Finally! A platform approach to application security
Digital transformation is fundamentally changing today’s enterprises, making data and applications key to doing business. People are conducting transactions and accessing data through web and mobile applications, and as a result these applications are a source of competitive advantage for digital businesses.
As applications are increasingly crucial to driving business, it is not surprising that organizations continue to invest in them. DevOps processes, agile methodologies, and the move to cloud help enterprises to develop and update applications faster. However, while applications are developed and deployed faster than ever, secure coding practices have not kept pace, resulting in a constantly growing number of open vulnerabilities that can be exploited. It is critical to the success, and often to the very survival, of today’s organizations to protect these applications from vulnerabilities.
At the same time, the threat environment is continuously evolving and becoming more challenging. Hackers are getting more sophisticated; they are now professional criminals or even nation states. Today’s hackers are aware that web applications are inadequately protected and are often the weak link in enterprise IT security. In addition to manual hacking attacks, bots and botnets are increasingly used to attack enterprise infrastructures through web applications. These automated exploits are often executed as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, at both the network and application layer. And, of course, malware is constantly getting more advanced. It is increasingly able to evade traditional defenses such as next-generation firewalls and even sandboxes.
The growth in the number of unprotected application vulnerabilities, coupled with the increase in hacking and malware, has resulted in a perfect storm of data breaches.
Existing solutions to protect web applications include application vulnerability assessment and security testing to identify vulnerabilities, as well as web application firewalls (WAF) and related technologies for vulnerability mitigation and/or remediation. The fact that application-related data breaches continue to occur indicates that existing solutions have not been sufficiently effective. There a number of reasons for this, including the complexity of existing approaches and the vendor fragmentation making this complexity even worse.
Application vulnerability assessment/testing solutions are typically provided by a set of security vendors that are different from those providing WAF solutions. While it is possible to integrate the testing and WAF products through APIs, it is too cumbersome and difficult for most organizations. As a result, virtual patching of vulnerabilities has not been broadly deployed.
With regard to WAF solutions, they are delivered as appliances (physical or virtual) or as SaaS solutions. WAF appliances have been quite complex to deploy and manage, resulting in insufficient deployments. In many cases, even when deployed, WAFs are set up in non-blocking mode due to concerns about blocking valid traffic. On the other hand, WAF-as-a-service solutions, while easier to deploy and manage, often do not provide granular controls and advanced functionality required to protect many applications.
I believe that what is needed to improve the situation is a platform approach to application security.
Barracuda Cloud Application Protection
Barracuda Cloud Application Protection (CAP) is a platform to protect web applications wherever they reside — in the cloud, on premises, or hybrid.
Web application firewalls are fundamental to protecting applications. Barracuda WAF can be deployed as software-as-a-service, cloud hosted, or on-premises appliance. All options provide comprehensive application security, including protection for the OWASP Top 10 and many more vulnerabilities and automated threats.
Barracuda Vulnerability Manager is a cloud-hosted scanner that examines web applications and identifies open vulnerabilities, generating a report that provides remediation information. Barracuda Vulnerability Remediation Service continuously scans for vulnerabilities and enables one-click remediation, to automatically secure your apps against a broad range of threats.
Today’s sophisticated bots can mimic human app users to carry out devastating attacks. Barracuda Advanced Bot Protection uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in the cloud to continually improve its ability to spot and block bad bots and human-mimicking “low and slow” bots—while allowing legitimate human and bot traffic to proceed.
Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks continue to be a serious threat. Barracuda application security solutions include powerful, full-spectrum DDoS protection. Covering Layer-3 to Layer-7 traffic, and blocking both volumetric and application-based DDoS attacks, this capability ensures that your business-critical applications remain available, accessible, and effective.
Modern malware threats are designed to evade traditional detection techniques. And these new malware variants are appearing faster and in greater number than ever before. Barracuda Advanced Threat Protection is an integrated cloud-based service that analyzes traffic across all the major threat vectors. It uses multiple analytic layers—including sophisticated sandbox analysis—to spot and block threats, including evasive zero-day threats.
Barracuda application-security solutions provide protection for your entire attack surface, including REST and mobile applications, to help ensure that APIs are protected. XML protection secures REST and WSDL interfaces against schema and WSDL poisoning. JSON protection scans payloads to ensure that only legitimate requests are allowed through. Interactive applications using AJAX are also protected.
In addition to defending against a variety of cyber threats, it is also critical to ensure that only authorized personnel can access your application backends and data. Barracuda application-security keeps data from falling into the wrong hands by integrating with AD, LDAP, and RADIUS, giving you granular control over which users and groups can access what data. Barracuda WAF solutions can secure all the services that rely on ADFS. SAML support provides a seamless single-sign-on (SSO) experience across on-premises and cloud applications. Two-factor authentication further enhances security and integrates with popular services such as RSA SecureID, SMS PASSCODE, Duo, and others.