Cybersecurity can seem like a confusing array of acronyms currently. However, given the rapidly changing threat landscape, companies must choose a best-of-breed approach when choosing solutions. This approach means adopting several solutions to secure different aspects of a company’s infrastructure.
WAAP, or Web Application and API Protection, is critical to a modern enterprise’s security posture as APIs and web applications form a considerable portion of every organization’s infrastructure. WAAP often includes bot protection, web app firewalls, API security, and protection from DDoS attacks.
Here are a few reasons why WAAP is essential to modern cybersecurity.
WAAP Is Self-Learning
Attackers these days are resorting to artificial intelligence (AI) when deploying attacks against company infrastructure. These attacks do not occur as one-time incidents, as traditional cybersecurity assumes. Instead, they appear in waves.
The attacker keeps sending their malicious code to a system, and with each wave, they learn something new about its security. The system sometimes fails to hold out against the attack since the AI embedded in malicious code knows how to bypass protections. Companies have no choice but to use self-learning tools to combat this threat.
WAAP solutions are self-learning and use several techniques to spot and mitigate malicious attacks. WAAP offers an upgrade over traditional cybersecurity tools by severing its reliance on signature-based identification.
Many cybersecurity tools rely on attack signatures to identify threats. WAAP assumes that threats evolve and keeps learning to stay abreast of the threat landscape. The result is organizations are constantly ahead of the curve and resilient to repeated cyber threats.
Better traffic filtering
Traditional cybersecurity tools rely on firewalls to filter traffic. The way they work is simple: These tools rely on ports and monitor protocols to identify potentially harmful traffic. Malicious actors have become wise in how these solutions work and have developed ways to circumvent these controls.
Attackers these days compromise web applications by using similar ports and protocols as users do, making it impossible for a traditional solution to figure out which traffic is harmless and which is not. HTTPS goes a long way towards filtering out harmful traffic, but sophisticated attackers can use the protocol to infiltrate a web application.
WAAP dives deeper into traffic, giving security teams a better view of its nature. Given its self-learning chops, WAAP evolves over time and successfully distinguishes malicious traffic from legitimate ones. It does this through benchmarking and monitoring real-time activity on the network.
The key is to secure the application layer. WAAP uses next-gen web app firewalls to analyze user behavior. As a result, while it uses historical patterns to track behavior, it doesn’t rely on them solely. The typical WAAP solution also includes Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP), which offers a real-time response to threats against APIs and web apps.
Modern Infrastructure Is Highly Sprawled
The average company these days relies on a dizzying web of cloud architecture and microservices, all of which are highly automated. As a result, security teams cannot manually monitor traffic in real-time. The sprawl also presents other challenges.
Authenticating access and vetting traffic is challenging when most of it is machine-driven. For instance, a typical web app uses several microservices and relies on data pulled from different containers (whether on-prem or in the cloud) to offer output. Security teams need a sophisticated solution that can keep pace with the sprawl and monitor threats all the time.
WAAP offers a significant advantage over other solutions because it is deployed in the application layer. As a result, it is embedded into the application and offers API protection instantly. Traditional intrusion detection systems cannot isolate traffic within web apps and screen it adequately.
There is another issue that modern web traffic poses to cybersecurity. Companies have long favored highly technical encryption methods. However, this encryption makes it tough for legacy cybersecurity technology to isolate malicious traffic. Simply put, malicious traffic slips in under the guise of encrypted data.
WAAP can inspect highly encrypted TLS traffic that ordinary solutions cannot. Thus, it offers a huge advantage to security teams looking to automate more portions of their security infrastructure. While WAAP isn’t a silver bullet to fix every security issue, it goes a long way toward securing web apps and their associated APIs.
The best part of WAAP is that it adapts to the way modern apps change. Thanks to the DevOps approach, modern apps change rapidly. However, rapid changes lead to potential configuration errors and security shortcuts. WAAP mitigates these risks and is therefore an essential part of a company’s security infrastructure.
Final Thoughts on WAAP – AI-Driven App Security
As attackers increasingly use AI to launch attacks, companies need a modern solution to combat these tactics. WAAP, in combination with other industry-leading solutions, is the best way forward. With its combination of AI-driven learning and new solutions, WAAP is set to become an important part of the security of every modern organization.