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Regular version of the site

Article

Securing Information Resources Using Web Applcation Firewalls

Business Informatics. 2015. No. 4. P. 71-78.
Baranov P., Beibutov E.

This paperwork overviews core technologies implemented by comparably new products at information security market - web application firewalls. Web applications are a very wide-used and convenient way of presenting remote users with access to corporate information resources. It can however become single point of failure rendering all the information infrastructure unreachable for legitimate clients. To prevent malicious access attempts to endpoint information resources and, intermediately, to web server, a new class of information security solutions has been created. Web application firewalls function at the highest, seventh layer of ISO/OSI model and serves as a controlling tunnel for all the traffic heading to and from company’s web application server(s). To ensure decent levels of traffic monitoring and intrusion prevention web application firewalls are equipped with various mechanisms of data exchange session “normalness” control. These mechanisms include protocol check routines, machine learning techniques, traffic signature analysis and more dedicated means like denial of service, XSS injection and CRRF attack prevention. Ability to research and add user rules to be processed along with vendor-provided ones is important since every company has its own security policy and, therefore the web application firewall should provide security engineers with ways to tweak its rules to reflect the security policy more precisely. This research is based on wide practice experience integrating web application firewalls into security landscape of various organizations, their administration and customization. We illustrate our research of available filtering mechanisms and their implementations with example product features by market leaders, schemes and screenshots from real web application firewall systems.