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4 Application Data Security Challenges and How Bionic Can Help

Data is information. So a Chief Information Security Officer should be responsible for securing data, right? And while securing data is definitely a team sport that spans across engineering, DevOps, product, security, GRC, and other departments, it’s often the CISO who is up at night, worrying about potential data breaches, exorbitant fines, legal implications, and reputational damage.

Here are some startling statistics from a 2022 Cloud Security Alliance survey report that illustrate the current state of data security challenges.

  • 96% of organizations have insufficient security for at least some of their sensitive data. 
  • Over 25% of organizations aren’t tracking regulated data, nearly a third aren’t tracking confidential or internal data, and 45% aren’t tracking unclassified data.

This blog discusses four challenges that teams experience when trying to secure data and highlights how Bionic Application Security Posture Management (ASPM) can help. 

Today’s Application Data Security Challenges

Organizations that build cloud-native applications and push updates to production frequently need to understand their security posture as it changes. Securing data is particularly important because there are complex legal requirements to do so. Here are the top four challenges in securing application data.

Challenge #1: Visibility 

If you can’t see it, you can’t secure it.

The first challenge in securing data is getting visibility into what an application looks like, where data lives in it, and how data flows through it.


Bionic gives you:

  1. Automated application inventory to visualize every microservice, database, API, and dependency.
  2. Automated application mapping to visualize the structure of what your application looks like in production.
  3. Automated application data flows to visualize how data moves in and out of your databases.

The key word here is automated. When you’re dealing with complex applications with hundreds of microservices that undergo frequent changes across multiple deployments,  you cannot rely on educated guesses. Bionic eliminates the need for manual reviews, outdated Visio diagrams, and tedious mapping exercises by giving you code-accurate inventories, maps, and data flows that you can trust.

Challenge #2: Classification

If you don’t know what it is, you can’t secure it.

Certain types of data are more sensitive than other types. And with quite a lot of data covered under data protection laws, you need an accurate and automatic way to classify data types so you can protect it and comply with regulations.


Bionic automatically tags data types based on database column labels. Because Bionic doesn’t use any agents or sensors, it doesn’t access the data itself. This reduces risk and minimizes performance impact while classifying data with an incredible degree of accuracy. 

Challenge #3: Context

If you don’t understand the context, you can’t remediate the most critical threats to your data. 

Let’s say you have an application that your sales team uses to demonstrate how your product works to prospective customers. The app:

  • uses a Java library version that contains a CVE with a CVSS score of 9.9 (critical)
  • has no path to the internet
  • No real data
  • has no connection to other microservices used in other applications.

Logic tells us that we don’t need to fix instances of this vulnerability because it doesn’t create risk for the organization. But many tools (and organizations) can’t see past the 9.9 CVE. So, engineers spend hours, days, or weeks fixing things that don’t really matter. This is toil. And your engineers will probably not be happy.

Conversely, vulnerabilities that don’t have a high or critical CVSS score can create real risk. In the following example, Bionic has detected five medium violations in the ordersdb service (four cloud native violatIons and one security violation), but because the service connects to PII and four internal services, Bionic elevates the risk score to high.

Bionic scores risk with business context.


Bionic brings total business context to threats and vulnerabilities so that you can focus on the issues that are most exploitable and create the most risk for your business. In a world of not enough time and not enough people to fix all the things, this context is absolutely essential.

Challenge #4: Compliance 

If you don’t prove compliance, you create risk for the entire business.

Regulations around data privacy and protection are complex and continue to evolve. But that doesn’t mean that you can opt out or claim ignorance. If you neglect to play by the rules, you are more likely to incur risk. Whether issues come to light through an actual data breach, an audit, or through other means, it’s essential to prove that you’re meeting the legal data protection  requirements that apply to your business.


Bionic helps organizations prove compliance with GDPR, CCPA/CPRA, and HIPAA. It also supports alignment with the PCI-DSS framework. These capabilities can be realized immediately out of the box and will persist continuously as you deploy new changes to production. 

In summary, Bionic helps solve four key data security challenges: visibility, classification, context and compliance. To learn more about how Bionic can help you protect sensitive data, book your demo today.

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