RASP also referred to as Runtime application self-protection is a modern application security technology that focuses on identifying and isolating threats around the clock. Runtime means that the security technology is operational in real-time on the server and keeps on running with an application. 

It is not only being deployed at the end of application development this secure form of technology is linked or incorporated into the application development making it effective from daily attacks or threats. RASP uses application context along with behaviour in gathering data on how an app is performing currently. The reason is that since it is based on the server where an application thrives, RASP can detect and block threats immediately.

The working of RASP

When you compare it to traditional application security tools,  RASP resorts to the use of the app’s data and logic so that it can report and block attacks. Since it is built into an application once the system detects any abnormal behaviour in an application it is known to isolate and detect the issue. This means that the technology may be adjusted based on the needs of an application.

RASP also can alert, protect and detect security events based on their severity. You may consider it the following way rather than serving as a security guard who protects the parameters of your application RASP serves more like a motion detector that is expected to sound an alarm the moment it detects some form of a security breach.

The benefits of RASP

Below are some of the benefits associated with RASP

  • Visibility- RASP is expected to provide conceptual inputs about the health of an app once you detect a threat. It gives you an idea of who is being attacked, which is the area where a vulnerability is detected and the type of applications that have been targeted
  • Runs in real-time- RASP is known to provide application control around the clock that is independent of an administrator. Since the data that is present in the app is well protected the malicious actors will not be able to use it
  • Accuracy- RASP is highly efficient in defending against various attacks. The tech is intelligent enough to know the difference between an attack and an info request which is critical in reducing the number of false positives.
  • Time saver- As the technology is operational without any form of human interference RASP provides a considerable amount of time to the security teams. This allows them to focus on activities that are important for a business. At the same time, there is less cost involved with the maintenance of the same.
  • Detects zero-day attacks- A zero-day attack means that the security attack occurs the same day where the exploit is well-known. Since RASP works in real-time it can detect and block such types of attacks swiftly.

The challenges of RASP

  • It is new -RASP is a technology that has come up recently. It has emerged on the security screen of late which means that the rate of adoption is not high. Since it is young it is expected to be tested and an app may experience some latency with RASP tech that has not been fine-tuned
  • Outline the health of your app first- if an application is defective RASP is not going to help you in that. Sure, it may protect your application but it is not expected to fix any recurring issues. If you believe that the application requires some work then you need to fix that first.
  • Tends to work better with DevSec Ops- RASP must combine with DevSecPos that addresses all forms of vulnerabilities. The IT teams must communicate effectively to deal with issues and solve them effectively.

Runtime  application Self-protection user cases

The flexibility of  Runtime Application Self-Protection indicates that the developers may integrate it with several applications. But a few of the RASP cases work out to be common

Web application protection

 Web applications along with APIs may turn out to be a critical component of an organizations infrastructure that may be vulnerable to a wide range of attacks. Such applications are exposed to the public internet and are prone to various vulnerabilities. The moment you deploy RASP to protect these applications and Apis an organization can limit the cyber-security risk and attack surface of the web-facing infrastructure.

Zero-day prevention

It is on anticipated lines that an organization may have processes in place to apply patches for critical application and deployment. The fact is that a patch can only be developed once it is released. The RASP can be used to protect critical systems whereas an organization may go on to include APIS against zero-day vulnerabilities.

Cloud application protection

Securing the cloud may turn out to be complex as applications are operational on leased infrastructure outside of the network perimeter of an organization. Integration of RASP into these applications is expected to provide them with a high level of security when it is a portable and larger antagonist firm.

From RASP to WAAP

RASP and WAAP are complementary to each other in various ways. However, this is expected to be the case when it comes to the question of application security. Though WAP is known to be providing the first line of defence once you go on to filter various applications before they reach out to the target audience.

RASP resorts to the context of deep visibility on the applications in detecting and blocking attacks. This is known to slip by the web application firewall. Using this combination ensures that the attacks are detected at an early stage that is expected to protect if you compare it against full-proof attacks as well. This does auger well in the days to come.

The protection of web applications against modern threats goes way beyond using RASP with WAP. You should replace them with a modern solution. Coming to the next generation of WAP is it known as WAAP. This takes into consideration the fact that companies are exposing web application interfaces to the internet.