A complete guide to runtime application self-protection

The applications that are employed in a fragmented or complex network are those in databases, operating systems, or numerous networks. It may result in application security fragmentation and a lack of a comprehensive security road map.

The work of RASP

RASP technology is a server-centric technology that activates as soon as the application run time begins. What it means is that RASP can be integrated into the function calls of the app’s source code or an external code that triggers runtime application selfprotection with a single code. Most developers prefer the use of trigger calls since it allows them to formulate a customised security system based on the requirements of your business. By this method, you can determine the protection requirements or optimise the runtime where you prevent unnecessary security checks.

The RASP layer sits side by side with the application layer, which would monitor the incoming traffic or the APIs of the application. RASP would apply runtime protection measures and secure the application from malpractices the moment they detect any threat vector. Most of the requests are vetted through the RASP layer that sits between the layer and the application, which means that it is not going to have any impact on the performance of an app.

RASP security and its benefits

One of the major benefits of RASP security is that it works from the interior of the application and not an isolated form of a protection method like a firewall. Such a characteristic allows RASP to provide a conceptualised service that takes the necessary information from the codebase, system configuration, API, logic flow, runtime data, etc.

  • Intelligent type of penetration testing: With the aid of RASP technology, it is possible to formulate intelligent penetration testing, to outline and remove vulnerabilities. The software is designed in such a manner to detect abnormalities and respond properly. It is also possible to reprogram and then test the various sections conveniently.
  • Insight about runtime attacks: normally developers are known to collect runtime application self-protection security data, so it is necessary to design the security structure based on guesses and speculations. Things tend to change the moment you have RASP integration software as it empowers the developers with increased visibility into the application’s real-time security threats. It allows them to align their development with real-time events in a precise manner.
  • Incident response in a smart manner: With RASP technology, incident response becomes smarter and more efficient. It is due to the in-depth visibility of an application platform, along with the active security logging features, that you get the real-time behaviour within the application. It further enhances the monitoring capabilities, which allows the developers to design more effective security designs.
  • Extends support to compliance development: It is not only about providing security; RASP technology empowers the development aspect of the applications. The moment you have in-depth testing and real-time data, it becomes easy for the developers to outline the primary attack assets along with the vulnerabilities. In this manner, they are able to develop secure and compliant applications with fewer issues every time.
  • Legacy application protection: For any enterprise, a legacy application is a valuable asset. But with modern advancements, protection of legacy applications is not an easy task. Most of the legacy apps are developed in older formats, which makes it difficult to provide security against modern threats. RASP technology solves this issue and allows you to wrap the legacy app with advanced security features so that it does not touch upon the existing code base.
  • An additional layer of protection: when you align it with the existing IPS and WAF security set-ups, RASP serves as an added layer of protection that enhances security and reduces vulnerabilities. Yes, the firewall would protect the app from incoming threats. RASP technology would monitor the runtime and prevent the threats within the app.
  • Self-protection: the moment it is employed, RASP acts as an independent security system that detects and eliminates threats without any form of human intervention. Hence, it goes on to provide a self-protecting application runtime, where the application is known to protect itself and would reward you with runtime data and security threats.
  • Cost-effective: RASP turns out to be a highly cost-effective solution, taking into consideration the security that it provides. It happens to be a low-maintenance technology that will protect your application from threats and provide a log of security events. Not only do you get protection but development benefits, along with analytics, all in a single place.
  • Enhanced levels of developer training: An integral aspect of any security team is developer training. When you actively use RASP data, you gain precise information about the attack prone areas within the structure of the application.

The things to consider before you plan a RASP solution

The developers need to choose a RASP solution based on the following parameters:

  • It must be easily deployable and require minimal maintenance, or it will become ineffective if the nature of the threat changes.
  • It needs to have a broad capability to detect and handle a large number of vulnerabilities that are unknown and traditional.
  • It should have the minimum impact on the performance metrics of applications; without a security layer, it is going to lose all its meaning. There is no developer who would trade the users’ comfort for an extra layer of security.
  • A RASP solution would be more accurate with fewer false positives, so that it may not end up blocking genuine traffic.
  • It needs to work seamlessly with other security tools like WAF. Even so, it needs to provide support for multiple frameworks and languages.

When it is done with WAF solutions or App sec testing, a RASP solution could turn out to be a game changer for your organization that needs to deal with a sophisticated threat. With traffic analysis , monitoring along with learning capabilities platforms like Appsealing  can guide you in details. They tend to go beyond the traditional approaches to security and hence it is a must have security solution.

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