360° Application Protection — The Shift to Best-of-Suite Solutions

For many, the greatest concern they have about migrating their application environment to the cloud is what it may mean to their attack surface. Their concern is valid. No question, the cloud has expanded it. But it hasn’t stopped them. Research shows that less than 0.05% of organizations don’t deploy applications in the cloud and at least 95% use at least two types of cloud infrastructures. But almost all still maintain some applications and workloads on-prem. What does this mean to network security? Yes, it’s complicated. There are a lot of issues and architectures to think about. 

Here’s something else to consider — cyber-attacks are up, and the number of threat actors is increasing. And there are so many security options in the marketplace to choose from. The array of threats you need to protect against is staggering. There are data breaches, identity thefts, hijacked accounts, DDoS attacks, API abuse, sophisticated, human-like bots, and more.  

Combine this complexity with tightened budgets and the shortage of security expertise worldwide and thoughts of securing your applications become even more stressful. Trying to cobble together a security plan with different vendors only serves to muddy the waters. It results in poor security and higher costs. It creates security siloes that can spell disaster. 

Multiple Security Solutions, One Seamless Platform, One Pane of Glass 

Whether organizations use private, public or hybrid cloud solutions, it’s important that they use an application protection solution that provides blanket protection. The threat landscape is too varied; it’s too complex. In war, you have to protect from air, land and sea. Application protection is no different. You must protect against all threats, not just a percentage of them.  

For instance, while protecting against The OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks is imperative, the application protection solution in use may not be the right one to protect against other threats, such as sophisticated API abuses or Gen4 bots. Security gaps need to be filled. Threat actors are good at finding open ones. Unfortunately, it’s the career they’ve chosen and they’re good at it.  

When vetting application protection services, keep the following as a checklist. You’ll need them all to feel confident your security strategy will keep your organization, applications and data safe from threats looking for that vulnerability to exploit. 

Web Application Firewall (WAF) 

Bookmark The OWASP Top 10. These are the threats your web application firewall (WAF) must protect against. But it doesn’t stop there; your WAF should not only rely on known signatures and block lists. It should also be able to utilize a behavioral-based, positive security model to protect against the ever-growing amount of unknown and zero-day attacks. Also, it should also continuously fine-tune policies to ensure that only malicious traffic is blocked.  

Protection for APIs 

A dedicated, end-to-end API protection solution is needed to ensure the security of applications, APIs, development platforms and infrastructure. It should map to the API attack surface and discover APIs through an automated discovery algorithm, then generate tailored security policies to detect and block API-focused attacks in real-time. An API protection solution must protect against the growing number of API security threats and should include access controls, data leakage prevention and bot management to protect against the growing number of API security threats. For reference’s sake, it needs to protect against The OWASP Top 10 API Security Vulnerabilities. 

Bot Management 

A security platform must include protection against automated bot threats for web applications, mobile applications and APIs. As mentioned earlier, it needs to use behavioral modeling for collective bot intelligence and be able to distinguish between good and bad bots. It should include fingerprinting of browsers, devices and machines and deliver a seamless experience while protecting against: 

  • Account takeovers.  
  • 3rd- and 4th-generation bots, both of which can mimic human-like behaviors.  
  • DDoS attacks and denial of inventory attacks.
  • Web scraping. 
  • Web scalping. 
  • Payment fraud.  
  • CAPTCHA-solving bots. 
  • The OWASP Top 21 Automated Threats

Client-Side Protection 

Server-side security is getting more advanced, and hackers have taken notice. They’re turning their attention to the less protected, seldom monitored client-side supply chain. It’s under attack. Client-side protection protects the application supply chain by monitoring and securing the data path between an end user’s browser and third-party services. This protects end users’ personally identifiable information (PII) — like credit card and login information — from supply chain attacks.  

Application DDoS Protection

It’s imperative that your application protection platform includes layer 7 DDoS protection to guard against today’s most advanced HTTP DDoS attacks. It needs to be behavior-based, so it can accurately distinguish between legit and malicious traffic and won’t prevent legitimate users’ access to the application while under attack.   

Automation is Needed

Fighting today’s cyber threats without automation is like taking a knife to a gunfight. It won’t work. Automated defensive tools can quickly identify publicly exposed APIs and ensure they are secure. Continuously refine security policies to eliminate false positives or help sort through the accumulating noise of security events. Those are only three of the many examples of how automation can ensure you have the right defensive weapons in hand.

Easy Oversight and Simple Management From a Single Console 

While having the right solutions in place to fight today’s threats and those to come is important, don’t ignore the importance of management. Having to fight so many different types of threats is difficult and will be all the more if managing against each has to be accomplished from different consoles.  

Having five different solutions and five different consoles somewhat defeats the purpose of having a single, comprehensive cloud security platform. You don’t want your personnel to have to get comfortable with different management consoles. The idea is to make management as simple as possible. The simpler the management, the less likely a security ball gets dropped. And a dropped ball is another way of saying security gap. That’s what you have to avoid. Management should be easy, yet comprehensive, and capable from a single console.  

Multiple Deployment Options 

No two networks and architectures are alike, so selecting a security platform that will accommodate your unique needs is critical. You shouldn’t have to accommodate a security vendor’s pre-determined architecture. Security solutions need to be flexible to meet your deployment needs. For instance, you can choose to deploy inline in your virtual cloud or on-prem environment and may need the option of deploying it without traffic redirection or without sharing SSL certificates, you can do so as an API-based, out-of-path service across your public cloud or on-prem/virtual ADC. Whether a cloud or hybrid environment, having options means that your security can remain consistent across your varied environments and not get in the way of planning and migrating your applications to new environments. Your trusted application protection solution is future-proof and agnostic to your hosting or CDN environments.  

For More Information about Application Protection 

For more information about Radware’s comprehensive application protection platform, contact the talented, tenured cybersecurity professionals at Radware. They have been keeping customers’ networks and data secure for 25 years. They would love to hear from you.

Uri Dorot

Uri Dorot is a senior product marketing manager at Radware, specializing in application protection solutions, service and trends. With a deep understanding of the cyber threat landscape, Uri helps companies bridge the gap between complex cybersecurity concepts and real-world outcomes.

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