WAAP: A Must Have for CISOs

In the constantly maturing digital economy, all industries from finance and hospitality to retail and manufacturing have shifted their business towards a Cloud-Native Architecture built on Kubernetes, microservices, and containers.

The role of the CISO is evolving as new technologies are being adopted. The responsibility of the CISO used to be mainly focused on the security of the network and systems. But with the rise of the dynamic natural environment, their focus has now shifted to include the security of APIs and microservices as well.

Global CISO report, 2021 states that 89% of CISOs responded that containers, microservices, and Kubernetes have made application security a blind spot.

The CISO hence would need to work with a comprehensive security platform to mitigate that risk. One way to do this is by using WAAP (Web Application and API Protection) solution. This solution act as a shield between your API and the rest of the world, monitoring all traffic that comes in and out. This helps to detect malicious activity before it can do any damage.

Faster Innovation Has Created Security Risks

Data breaches, cyberattacks, and other security events are rising as the threat surface expands with more adoption of digital technologies. While some of the digital transformations are helping the business, many were not so privileged, carrying with them a dangerous case of security vulnerabilities.

Ponemon’s Digital Transformation & Cyber Risk study found that 82% of businesses encountered at least one security breach due to new technology adoption. Hence, there is no surprise that the need for cybersecurity is rising in parallel with the growing priority of digital transformation.

This is because, to keep up with the demand of digital innovation, organizations are embracing an agile working environment. Thereby, developers don’t have enough time to manually scan for security, or the resources to automatically detect potential vulnerabilities and exposures. This enables the security vulnerabilities to slip through production and results in insecure releases.

API Attack Surfaces are Piling Up

API security is a top concern for CISOs as APIs provide a way for malicious actors to gain access to sensitive data and systems. An insecure API can allow hackers access into a company’s internal systems, which can result in serious damage such as stealing confidential data or even taking over the company’s entire infrastructure.

IBM Security X-Force Report mentioned that 2/3rd of all cloud security breaches are due to the result of misconfigured APIs.

It means that web application security now becomes API security. According to Gartner’s report, by 2022, 90% of web-enabled web applications will have more surface area opened for API attacks.

API security is a complex issue that requires a lot of knowledge about both the technical and business aspects of how APIs work. CISOs will also need to work closely with the developers who create and manage APIs so that they can properly understand how the APIs are being built and used.

To combat this threat and to ensure API environments are well protected, cyber security strategies should be evolved to include fully-managed API protections.

Traditional Security Solutions Are No Longer Enough

With monolithic web applications, there were fewer application programmable interfaces. It was easier to control with traditional security solutions as they were sharing limited data. However, digital innovation introduced a new level of control, management, and visibility over virtual endpoints.

The security tools are not sufficient to handle the emerging threats and leave the CISOs in the dark regarding their efficiency in preventing threats. This meant a security attack could have easily exploited on endpoints and security leaders would have no clue about it unless it caused a major impact on the system.

Similarly, the security offered by the API gateway is also lacking to manage some API vulnerabilities.

Image source: Imvision

To protect data, especially data being processed through APIs, CISOs should look beyond API gateways and traditional Web Application Firewalls. To effectively deal with the modern-day threats, they need a next-generation security solution like Web Application and API Protection Solutions.

Web Application and API Protection: WAAP as a Critical Check Point

As web applications and APIs are no longer protected by a conventional security mechanism, the organization should consider a holistic set of protection. This is where WAAP (Web Application and API Protection) solution comes in. The WAAP service offers a layered approach towards security, which combines DDoS Protection, Bot Mitigation, Next-Generation Web Application Firewall (WAF) Protection, and API Protection.

The WAAP solution enables hardening threat detection, automatic actions, response capabilities, and reporting & alerting – all working together to enhance the security posture while enabling greater visibility into security threats.

With WAAP, CISOs have a single integrated security solution for comprehensive threat protection. Key benefits of WAAP include:

  • Discovers known and emerging threats to mitigate web and API related vulnerabilities and risks
  • Threat-based detection and custom configured rulesets to detect more attacks
  • Goes beyond the signature-based threat detection to protect OWASP Top 10 web attacks, API attacks, and zero-day threats
  • Ensures zero false positives and eliminates the efforts required to tune and maintain policies
  • Ensure that not just the people who are authorized to use it will be able to do so; but also, that those who are not authorized will not be able to abuse it.
  • Finally, constantly monitors API for any signs of suspicious activity and investigates any incidents immediately.

The Closure

Moving to a unified application security solution like Indusface’s WAAP can support businesses to improve threat prevention and increase operational efficiencies while ensuring service availability for legitimate users. Further, it offers the CISOs confidence in the security of API and cloud-native application deployments.


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