SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Securing the pervasive web properties and applications

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Organisations are building and buying web applications more aggressively than ever, to stay relevant and competitive in today's digital marketplace. Although revenue-generating external applications command great attention, the internal applications like those for SCM, HR and R-D, serve as the conduits to sensitive information such as customer data, proprietary product specifications, payroll records and other personally-identifiable information.

These web applications are also under enormous security risks due to the high degree of complexity, regular use of embedded, third-party libraries, routine incorporation of new protocols and features, and business emphasis on rapid time-to-market over enhancing code quality to reduce vulnerabilities.

A global study from Citrix and The Ponemon Institute reveals that 79 per cent of the participants are worried about security breaches involving high-value information and 89 percent believe that the complexity of business and IT operations puts their organisation at a security risk. 

According to Gartner, 90 per cent of current applications will still be in use in 2023. That means there are going to be tens of thousands of applications that will need to be assessed and secured, as attackers often only need to find a single weak link to topple all the IT dominoes.

With countless combinations of commercially-available and custom-built web apps, it is unrealistic to expect that security technologies using only broad-spectrum rules and mechanisms can fully protect them. Security teams also need tools that offer greater flexibility, deeper granularity of inspection and control.

For this, organisations need access to real time vulnerability information, and technologies that deliver complete physical coverage (protection for all use cases), functional coverage (detection/prevention of threats) and logical coverage (protection across all layers of the computing stack). Establishing comprehensive coverage such as this requires investing in more than just ordinary network firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs).

It's important to understand the security tools available today to tackle the cyber threats for web applications.

Network intrusion prevention systems

Typically offering little in the way of access control capabilities, network IPS technology is focused on detecting threats from unauthorised access.

The broad-spectrum mechanisms this technology relies on include signatures for known vulnerabilities, and protocol anomaly detection for suspected malicious activities and unknown threats. While the coverage is typically provided up to the application services layer and for all common Internet protocols, it may not be able to identify any behavioural anomaly at the user-end. 

Next-generation firewalls

The next-generation firewall (NGFW) combines the capabilities of network firewalls and IPSs in a single solution. To these capabilities, the NGFW typically adds user and application identity as attributes for controlling access to/from a network.

Although NGFWs deliver enhanced access control capabilities and an opportunity to eliminate numerous single-technology appliances, the breadth and depth of coverage are simply not sufficient to protect most web properties from increasingly sophisticated and targeted attacks. The ability to reliably identify applications regardless of the port and protocol being used, remains a shortcoming.

The web application firewall – master of the app domain

The web application firewall (WAF) picks up where other security technologies leave off. A cloud and IPS based protection platform, WAF decides by activity to send a user to the application or to block them. It intercepts and inspects all incoming HTTP/HTTPS requests to a website, and thereby helps secures Static, Dynamic, eCommerce, ERP, CRM or any kind of web application irrespective of their platforms.

WAFs are unique in their ability to validate inputs; detect cookies, session or parameter tampering attacks; block attacks and stop exfiltration of sensitive data through object-level identification and blocking. This is achieved by automated learning routines supplemented by manually-configured policies, to enable the understanding of how each protected web application works characteristically.

The most commonly deployed security technologies like Network Firewalls and IPSs are useful for screening out high volumes of low-layer threats, however, they are unable to sufficiently cover web applications. Although no single security technology provides complete protection for web applications, combining NGFWs with WAFs proves to be an efficient way to establish powerful, full-spectrum threat protection for all important web properties of an organisation.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Sysdig reveals a loss of $53 for every $1 cryptojackers gain
The 2022 Sysdig Cloud Native Threat Report breaks down supply chain attacks against containers and how geopolitical conflict influences attacker behaviours.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda accelerates growth in its data protection business
Barracuda cloud-to-cloud backup protects against evolving cyber threats, such as ransomware, and is now transactable in the Azure Marketplace.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky updates endpoint detection and response solution
"One of the goals was to make all the solutions capabilities accessible for all types of our users, even those who are making their first steps in EDR."
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.