WAF and Virtual Patching: Web Application Firewall (WAF SECURITY) And Virtual Patching “WAF Security and Its mechanism”; How load balancing tiers in WAF (Web Application Firewall) work is by assigning traffic to the various web application servers. By doing this, the WAF software provides guaranteed that requests for particular web pages will process quickly and without being lost in the server’s traffic. With many different web traffic delivery networks being deployed today; IT professionals must continue to develop new ways to deal with the different attacks that may come across their networks.

Here is the article; All you Need to Know about WAF and Virtual Patching.

By developing and deploying different WAF methods; it is possible to better protect the information that stores on a company’s networks. These attacks can come from several different sources; such as a hacker with a virus or intrusion, malicious attackers, and even the typical user who may accidentally click on an advertisement; following the WAF and Virtual Patching, you know and understand all about them below are.

CSRF Attacks:

As many as 60 percent of all web applications are vulnerable to attack through cross-site request forgery (CSRF); which occurs when a hacker along with another user on the same network penetrates a web application through a link from another website. The CSRF attacks can take many forms, such as simple attacks that allow the hacker to read or change the information stored on a website or the usage of more sophisticated techniques; such as injecting malicious code into a site or sending a spoofed email to a user.

CSRF Attacks Hack Protection Ultimate Security
CSRF Attacks Hack Protection Ultimate Security

As many as half of all CSRF attacks occur at the client-side; meaning that an attacker not only has to gain access to a network of computers; but also to change the information that being stores in a site. While some of these types of attacks can execute using software and without the knowledge of the user; many attacks can only execute with the knowledge and consent of the victim

Another popular method used to try to infiltrate websites and steal information is through the use of a reverse proxy. Using a reverse proxy server can allow attackers to send a specially crafted request to an IP address of a target webserver. The request would contain a payload of attack code that would then execute on the target machine. Although this technique can execute by a casual user who happens to know the IP address of a target web server; it typically uses by experienced hackers and developers who have more sophisticated means at their disposal.

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Definition of WAF Security:

A WAF security appliance or positive security model firewall also blocks attackers from sending additional requests to the application security system without permission. An example of this would be a website that contained embedded scripts; or any other type of malicious code that could execute arbitrary code on the targeted machine. Such attacks prevent by an appliance or positive security model firewall. These appliances were designed to prevent the introduction of any additional attacks; such as scripts or any other code that could execute remotely.

In addition to preventing the introduction of any additional attacks; a positive security model firewall also controls and monitors all outgoing traffic. Traffic that originates from untrusted sources records and logs for analysis. Such traffic categorizes into two types: normal traffic and suspicious traffic. For normal traffic, the WAF administrator can analyze these packets to determine whether they contain malicious scripts or other harmful content. If so, the source blocks from further access, and actions were taken against that IP. In the case of suspicious traffic, the IP address and source log for analysis.

Application security controls also implement in the WAF security architecture. Rules implement to monitor application usage and suspicious processes, which can execute manually or can be automatic. Such rules can configure at various levels to block or allow specific types of traffic. The purpose of this is to provide greater visibility; and, control over applications to ensure that only legitimate websites are accessed. Visibility and control of applications achieve through the use of WAF filters.

Virtual Patching And Its Types:

One of the most common vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals and hackers is security holes in computer programs and applications; which allow attackers to bypass the security measures imposed on these programs and applications and execute their malicious payload. Virtual patching is a dynamic address allocation system that prevents these attacks by validating; and, replacing various critical Windows features like shared memory and static ports. However, not all cases of such vulnerabilities can patch by using virtual patching and other means. It is important to understand the characteristics of these vulnerabilities so that companies; and, individuals can take steps to mitigate the risks associated with these attacks.

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There are two types of virtual patching, which include static and dynamic virtual patching.

Static Virtual Patching:

A static virtual patching technique works as it replaces an existing vulnerability with a new one without replacing the protection level for the vulnerable component. This finish by replacing the digitally signed DLL file that provides support for the application with a version that has been digitally signed using the digital signature algorithm. The advantage of such a technique is that it creates a void for an attack since no action takes against the application; which could result in the removal of a functioning security feature. For instance, an application that was exploited for remote control over computers that has been patched to prevent exploitation of the system may still be vulnerable to attacks; if it has dynamic virtual port settings that have been left unchanged.

Dynamic Virtual Patching:

On the other hand, dynamic virtual patching utilizes a mechanism called runtime security which enables by using the security feature VirtualBox. With this feature, web servers provide with the capability to configure security policies that can determine; which code injections allow to allow or deny a certain application to run. This allows web servers to determine which DLL files can be trusted; and, which cannot trust to execute specific modules or functions. By instructing the webserver which DLL files can or cannot be trusted; the threat of an attack on the web server’s safety considerably decreases. Also, it is easier for companies and end-users to manually disable the VirtualBox web-based management tools that allow for the execution of DLL files.

Another benefit of using virtual patching methodology is the prevention of security vulnerability that comes with the use of freely available tools; such as Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Code Review Engine (CSE). The IDS and CSE components of popular operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X are poorly written and can exploit by dedicated developers. Furthermore, these components integrate into free tools that have not been scrutinized by experts and can therefore provide attackers with an easy way of compromising your system. With the use of dynamic virtual patching, you can easily avoid such vulnerabilities and thereby maintain the integrity of your applications.

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More about Virtual Patching:

Virtual patching can also help prevent the compromise of exploits executed in web applications through the use of executable codes. Some developers tend to load vulnerable web applications that they develop using external programs; or directly into the system of their development environment without first securing the application before deployment. Such developers are, however, advised to not execute such codes during their lifetime as a preventive measure against exploits.

While it is true that the use of a virtual patching service can bring about significant improvements in the performance of your system; this solution should use only for superior results. This solution design to enhance the security of the most crucial parts of the system while leaving the user’s accessibility to perform other functions. For instance, if you are developing web applications using Adobe Dreamweaver; you do not advise disabling the HTML attribute so that users can gain access to the inner pages of the application without having to wait for a closure event.

Such attributes are very essential as they make it easier for end-users to navigate through your application. Likewise, it also recommends that you do not disable the Set View State In IE feature to prevent Microsoft from detecting sensitive information embedded inside the object code. If you feel that you cannot secure all your assets; and, that you would like to have full control over the entire process of application delivery; you should consider getting in touch with a professional web application development company for assistance. Now, you may understand what is the WAF and Virtual Patching.

All you Need to Know about WAF and Virtual Patching
All you Need to Know about WAF and Virtual Patching; Image from Pixabay.
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