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February 7th, 2018

11 Reasons to Consider a WAF

Extending your business to suppliers, partners, and customers through a digital presence can offer numerous benefits (i.e., brand enhancement, access to real-time information, and quick online transactions) all while reducing cost and increasing revenue. However, extending your business to the Web can also come with a significant risk to applications, databases, and critical data that are continuously exposed to more sophisticated and targeted threats. 

Protecting the processing and transmission of critical information through Web applications while complying with government and industry regulations can be a complex, labor-intensive undertaking. But given the dramatic rise in the scale and severity of web attacks over the recent years, every company that relies on a Web application needs to rethink their security model if it doesn’t offer a comprehensive application security strategy. 

The effects of these attacks extend long past the assault itself — in terms of lost revenue, resources, and productivity, along with damage to brand reputation and customer trust. 

Considering these critical issues, here are a few impactful considerations to enhance your digital security strategy:

  1. Does your digital security strategy align with your business strategy?
    Based on what we have seen, only a small percentage of customers align their information security strategy to their organization’s appetite and tolerance for risk. You need to plan and deploy security measures in place to support your business plans, proactively.
  2. What is your strategy for monitoring and adapting to global web attack trends?
    The threat landscape is evolving rapidly. Very few organizations have the resources to stay current with the attack trends. Partner with companies that can help you prepare for the broadest spectrum of attacks.
  3. What is your Incident response strategy?
    How much lag in response can your business tolerate? Are you staffed to respond quickly if/when attacked? Consider approaches that are always-on, automate response, and reduce the risk introduced by changing architectures in response mode.
  4. What does downtime mean to your revenue and brand?
    The best practice is to quantify what it means for your site/application to be down for a minute, hour or day, both in terms of revenue and brand reputation.
  5. What would data theft cost your business?
    Web security is more than DDoS. Because most attack vectors prey on Web application vulnerabilities, it’s critical to be able to detect and prevent these events even if Web availability isn’t mission critical.
  6. Is regulatory compliance an issue for your business?
    Can you satisfy applicable regulations, e.g., PCI-DSS, FISMA, FFIEC, HIPAA, and SOX? Regulations evolve, complicating efforts to stay compliant. You need vendors that provide you with auditable transparency to their policies.
  7. Can you protect against all attack vectors?
    Web attacks can occur at the application, network, or DNS layer. Regardless of where they occur, the result is the same. You need to cover all types of attacks, preferably with fewer vendors covering multiple vectors each. Single point solution and management.
  8. How does your security strategy impact application performance?
    Security measures consume processing power, slowing response time, and introducing the potential for false positives. New distributed cloud architectures offset these traditional trade-offs, providing security without impacting performance.
  9. Are you looking at appliance, cloud-based or hybrid security solutions?
    Cloud-based solutions offer significant capital savings and add the ability to scale on demand. But, you still need to understand how big you can scale – today’s largest attacks will push the limits of the largest cloud players.
  10. How will you know if your Digital security strategy in place is adequate and effective?
    It is important to conduct regular vulnerability assessments to ensure your strategy and policies match the threat. With a deeper understanding of potential exposure, your organization can make better choices about mitigating risks, even before they come knocking.
  11. Does your Digital security strategy incorporate threat intelligence with respect to new and evolving attack vectors?
    Providing global threat intelligence that is reliable, accurate, and fast enough to effectively block today’s zero-day exploits and advanced threats requires a new approach. It involves an approach that moves security beyond the points of attack, beyond the network hosts and websites, and beyond the traditional network perimeter. It moves security to the far reaches of the Internet; identifying live cyber-attacks at their source before they arrive at your network.

Neustar Security Cloud defends websites, web applications, associated data and your infrastructure from ever increasing and more complex network and application layer attacks that can cost companies millions in lost transactions and business productivity each year, and even greater losses in their brand value and reputation. Neustar Security Cloud protects against network and application layer DDoS attacks; attacks against Web applications; direct-to-origin attacks; and (optionally) DNS layer attacks. Real-time web security monitoring, WAF controls and other powerful features are bundled into a single, always on, cloud-based solution, thereby providing a single pane of glass view into your digital business environment.


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