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Web Application and API Protection: Safeguarding Digital Assets

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Outline

Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) refers to a set of security technologies implemented to safeguard web applications and services from a wide range of cyber threats and attacks. In today’s digital landscape, where businesses heavily rely on web applications and APIs to interact with customers and manage critical operations, ensuring their security is paramount.

Components of WAAP

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): This component acts as a protective barrier between a web application and the internet, filtering out malicious traffic and preventing unauthorized access.
  • DDoS Protection: DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks can cripple online services by overwhelming them with a flood of traffic. WAAP solutions include mechanisms to detect and mitigate these attacks, ensuring uninterrupted service availability.
  • Bot Management: Bots, both malicious and benign, constantly interact with web applications. Effective bot management helps differentiate between legitimate and harmful bots, which allows for appropriate actions, such as mitigating bad bots while providing observability into good bots (like Google & SEO tools).
  • API Security: APIs are the backbone of modern software applications, enabling them to communicate and share data. API security ensures that sensitive information is exchanged securely, and that APIs are not exploited for unauthorized access.

The Importance of WAAP

The necessity for robust Web Application and API Protection cannot be overstated. With the increasing reliance on digital platforms, cyber threats have evolved in sophistication and frequency. Industry statistics reveal a significant surge in various forms of attacks, ranging from multi-layer DDoS to zero-day exploits. In fact, Gartner predicts that unsecured APIs could lead to 50% of data theft by 2025! The cost associated with these breaches has also witnessed an increase, encompassing not only financial losses but also reputational damage and legal liabilities. According to an IBM study by the Ponemon Institute, 83% of U.S. companies have experienced a data breach more than once, costing them over $9.44 million, more than double the global average of $4.35 million.

Additionally, Edgio’s case studies provide compelling proof points on the benefits of WAAP implementation. Using Edgio Security, Shoe Carnival blocked eight million malicious requests in one month and reduced security exploit mitigation time by 85%. Organizations that have fortified their web applications and APIs with comprehensive protection have experienced a significant reduction in successful attacks, demonstrating the important role of WAAP in safeguarding digital assets.

Evaluating WAAP Solutions: Key Considerations

When assessing WAAP solutions, it is imperative to focus on several critical aspects:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The solution should cover multiple layers from the network/transport layers (L3/L4) to the application layer (L7) in the OSI model. This provides defense-in-depth and aids in detecting and mitigating a wide range of cyber threats.
  • Scalability: It should be able to accommodate the increasing size and complexity of cyber threats, as well as the growing demands of an organization without compromising performance and user experience.
  • Ease of Integration: Seamless integration with existing infrastructure and applications is crucial to ensure minimal disruption during implementation.
  • Compliance and Reporting: The solution should facilitate compliance with industry or government regulations and provide in-depth reporting capabilities for auditing and analysis.

For a more detailed and comprehensive checklist tailored to Edgio’s cutting-edge WAAP solution, we offer an outline of specific criteria and best practices to consider when fortifying your digital assets.