Thursday, July 03, 2008

Whitepaper: Vulnerability Assessment Plus Web Application Firewall (VA+WAF)

For those interested we’ve released a whitepaper on how Vulnerability Assessment Plus and Web Application Firewall (VA+WAF) function independently and collectively. We spend a few pages describing the technical fundamentals of both which many should find educational – especially on the WAF side with industry material in painfully short supply. Very few people really understand the nitty gritty details of how WAF work and deployed in the real-world. I've learned a great deal in the last couple months talking with those who have. There is a little F5 ASM marketing in the paper so beware! :) Enjoy, snippets:

“WAFs at their core are designed to separate safe Web traffic from malicious traffic before it’s received by the website. And, if an attack does find a way to sneak past a WAF, it still has the ability to prevent sensitive information from leaving the trusted network. To get a better understanding of how the technology works, it’s helpful to view a WAF’s functionality as three discrete components - policies, policy generation, and policy enforcement. Depending on the particular WAF in use, they may go about implementing each component in a number of different ways. No one particular way has proven to be the right way, as each has its pros and cons.”

“Every effective vulnerability assessment program requires a cohesive combination of people, process, and technology. Qualified people are necessary to carry out day-to-day tasks, manage the technology, and interpret the results to make them meaningful to the business. Process is required for coordinated efforts between executive management, IT Security, and software development groups to share information, prioritize vulnerability fixes, and enable organizational improvements. The right technology is essential for consistency, efficiency, and comprehensiveness. Whether an organization chooses to perform vulnerability assessments with internal resources, a consultancy, or a Software-as-a-Services vendor, the overall vulnerability program must always account for people, process, and technology. If not, the effort will cost more in time and dollars than it should. Or worse, simply not work.”

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