Web interfaces are everywhere. From social media sites to online shopping portals to your CRM, the humble web interface is now used to access much of the online world. So, it isn’t difficult to see why web applications are a prime target for cybercriminals. Because they’re used by customers and employees alike to interact with digital systems, web applications represent a huge attack surface that pervades every organization out there.
A poorly-coded web interface can expose organizations by serving as a conduit to numerous types of sensitive data, including personally identifiable data and valuable proprietary information. Web applications are especially vulnerable because they often incorporate a large number of third-party components with potential security vulnerabilities.
Third-party technologies are often implemented to improve functionality and ease of use, or to speed up development, but their security is often overlooked. We also know that the threats to web applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which poses a major challenge for IT teams tasked with defending them from:
- Technical attacks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and remote file inclusion.
- Business logic attacks that exploit flawed logic or abuse standard functionality.
- Account takeovers and brute force password guessing for fraudulent transactions.
- Botnet-driven, application-layer DDoS attacks that cannot be blocked by traditional volumetric defences.
As with other forms of cyberattacks, a breach here can be devastating. The consequences range from the obvious application downtime and theft of data, to brand damage and financial costs that could easily add up to millions of lost dollars. This is why web application security has been elevated from a basic tick-and-flick security exercise to a key concern for board members.
Against this backdrop, next-gen web application firewalls (WAFs) are a must-have countermeasure that goes well beyond the traditional network defences we’ve relied on in the past. The new era of WAF delivers the capabilities IT teams need to address a plethora of threats. This includes validation of application inputs, cookie and session protection, and blocking automated attacks against business functions, among others.
To adequately protect your business-critical resources, look for a WAF that can effectively defend against today’s increasingly automated and sophisticated web attacks and offer flexible threat protection, flexibility, and scalability to handle heavier workloads. By laying the foundation for identifying abnormalities associated with otherwise elusive threats and attacks, the net result is a strategic solution for protecting all of your organization’s essential web properties.
However, for ultimate security for all of your endpoints, applications and data, wherever the reside, consider a full-stack solution. This would incorporate a next-gen WAF as well as strong capabilities in areas such as DDoS protection, API security, zero-day autonomic self-protection, bot management and control of who does what with your data.
The threat landscape is diverse, fast-evolving and highly-sophisticated. With cloud and on-premises, mobile, and IoT, your attack surface is larger than ever, and growing. A full-function defense-in-depth strategy can protect not just your websites, but all of your applications, networks, and data too.