Application security

Leveraging AppSec Vendors Amidst Layoffs

Coalfire Advisory Team

June 5, 2023
Blog Images 2023 Coalfire Main Image Blog Leveraging App Sec Vendors FINAL

The tech sector has been hit hard with layoffs and cutbacks, driving more companies to outsource their IT needs. Is it time for your organization to make the transition?

Key takeaways:

  • One of the best ways to overcome the time and resources required to build a robust system is to partner with industry experts who can successfully manage the gaps in your security program.
  • CISOs and security leaders must optimize operational expenditure with fewer internal resources and lean on automation and tooling to create more efficient processes.
  • DevSecOps is no longer seasonal or point-in-time but real-time, continuous, and platform-enabled for cloud management, pen testing, and compliance automation.

Big tech layoffs have hollowed out in-house security teams. Staffing is wearing thin, and the remaining employees are bearing the brunt of increased workloads. The pressure to maintain a competitive product development advantage has never been greater, yet fewer full-time candidates have the right skill sets to build and secure those applications. When it comes to development security operations, the combination of workforce layoffs and rising threat levels is forcing CISOs to work smarter and start doing more with less.

With the rise of the cloud, remote work, and other market factors, it's not enough to wait for economic conditions to improve before rebuilding your in-house security capabilities for the next technology cycle. Talent with the proper knowledge and capabilities is scarce, so it’s essential to make the right decisions about who to hire, who not to hire, and how to scale and outsource resources.

CISOs need to coordinate technical teams to fix what matters most and work with developers and security engineers to remediate vulnerabilities.

Vendor management

Over time, and after laying off entire departments, specialized business processes such as accounting, taxes, marketing, advertising, and legal have evolved outside the enterprise into the more capable and affordable hands of specialists. In the face of all the security team layoffs, the time has come to outsource more cyber programming, especially in the mission-critical areas of application development and product lifecycle security.

To do this, CISOs must overcome the common roadblocks to AppSec program efficiency: scale and value. Greater efficiencies are gained through:

  • Optimizing OpEx with fewer internal resources
  • Harnessing process automation and tooling
  • Embedding security with internal program quality control and training
  • Managing multiple compliance frameworks


Leveraging third parties to augment staff can get things done more efficiently and at lower costs than hiring more full-time, skilled employees. Labor- and data-intensive processes are no longer seasonal or point-in-time but real-time, continuous, and platform-enabled for cloud management, pen testing, and compliance automation.

AppSec champions

The continuous integration and deployment of DevSecOps involve application penetration testing, threat modeling, attack surface management, compliance calibration, coaching, and code review from the first sprint of every software development program. These practices assure secure product lifecycles for all physical and digital output.

Successful AppSec programs require a robust skill set and the flexibility to scale in and out of dynamic, agile methodologies. Industry experts like Coalfire can help prioritize that output and connect the right security tools for fast fixes, then facilitate the integration of security features into all stages of the software development lifecycle. This support adds value through secure design, architecture optimization, and development expertise, ultimately scaling enterprise AppSec programs by delivering the right resources at the right times.

Programs such as Developer Champion Services can bring the right consulting team to the table to help organizations:

  • Navigate SAST and DAST scan output
  • Manage and make risk acceptance decisions
  • Direct guidance on specific codes and compliance frameworks


In the age of specialization, hiring and retaining internal managers who know how to allocate limited resources and keep their internal teams out of technical quicksand is imperative.

No one can afford cyber armies on the payroll anymore. Balance in-house staff with consultants, CSPs, and SaaS providers, and outsource specialized compliance engineering and cloud-managed services. Be it people, processes, or technologies, do what you do best and outsource the rest.

At the forefront of application security, Coalfire’s services portfolio is designed to address the cyber “shift left” in software development operations and fill the gaps that security teams are experiencing.

Coalfire's application security services feature:

  • A dedicated team of 150+ AppSec professionals with expertise in software engineering and security best practices.
  • A track record of delivering 1K+ complex projects annually, serving clients across the technology, healthcare, financial, manufacturing, energy, and retail industries.
  • Deep knowledge as the assessors and testers for top cloud service providers, including AWS, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and other enterprise SaaS and cloud providers.
  • Leadership in advanced tradecraft, showcased at Black Hat and demonstrated through industry-recognized research, such as Smartest Path to DevSecOps Transformation.


Is it time for you to make the transition to third-party AppSec support? No matter where you stand, it’s imperative to have the right experts in your corner and improved processes and tooling to efficiently achieve more with less.