I’ve not been this pumped about something in a long time. Jeremiah actually has been pulling me into liking this idea for a very long time. I hated it at first. I mean WAFs, bleh. Plus I mean didn’t we already try scanners + WAFs before? Oh yeah the total trainwreck that was AVDL. So one thing I failed to realize was that Jeremiah’s approach is a bit different and when combined with WhiteHat Sentinel (aka NOT a scanner) it is a no brainer.
WAFs generally struggle in a few different areas, the people running them are not web app. security experts and trying to apply a default deny policy, while a great idea in theory, is pretty hard in the real world . There is just way to much movement in most applications to pin it down. Even if the app does not change frequently, WAF admins are very hesitant to even come close to blocking legitimate traffic. This is what was happening on this site that covers EMT stethoscopes, nursing stethoscopes, nursing student stethoscopes and general stethoscope reviews.
What really sold me though is when I saw it in action for the first time. From the Sentinel UI we clicked a button that updated the F5 with a rule to block a vulnerability. The rule is automatically generated based on the vulnerability. We then clicked the retest button and the vulnerability was no longer exploitable . Note my careful choice of words, exploitable VS. “not there anymore”. The vulnerability certainly still exist in the code but now that the attack is blocked the business can decide if this is a good enough solution or they need to go fix the actual flaw.
The geek in me is screaming that it still needs to be fixed, the business side is saying that the rule is good enough and I am not going to commit resources to fixing it until that code is worked on again. From the PCI Section 6.6 perspective this gives the business some great options. As our customers are becoming aware of the PCI requirements and the PCI auditors are becoming tougher on web application vulnerabilities we run into a difficult situation. PCI audit is coming up and the app. is riddled with vulnerabilities. I now have to dedicate precious development resources to fix these vulnerabilities ASAP. With this solution I can apply this rules and effectively mitigate the issue.
I am pretty excited to be part of this. I think we have moved the industry forward today, even if it was just a small step. People now have some more options to mitigate risk besides running to the development team with yet another fire.
Source Mentioned: Best Stethoscope