill of materials (BOM), providing a complete inventory of a project's software assets, which can be important for compliance purposes.
Penetration Testing: Penetration testing is an advanced security testing method that combines dynamic scanning tools with manual exploit techniques to find vulnerabilities. A penetration tester, just like a real attacker, attempts to gain access, steal data or cause service disruption. This is a more advanced technique than DAST or DAST and can expose more risks to your application, when executed by an experienced team.
SAST: Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is a method of scanning source code. There are many SAST tools that can help you identify security risks in your code. However, SAST produces a lot of false positives, so it is necessary to carefully analyze and filter the results to identify real vulnerabilities.
DAST: Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) finds gaps through remote testing of deployed and running code. DAST tools attempts to find vulnerabilities by sending malformed or malicious requests to an application. It analyzes actual application responses and looks for failures or gaps in security mechanisms. Using both DAST and SAST can significantly improve your ability to detect security issues in the build process.
IAST: Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) analyzes code for security vulnerabilities while an application is running, either by automated testing, human testers or actively simulating application functionality. This technology reports vulnerabilities in real time, without adding any overhead to the CI/CD pipeline. IAST differs from SAST and DAST in that it operates within an application, usually deployed as an agent. These types of tests do not test the entire application or codebase, only specific functional areas.
In conclusion, security testing should be part of any Enterprise Content Management strategy. By evaluating the security of an ECM system, organizations can identify and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers, reducing the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. There are several types of security testing tools and techniques that organizations can use to evaluate the security of their ECM systems, including vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, security audits and risk assessments. By regularly conducting security testing and implementing robust security measures, organizations can ensure that their ECM systems are secure and that sensitive data is properly protected.
Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry. LinkedIn: @giladdavidmaayan.