How Does RASP Security Protect Applications?

Weaknesses within an app are the top cause of company breaches. However, finding and removing the flaws in the app on time is difficult because of numerous vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

Regardless, securing applications is a necessity. According to a recent survey, 49% of app users said that they would stop it if they found out that it puts them and their data at risk.

The reality is applications hold sensitive data of their users, and they’re often the backbone of an entire business. Remote workers might use them to log into the system or your entire service might rely on it working properly.

Not every cyberattack includes a ransom note, and you might not even know that the system has been breached something that can last for months on end. Compromised credentials or malware that allows cybercriminals to monitor users and alter data to their advantage could be the key signs of an attack.

One cybersecurity solution designed to guard apps against possible threats and weaknesses is RASP security. What is it, and how does it protect applications from the worst-case scenarios?

What is RASP Security?

Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) protects apps from known and new threats. It runs quietly in the background when the application is used and tracks changes and scans for unwanted activity to stop it and remove malicious code as soon as possible.

Businesses install RASP on their applications to protect them once they’re deployed and running.

Rasp security can be used for both web and non-web-based apps. The key difference between RASP security and other application protection solutions is that it’s self-protecting.

Once RASP runs in the app’s background, it protects it from within, without interfering with the app’s design. Instead, it is focused on protecting features that are on the server.

RASP Security Protects Applications Based on Set Rules

RASP security secures applications by using Language Specific Security and considering the context within which the app is deployed.

Language Specific Security (also known as LangSec) is the language that is utilised when setting the specific rules on what the software should pay attention to when protecting an app.

Every organisation has different assets that need protection. Therefore, the tool sets different rules for the scanning and mitigation of threats.

Running protection software based on the context of the application and its use means that its security is designed to meet the needs of the specific organisations that use the app for work or to share their services.

Once it’s installed and the rules are set, RASP follows the protocols written in the LangSec syntax and analyses any possible unwanted activity. If it identifies known malicious activity within the app, it removes it right away.

Protecting Apps from Known Threats

One part of the protocols that guides RASP is written to protect the app from known weaknesses and hacking methods. The starting point is going to be the list of OWASP’s top 10 threats for applications.

After extensive testing, the OWASP list currently identifies these threats as the most concerning for applications:

  • Broken access control
  • Cryptographic failures
  • Injection
  • Insecure Design
  • Security Misconfiguration
  • Vulnerable and outdated components
  • Authentication failure
  • Software and data integrity failure
  • Security logging and monitoring failures
  • Server-side request forgery

Threats and flaws are listed based on the severity and likelihood of harming the application. For instance, broken access control has been recognised as the most widespread issue for the tested applications.

Guarding Apps Against Zero-Day Attacks

Applications also must be protected from novel hacking methods, known as zero-day threats. These are the techniques that can’t be predicted and for which IT teams don’t yet have available solutions. Nevertheless, they can damage the company and allow hackers access to the app.

While solutions for new hacking methods aren’t always readily available, the RASP protection software can analyse activity based on the set rules and discover any things that might be out of the ordinary for the app.

Securing Apps When Offline With RASP

This protection is valuable for applications that run in a separate environment and thus don’t require an internet connection or even a network.

Although such apps rely on localised access, they need the same level of security as those that are primarily online and accessible to the public. This might refer to things such as obsolete or outdated software programs that are still running in the background.

Whatever the case might be, RASP ensures that the application is protected from any attempts at malicious code injection or requests.

Buying Time to Patch Up

Considering that new threats appear within systems on a daily basis, it is often difficult to track and mitigate all of them.

IT teams in charge of securing systems are typically overwhelmed due to the large number of vulnerabilities. Additionally, there is the challenge of separating flaws that are truly high-risk from those of low or medium severity.

RASP protects vulnerable applications regardless of where they are in the system. It essentially shields the app and buys time for security teams to identify and fix issues which need to be dealt with.

Considering numerous company breaches start with exploiting flaws within apps, it’s evident that, with proper security, IT teams can remove and contain a major vulnerability from their systems.

Available solutions may offer frequent patches for applications to ensure they are safe to use, but they also might leave multiple gaps in security. The main reason for this is that available tools often lack a comprehensive overview of the security when they protect apps and can’t defend them from zero-day attacks.

RASP protects applications from the inside out. It secures them based on the specific application environment and rules written explicitly for the app in question to ensure optimal protection from both known threats and zero-day attacks.