Jamie Gale - April 18, 2024

Builders of modern software applications are up against countless, ever-evolving cyber threats. The complexity of distributed microservices, cloud deployments, and decentralized teams necessitates strong security practices around software development and deployment. Two key strategies — application security orchestration and correlation (ASOC) and application security posture management (ASPM) — seek to address the challenges of vulnerability detection and risk mitigation. But what do they entail, and how are they different?

In this post, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between ASOC and ASPM. We’ll consider their respective areas of focus, functions, and upsides. Then, we’ll look at how they integrate with existing development and security processes.

Understanding Application Security Orchestration and Correlation (ASOC)

ASOC is fundamentally a strategy or methodology, not a single tool itself. It revolves around coordinating and automating the processes and tools involved in vulnerability detection and management. Organizations adopt ASOC to have application security processes that are more efficient and effective than those of traditional, manual security.

The essence of ASOC lies in its core components: orchestration and correlation. Orchestration deals with the seamless integration and operation of various application security tools. Correlation centralizes and analyzes the data from these various tools to pinpoint actual vulnerabilities and prioritize their remediation.

An ASOC solution typically leverages a range of tools, performing functions that include:

The outputs of these tools, correlated and analyzed by an ASOC solution, help present a holistic view of application security and vulnerabilities. The benefits of ASOC are significant, and they include:

  • Improved efficiency: Automates repetitive tasks, saving time and resources
  • Simplified visibility: Provides a single view of vulnerabilities across applications
  • Streamlined compliance: Helps ensure applications meet regulatory and security standards.
  • Better collaboration: Facilitates communication between development and security teams.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Reduces the need for manual inspection, lowering operational costs

Exploring Application Security Posture Management (ASPM)

ASPM is a different approach to application security that focuses on the continuous assessment and improvement of an application’s security posture across its entire life cycle. The aim of ASPM is the proactive identification and mitigation of vulnerabilities.

A typical ASPM-based solution leverages various tools, such as:

These tools work together to ensure ongoing security monitoring and compliance with laws and regulations. ASPM offers several advantages over traditional application security approaches and ASOC, including:

  • Agentless and scalable technology: Easy to implement across complex, distributed environments
  • Significant noise reduction: Reduces vulnerability alerts, minimizing alert fatigue
  • Holistic production visibility: Offers a full view of the application security posture and attack surfaces
  • Ability to adapt to changing architecture models: Automated mapping of application models keeps an ASPM solution’s understanding up to date and comprehensive
  • Sensitive data insights: Provides visibility into sensitive data flows, enhancing data security

By leveraging ASPM, organizations can maintain a strong security posture, reduce risk, and ensure compliance more effectively than with traditional, siloed security approaches.

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ASOC vs. ASPM: a comparative analysis

ASOC and ASPM share common foundations in application security, with ASOC often viewed as a precursor to the broader and more holistic ASPM approach. Both methodologies aim to enhance application security, but they approach this goal from slightly different angles.

Areas of focus

ASOC provides application security scanner results in a single pane of glass, streamlining the process of prioritizing vulnerabilities through the correlation of data from multiple security tools. The tools that ASOC orchestrates, however, do not understand business logic and are primarily concerned with managing application vulnerabilities before they enter production.

On the other hand, ASPM takes a more comprehensive stance, focusing on the continuous management and improvement of an application’s security posture across all stages of its life cycle — including the deployment and maintenance phases. ASPM tools leverage their understanding of sensitive data flows and business logic to narrow down the most dangerous vulnerabilities.


ASOC works well for monolithic apps or other simple apps that only span a few codebases at most. In contrast, ASPM’s agentless approach makes it easy to scale, which is ideal for today’s large, complex, and distributed cloud-native applications.

Implementation and integration challenges

ASOC faces challenges in integrating a diverse set of security tools and ensuring effective communication among them. As application models change, ASOC-related tools must be reconfigured to accommodate these changes. In addition, even with correlation from ASOC, the number of resulting vulnerabilities to manage and fix can still be overwhelming for security teams.

ASPM adapts automatically to changing architecture models, and it is effective in reducing alert fatigue, However, ASPM’s challenges lie in its broader scope, requiring alignment across development, security, and operational teams to maintain a consistent security posture throughout the application’s life cycle.

Harden your application security with CrowdStrike and Bionic

In our exploration of ASOC and ASPM, we’ve considered their distinct roles in enhancing application security. ASOC orchestrates and correlates security tools to manage vulnerabilities, but it focuses on stages of the application life cycle prior to production deployment. On the other hand, ASPM provides comprehensive, ongoing management of an application’s security posture throughout the entirety of its life cycle. Though ASOC is an ideal approach for smaller, monolithic applications, ASPM tackles continuous security for complex and distributed cloud-native applications.

Bionic is a pioneer in ASPM. Now under CrowdStrike’s umbrella, ASPM from Bionic is coupled with the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform to deliver advanced threat detection, comprehensive visibility, and streamlined security workflows. Together, they offer organizations a powerful tool set to safeguard their applications and digital assets in an increasingly hostile cyber environment.

For more information about ASPM from Bionic, schedule a demo today.


Jamie Gale is a product marketing manager with expertise in cloud and application security. Prior to joining CrowdStrike through acquisition of Bionic, she led technical content and executive communications efforts for several startups and large international organizations. Jamie lives in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington.