Last updated at Thu, 11 May 2023 02:24:55 GMT

The bad news: 100 percent of web applications are vulnerable. It’s not a typo: 100 percent of web applications contain at least one vulnerability — on average, apps have 11 potential weak points.

So, it’s no surprise that organizations are leveraging tools that empower applications to take defensive action without the need for direct IT involvement. Known as RASP (runtime application self-protection) — and hence the acronym because that’s a mouthful — these solutions add in-app security checks to reduce the risk of data breach or compromise.

Let’s dive into some RASP basics, benefits and what comes after RASP — spoiler alert, it is next-gen web application firewalls (WAFs).

The RASP Revolution

Apps are eating the world — from web-based solution to mobile and legacy software, business processes and performance are invariably tied to apps. Organizations benefit from the agility and rapid development of these apps, while cybercriminals have discovered that the quickest way to breach network controls is often via insecure applications.

As a result, security teams have gotten very, very good at designing perimeter and endpoint defenses. Malicious actors, meanwhile, are targeting another compromise route: runtime. By attacking applications in real time when they make calls for resources or connections with other apps, cybercriminals can bypass common security controls.

RASP solutions live in the runtime environment, analyzing both requested app behavior and context to deliver continuous security oversight. The “self-protection” aspect of RASP tools allows them to automatically defend against specific attacks without human intervention.

Key RASP Benefits

RASP provides a way to layer security onto the runtime process of applications themselves, effectively granting software inside-out protection by detecting potentially malicious requests and taking immediate action, including:

  • User warnings — Risky requests may be made by legitimate users with no ill intent; these warnings serve as education about the reason for request denial.
  • Direct reporting — For more serious issues, RASP can be configured to alert IT security professionals who can investigate further.
  • App termination — Well-designed RASP security tools terminate offending apps without impacting other processes.
  • Broad-spectrum protection — RASP offers broad-spectrum, automatic protection against common threats. In addition, RASP tools are easy to deploy, and work with all common app protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, JSON, REST, Simple Object Access Protocol and Ajax.

Beyond RASP Application Security: Cloud-Based WAF

Cloud-based web application firewalls offer another way to defend business networks. These next-gen WAFs are always active, always scanning incoming traffic for potential threats and analyzing that traffic for useable threat data. Using scalable environments, WAFs are then able to enrich collected data with relevant context and analyze your current threat landscape. In addition, the broad view of web application firewalls improves their ability to detect critical issues such as DDoS attacks and “low and slow” attacks that attempt to undermine security by escaping notice.

Best of Both Worlds

RASP revolutionized app security; WAF takes it step further. tCell’s solution gives you the best of both worlds — responsive RASP empowered by next-generation WAF.

Ready to double down on app security? Let’s talk.