What is runtime application self-protection (RASP) and how does it work?
Experiencing a data breach leaves you in a state of panic. The idea of strangers gaining access to your data is worrying, especially if it includes your customers’ personal information.
It’s even more worrying if you’ve already put cybersecurity measures in place. These measures could be safe in themselves. The point is, overzealous hackers always find a way to strike against the odds.
Rather than blaming yourself for the incident, you should worry about improving the security of your network with more layers.
This is where Runtime Application Self-Protection comes in. Read along to find out more.
What is runtime application self-protection (RASP)?
Launched by Gartner in 2012, Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) is a relatively new security system that prevents hackers from compromising your applications and data.
One of the cool things about RASP is that it provides additional security to any cybersecurity measures you have in place. And since it runs on a server, it starts as soon as your apps start running.
Once your application begins to run, RASP monitors your network’s attack surface for emerging threats and protects it from any negative internal or external behavior.
How does the self-protection of runtime applications work?
RASP validates data requests made on your application and improves the overall security of your application.
Entries made to your network can make it or mess it up. With this in mind, RASP secures your application by monitoring all ingress and blocking impending attacks. It also protects your data from suspicious changes.
RASP is so efficient that it can stop a series of targeted SQL injection statements on your database. It operates in two main modes: diagnostic and protection.
In diagnostic mode, RASP triggers an alarm, alerting you when an attack fails or alerting you when something is wrong. And when in protection mode, it tries to stop cyber threats targeting your apps.
There are a number of ways that developers can implement RASP, and one of them is by using function calls typically included in the source code of the application. Alternatively, developers can put your app in a wrapper that secures it with the push of a button.
However, function calls are more efficient because they allow developers to prioritize the more sensitive parts of your web application. Domains such as your login, database query, and administration functions generally need the most protection.
It doesn’t matter which method you prefer to use; using RASP is similar to creating a firewall for your applications and data.
And on that note, let’s move on to the benefits of RASP.
What are the benefits of self-protection of runtime applications?
It is important to note that RASP works more like software than a network device. As a result, it is easier for it to perform many security functions including coding, framework configuration, backend connections, and runtime data flow. All of this information is obtained from the running application.
The advantages of RASP are:
1. Provides visibility
RASP provides you with precise and visible information about your attacker. Thanks to this security measure, you know who your attacker is, what techniques he used and what applications he targeted. On top of that, RASP gives you full HTTP and backend details.
2. Activates instantly
Another advantage of RASP is that it immediately kicks in and runs automatically. You can go about your daily tasks without worrying about the security of your system.
As long as your web application is enabled, you can rest assured that RASP is running in the background. It is programmed to react to the least dangerous threats.
3. Monitors web applications
Monitoring a network for cyber attacks with a basic security tool is no small task. You still need to be on the system to detect malicious movements. But with RASP it’s much easier.
The data generated by RASP helps you formulate appropriate policies for further protection and investigation. And these policies can generate log events that show how the protection conditions are met.
4.Allows Cloud and DevOps integrations
One system is not enough to meet the needs of your business in today’s technology arena. You should be able to use a variety of tools seamlessly.
RASP works well with cloud apps, development, and great web services. This integration creates smoother operations and improved cybersecurity.
5. Offers lower CapEx and OpEx
RASP is effective at detecting vulnerabilities in your network and reduces the level of false alarms you get. By extension, it reduces the initial expenses (CapEx) as well as the cost of protecting your application (OpEx). Because of these features, RASP is better than manual patches and web application firewalls (WAFs).
6. Provides customized solutions
RASP provides solutions to many challenges, and these solutions do not need constant tuning.
The data generated is based on the nature of the threat or attack. Once fully analyzed and implemented, you can harden your network against threats or similar attacks.
Common Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) use case
Now that you know the benefits of RASP, let’s take a look at some common RASP use cases. These are practical ways you can take to secure your system.
Some of the common use cases for RASP include:
1. Protection of web applications
Your web application is a powerhouse that stores valuable information. And since it is found on the Internet, it is vulnerable to data breach.
Deploying RASP to protect your web application prevents data breach and other forms of cyber attacks. The impact of data exposure can be devastating. In addition to experiencing downtime, your business can face lawsuits and settlements.
2. Zero-Day Prevention
You may have several measures in place to apply fixes to your critical assets, but these fixes can only be applied after they have been developed and released.
RASP, on the other hand, can be deployed anytime to protect your most valuable assets from zero-day vulnerabilities.
3. Cloud-based application protection
Protecting assets outside your network perimeter, especially cloud-based applications, can be difficult. But with RASP, this is more doable because it allows you to access and implement relevant data on these assets.
You are more comfortable knowing that all of your assets are secure even when they are not directly in your network.
Create a more secure network with RASP
Absolute cybersecurity can be a myth, because vulnerabilities are inevitable. But the stronger your security, the harder it is for attackers to break in.
In addition to building defenses against cyber attacks, RASP gives you answers to questions you might have about a possible attack. This is invaluable as it helps you prevent these attacks from happening. Every cyber threat that approaches your network is an opportunity to create a more secure network. With this mindset, we can say that threats are a learning experience.
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