How Auth0 scales security to match their growing organization

About Auth0

Auth0 provides a platform to authenticate, authorize, and secure access for applications, devices, and users. It safeguards billions of login transactions each month.

Industry: Software
Company Size: 501 - 1000 employees
Location: Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington state, with employees located in 30 countries 

Marcin Hoppe leads the Auth0 security team and is constantly looking to expand its security coverage with tools to grow and keep applications secure. When it comes to web application security, they chose Detectify because of its ability to quickly find the latest vulnerabilities in Auth0’s applications. 

Auth0’s security challenges

  • A fast scaling company with a growing product base
  • Multiple security tools to maintain and process
  • Test for the latest vulnerabilities in Auth0's applications
  • Web application security testing at scale

"There aren't enough hours in the day to manually look at vulnerabilities, so automation is the only way. There’s no reason to waste human energy on it," says Marcin Hoppe.

Securing the whole supply chain with automation
Auth0 was looking for a system that could provide them with automatically found vulnerabilities separate from their penetration testing or external reports, delivered through their VDP (Vulnerability Disclosure Program). They wanted to discover all types of potential vulnerabilities across their assets and not be limited to just one single application at a time. Auth0 knew that it was possible to automate many tests and that the solution needed to complement their VDP and penetration testing efforts. Detectify provided Auth0 the means to scale and automate finding vulnerabilities quickly  and effectively.

"There aren't enough hours in the day to manually look at vulnerabilities, so automation is the only way. There’s no reason to waste human energy on it" 

Auth0 first encountered Detectify by their customers scanning their applications, of which Auth0 was part. These scans discovered security vulnerabilities in their logs separate from the customer’s application.

Coincidentally at the same time they were looking to add automated tools to their system, Frans Rosén from Detectify’s Crowdsource team delivered a security report. The quality of the report and the passively detected vulnerabilities found by Rosén gave additional legitimacy to the use of Detectify. 

How Auth0 uses Detectify

Securing customer-facing applications
Auth0 utilized Deep Scan to test the authentication sequences in their customer-facing applications. By creating an authenticated state, Detectify was able to scan behind login and check for password resets, create form submissions, and dynamically test the actions and API calls made within the application. This ensured that any customer-facing applications were secure, which is critical for Auth0.

Triaging vulnerabilities
Before Detectify, Auth0 had a broad application-specific focus. For example, team members would add all their tickets from external tools to Jira, creating considerable noise. Using Detectify, they can now create integrations that alert the security team to new vulnerabilities, where they utilize the user interface to triage them. Due to Auth0's unique environmental setup, vulnerability risk varies from application to application and a predetermined CVSS score doesn’t always show the true extent of a vulnerability. Detectify assists Auth0 by delivering a low rate of False Positives to ensure quick visibility and escalation of the highest quality of pre-verified vulnerabilities.

Budgeting for new tools
Auth0 is a rapidly changing company that takes a pragmatic approach when a problem or need arises; they will seek a tool or solution to match their needs. Marcin's team is careful not to overlap with existing tools so that each has its unique purpose. For example, they identified one lacking area as automatic dynamic application testing. Detectify could fulfill their dynamic testing needs by providing a solution that replicates a hacker's actions while continually updating with the latest techniques. 

Results

The power of the latest high-quality results from Crowdsource
Auth0 is confident in the results that Detectify provides and trusts in the continual updates from Crowdsource to ensure consistent, high-level results. 

"There are a lot of extremely noisy tools, and they generate a lot of findings, but to get to the true positives, you have to spend a lot of time analyzing the results. So we were very happy with the low rate of Detectify's false positives," says Marcin.''

Ease of use and less wasted time
Detectify's ease of use and clarity in its findings meant Auth0 developers were no longer burdened with irrelevant information. As a result, they now have more time to build products and need less time to focus on results. Additionally, by having recurring automated scans, Auth0's developers could scale and test all of the applications they had publicly available whenever they made changes without impacting the application.

Marcin’s security tips

Marcin recommends doing a thorough evaluation of your applications and deciding upon a solution that best suits their needs. Looking at open-source solutions is always an option. However, you must have someone that can maintain and own that tool -having a 3rd party tool that continually updates can save considerable time and hassle by knowing that you are confident with the results it provides.

"There are a lot of extremely noisy tools, and they generate a lot of findings, but to get to the true positives, you have to spend a lot of time analyzing the results"

Applications that require authentication should be configured with the appropriate users in mind and not be publicly exposed unless necessary. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel if there are solutions out there that do the job for you. You will achieve a far better product if you focus on your strengths rather than trying to create and source externally where possible.


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