Wednesday, 16 December 2020 11:19

How to protect applications across multiple clouds

Yaniv Hoffman, Radware Yaniv Hoffman, Radware

GUEST OPINION by Yaniv Hoffman, Radware: With cloud-based applications come new security risks that require expertise which is typically scarce and that can delay application deployment and maintenance.

While web application firewalls (WAFs) play a critical role in protecting applications, deploying and managing a WAF can be complex and require ongoing refinement of security policies.

Managing these policies often requires expertise and intimate familiarity with any WAF solution. In addition, it is not always possible to leverage the same WAF across heterogenous cloud environments, which limits the ability to enforce security policies across environments.

DevOps typically automates application integration and deployment cycles (CI/CD) to accelerate the process of deploying new applications. To accomplish this, they will often integrate with solutions that facilitate integration and speed. Security solutions, which are typically complex, are not prioritised for this reason, leaving applications unprotected.

Monitoring security events across applications is another challenge because there is no central dashboard across disparate cloud computing environments. It also requires security expertise to understand which security policy updates need to be implemented based on the aforementioned reporting information.

What to look for

When evaluating a solution, look for the highest level of application protection while minimising false positives and maintenance, and the ability to run across multiple private and public cloud environments. Further, consider if the solution offers the following:

# Full Coverage of OWASP Top-10 including injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery, broken authentication and session management and security misconfiguration.

# Reduced total cost of ownership with lowest false positives through unique auto-policy generation technology designed to secure a web application automatically.

# Protection from Zero-Day Web Attacks using both negative (signature based) and positive security models that ensure the lowest false positives and minimal operational effort, but also robust protection against known and unknown (zero-day) threats.

 # Device fingerprinting for bot protection. The power of the fingerprint is in the consolidated information extracted from dozens of browser attributes collected on the client side, facilitating accurate bot classification.

# Actionable reporting. For example, Radware’s Alteon Multi Cloud provides a monitoring and reporting tool that makes it easy to monitor application protection events and actions, the attacks it identifies, and any blocked transactions.

# Scalability. A WAF is a resource-intensive function. Allocating WAF resources to match peak application usage periods can be costly when operating in a cloud environment.

Deploying a firewall does not need to be a complex, resource-intensive process. Choosing a solution with the ability to span multiple cloud environments and automatically scale WAF services to match application usage levels will allow organisations to deploy application security policies seamlessly without extensive expertise.

Through an application centric approach, leading technology enables application owners, DevOps, SecOps and others to deploy application delivery and security services instantly, in a self-service manner, with advanced WAF and analytics to manage proactively and protect their applications, wherever they are deployed.

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