Financial services organizations are built on trust. Trust that customer assets are safely protected and can be accessed anywhere. However, expanding infrastructure and the increasing number of applications and interfaces continue to make it difficult to track all interdependencies effectively. This ambiguity makes it difficult to protect systems from a security breach, upgrade systems or even release new features.   

Application dependency mapping is critical for maintaining secure and stable applications. It identifies and describes the relationships and dependencies between various components and services within an application or system.

Here are some ways in which application dependency mapping can help enhance security, supportability and stability:

  1. Vulnerability management: By mapping out dependencies, you can better understand the software components and libraries used in your application. This knowledge allows you to identify any known vulnerabilities associated with those dependencies. Regularly updating and patching these vulnerable components can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches.
  2. Risk assessment and mitigation: Understanding the dependencies between different components helps you assess the potential impact of a security or stability issue. If a critical component fails, you can quickly identify which other services or applications may have been affected, enabling you to proactively address the issue or implement failover mechanisms to maintain stability.
  3. Change management: Application dependency mapping can assist in tracking changes and updates to dependencies. By keeping a record of the dependencies and their versions, you can assess the impact of a proposed change or update before implementing it. This approach helps minimize unexpected issues arising from incompatible or poorly tested updates.
  4. Incident response and troubleshooting: During security incidents or system failures, application dependency mapping visually represents the affected components and their interdependencies. This information allows you to identify the root cause more effectively, isolate the impacted areas, and promptly apply the necessary fixes or workarounds.
  5. Regulatory compliance: Certain regulations and compliance standards require organizations to inventory software components and their dependencies. Application dependency mapping can help fulfill these requirements by providing a comprehensive view of the application's architecture and associated dependencies.

To leverage application dependency mapping effectively, you can use a combination of tools, such as network scanning tools, configuration management databases (CMDB) or specialized application mapping solutions. These tools can help automate discovering and visualizing dependencies within your application ecosystem.

WWT has created DAAnE (Data Aggregation & Analysis Engine) to provide automated network, security and application policy enforcement to analyze customer-managed toolsets and provide ongoing visibility and reporting. It consolidates and analyses data to isolate non-compliant, non-upgradable workloads and applications within the network environment to improve security stability and supportability. Ingesting existing CMDB, HOAM, and PRM data sources to identify, remediate, and isolate application dependencies. The transformational approach removes obstacles and accelerates financial return while enabling new platforms for digital growth. 

Remember that application dependency mapping is an ongoing process enforced by internal policies and regulations. As your application evolves, new dependencies may be introduced, and existing ones may change. Therefore, it is crucial to regularly update and maintain your dependency maps to ensure their accuracy and relevance.