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15 June 2020

F5 WAF – Maximum Protection



If you work as a security engineer, you’ll want the maximum protection for your web services. However, the maximum protection requires more administrative effort. It requires more knowledge about security and more knowledge about the web services you are protecting. You’ll get 90% of applications protected. It’s the maximum security level. Nevertheless, you’ll have to work very hard. In addition to configure all the security features of Good Protection, Elevated Protection and High Protection, you’ll have to configure Data Guard, DAST Integration, Protection from parameter exploits (whitelisting) and Allowed HTTP request methods.

The best protection is blocking attacks in the inbound direction before it can reach web servers. However, it may not be possible to detect every inbound attack, and there may be some problematic outbound traffic. Data Guard help us to protect outbound traffic. It examines outbound traffic for patterns that match common sensitive data types, such as credit card numbers or telephone numbers, and then masks the data or blocks responses containing the data. It’s an advanced security feature for customers who have concerns about leaking sensitive data. If you enable Data Guard in your security policy, by default, credit card and US social security numbers will be masked.

Data Guard to mask sensitive data

Many organizations identify application security vulnerabilities using automated tools such as Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) or Run-time Application Security Testing (RAST). The BIG-IP ASM system is able to integrate with DAST and services from providers like WhiteHat Security, HP, ImmuniWeb, Qualys, Quotium, and Trustwave. DAST integration provides support for automated, closed-loop remediation of many vulnerabilities identified by these tools. Therefore, the system automatically customizes the security policy to resolve the vulnerabilities.

Vulnerabilities found and verified by WhiteHat Sentinel
 
Blacklisting is a well-known security feature where there are signatures which are malicious and have to be blocked. On the other hand, whitelisting is a list of parameters which always have to be allowed. Blacklisting is easy to configure. However, whitelisting is hard to configure because we have to know explicit parameters used by the application. Whitelisting provides more protection than blacklisting but it requires more administrative effort because each time the application is modified, the security policy have also to be modified.

Parameters List
 
Finally, Allowed HTTP request methods is another security feature for a maximum protection. Most web applications work with the GET and POST method. Therefore, methods such as OPTIONS, DELETE, TRACE or HEAD are not used a lot. Allowing only the GET and POST method is a best practice and significantly reduce the security risk. The BIG-IP ASM system can allow the GET and POST methods and block or trigger a violation when other methods are used.

Allowed HTTP Methods

Regards! You already have all the security features ready for protecting your web applications.

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