For the first session of the day, I decided to check out the Web Application Security Roadmap presentation by Joe White, President of Cyberlocksmith Corporation.  Web application security is still very much in it’s infancy.  Traditional “operations” teams do not understand web application security risk and are ill-equipped to defend against web application threats.  Many companies are wrestling with who takes ownership of web application security.  Still trying to figure out where they fit in the organization.  Security “turf battles” are inevitable in these situations.  No clear separation between where web app sec stops and traditional operation security begins.

Begin by building a foundation.  Find your web application vulnerabilities.  Address your web application vulnerabilities.  Monitor/detect web application compromise attempts.  Decide upon threat classification framework and scoring model.  Develop web application incident response plan.

Next, look at your internal projects.  Scope/prioritize internal web application specific projects.  Proactively increase security awareness.  Threat modeling and data flow diagrams.  Manual code review (outside expert).  Other possible roadmap items to consider.

To find web application vulnerabilities, there is an automated component and a manual component.  For the automated component, choose the automated assessment tool that works best with your web application technology.  Make sure you are addressing all internet facing web application exposure.  Deploy a static source code analysis tool to scan for security vulnerabilities within the source code.  The manual component is required to compliment the automated assessment.  You work to better educate manual assessment teams of the way your web application functions so they can better detect logic flaws and other pieces likely to be missed by the automated scans.  Integrate both peer code review and manual review of the static source code analysis results into your SDLC.

Web Application Security Assessment CapEx and Deployment Times

  • 30 days to evaluate each vendor if conducting a bake-off
  • 0-4 weeks to deploy chosen tool after the evaluation phase
  • CapEx for web application security assessment tools will vary between vendors.  Budget for 25-50k

Static Source Code Analysis CapEx and Implementation Times

  • 30 days to evaluate each vendor if conducting a bake-off
  • 3-6 weeks to deploy chosen tool after the evaluation phase
  • CapEx will vary between vendors and will likely depend on the chosen deployment scenario as well as how many developers are using hte tool.  Budget for 50-105k (1-3k per developer)

Mitigate immediate internet facing risk.  Block your exposure from web application vulnerabilities as close as possible to when they are discovered.  THIS IS CRITICAL!  Buys you time to fix vulnerabilities in the underlying code.  WAF will minimize threat window for each exposure by blocking access to vulnerability until it can be fixed in the code.

Address the vulnerabilities in the code.  Web app sec assessment tool should assist in locating specific code level changes that need to be made.  Static Source Code analysis will point directly to specific code level changes that need to be made.

WAF Vendors: Breach, ModSecurity, Imperva, F5, Citrix, Barracuda, Deny All, BeeWare, BinarySEC, Cisco, and Fortify Real-Time Analysis.

WAF Firewall CapEx and Deployment Times

  • 30 days to evaluate each vendor if conducting a bake-off
  • 4-8 weeks to deploy chosen tool after the evaluation phase
  • Ongoing management and fine-tuning can be expected after deployment
  • CapEx varies between vendors.  Expect approximately 25-40k per appliance and need at least two for redundancy
  • Budget for 75-100k (more for presence at multiple datacenters)

Check out!  It’s a webappsec community supported site for information and resources related to WAF Reviews and Evaluations.  If you have participated in a recent bake-off of WAF technology and are able to share your results, feel free to forward your evaluation results to  Mission is to be fair, objective, and comprehensive.

Detecting web application compromise attempts.  Use a WAF!  Looks at Web Application (Layer 7) data and acts upon it.  Similar to traditional network (Layer 4) firewall.  But more like a gateway than a firewall.  Likes to call it a “Web Application Risk Management (WARM)” device.  Device sits between your normal firewall and your web application server.

WAF Use Cases

  • Web intrusion detection and prevention
  • Continuous security assessment
  • Virtual (or just-in-time) patching
  • HTTP traffic logging and monitoring
  • Network building blocks
  • Web application hardening

Detect web application compromise attempts.  You cannot protect what you cannot see.  You will need greater visibility into application layer traffic.  This is usually the place that traditional operations security folks do not understand.  WAF should monitor and detect application anomalies and compromise attempts from users.  WAF offers greater visibility into application security events.  As WAF market matures, you can expect the WAF to be fed real-time vulnerabilities by your web application security assessment tool in order to proactively block newly discovered attacks.  The tricky part here is that you will likely need the help of the traditional operations security guys to help you implement and succeed.

Decide upon threat classification framework.

Develop a web application incident response plan.  This is the piece overlooked by most organizations.  You do not want to be blind-sided by a web application security event while you are earning the trust of both your management and peers.  Seeking presentations and other educational material to assist web application security professionals.

Don’t let internal projects distract you from building the foundation!  Integrate security into the SDLC.  Secured development lifecycle.

Increase security awareness.  Executive web application security risk awareness.  Developer training.

Threat modeling and data flow diagrams.  Understand all entry and exit points into the web application.  Understand threat scenarios.

Manual code review (outside expert).  Include all tiers in the application architecture.  Address internet facing code first and then move on to application tier and then database tier.

Other roadmap items to consider.  DDoS attacks.  Anti-phishing.  Seecurity Center – reporting features of WAF should be available for users to increase security awareness and proactively address security weaknesses.  Web application security metrics.

Information security risks and threats change over time.  You must adapt to these changes.  Web application security is the current threat that you need to understand and be adapting to.  If you are new, it is OK because there is still time to change and adapt.  Don’t be an information security dinosaur.  Latest version of the presentation available at