Avoiding Orphaned Applications

By Ryan C. Barnett  |  Posted 2010-09-21 Print this article Print

Avoiding orphaned applications

Orphaned applications do not need to become security liabilities. Companies can take two proactive steps to identify and protect against applications that have fallen by the wayside to help ensure that hackers aren't given a backdoor entrance to sensitive data and customer information.

Step No. 1: Identify assets

The first step toward avoiding the risks associated with orphaned applications is to identify what applications are running on the network. This can be achieved by using a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that that can identify where Web applications are on the network and the types of data running on them.

Step No. 2: Manage assets

After all applications on the network have been identified, a sophisticated WAF can be configured to block attacks against the applications and to virtually patch identified vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Testing alone will not uncover all vulnerabilities; a real-time solution for identifying and fixing defective and vulnerable production applications is essential. Likewise, many network security solutions fail to identify the orphaned applications that exist in a corporate environment. By using a WAF, businesses can expedite the implementation of solutions for issues without only relying upon time-consuming and complex software updates and patches.

Ryan C. Barnett is a Senior Security Researcher on Trustwave's SpiderLabs Team. Ryan is a SANS Institute faculty member and the OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set (CRS) Project Leader. Ryan is also a member of the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC) where he leads the Distributed Open Proxy Honeypot Project. He can be reached at rbarnett@trustwave.com.

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