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Cequence Security, a provider of innovative application security solutions for today’s hyper-connected enterprises, expanded the capabilities of its Application Security Platform with a new security module – CQ appFirewall.
This new module will leverage the intelligence of CQAI, the patented analytics engine within the platform, to automatically detect and defend against attacks that exploit known and unknown application vulnerabilities – and even eliminate much of the administrative effort associated with creating and maintaining WAF signatures.
The Cequence Application Security Platform, originally launched in November 2018 with CQ botDefense, leverages the application intelligence generated by CQAI to detect and defend against automated attacks that appear to be legitimate as they target the application business logic itself. CQ appFirewall takes full advantage of the same application intelligence to provide non-stop security, even with continuous application updates and modifications by DevOps teams. CQ appFirewall will complement CQ botDefense to deliver comprehensive application security that is effectively “baked in” to the web, mobile, and API-based application tier.
“We actually solved the hardest security problem first, stopping malicious bot attacks with our initial module, CQ botDefense,” said Ameya Talwalkar, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Cequence Security. “With CQ appFirewall, we have significantly extended the platform’s value with innovations that overcome the inherent security limitations of traditional WAFs. When customers deploy both security modules, the platform will not only prevent attacks targeting their web, mobile, and API-based applications, it will also help eliminate unwanted application traffic on their network.”
CQ appFirewall includes support for OWASP Top 10 and PCI DSS Section 6.6, which address basic vulnerability protection and compliance requirements that customers expect from their WAF. But the new Cequence Security module goes well beyond that with several important innovations:
- Discover – Automatic discovery of all web, mobile, and API-based applications that could be targeted with targeted attacks that exploit application vulnerabilities. This eliminates the need to continually monitor and update traditional application and threat signatures. In addition, it provides discovery and lockdown of misconfigured applications that should not be exposed to the Internet.
- Detect – Leverages the multi-dimensional analysis of CQAI to fully understand normal application transaction, also known as syntactic behavior, and creates a unique profile between external clients and the customer’s web, mobile, and API-based applications. Any abnormal transactions – including those targeting zero-day vulnerabilities – are automatically detected and blocked, without the need to create a new WAF signature.
- Defend – In addition to block and alert as response options, CQ appFirewall allows customers to defend against attacks using rate-limiting, geo-fencing, and deception techniques that convinces the bad actor the attack was successful, when in fact it wasn’t.
The need for these advanced features was recently validated in a report Cequence Security published with Ponemon Institue and based on data collected from WAF users in nearly 600 US organizations. “The research clearly reveals WAF dissatisfaction in three areas,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute. “First, organizations are frustrated that so many attacks are bypassing their WAFs and compromising business-critical applications. In addition, they’re experiencing the pain of continuous, time-consuming WAF configuration and administration tasks. Lastly, they’re dealing with significant annual costs associated with WAF ownership and staffing.”
“We’ve definitely addressed the security concerns raised in that report,” said Shreyans Mehta, CTO and co-founder of Cequence Security. “In addition, by combining AI-driven bot defense and application firewall capabilities within the same platform and a single pane of glass for management, we’re enabling our customers to reduce architectural complexity and improve staff productivity. And the open architecture of the platform makes it easy to share relevant data with other security tools, such as SIEMs or anti-fraud systems.”
The changing requirements for application security – which include bot mitigation and protection against vulnerability exploits – were recently highlighted in a report from Gartner, which stated: “Considering the range of exploits and abuse that can occur with web and mobile applications and web APIs, technical professionals must leverage a mix of externalized security controls to deliver appropriate protection and alleviate burdens to development staff.” (Source: Gartner Protecting Web Applications and APIs From Exploits and Abuse, Frank Catucci, Michael isbitski and Ramon Krikken, April 24, 2019)
The CQ appFirewall solution includes the underlying platform, CQAI analytics engine, CQ Insight management application, and CQ Connect for sharing information. The annual subscription price is based on the number of transactions processed by the solution, which can vary significantly by customer. Controlled release and beta testing begin next month, with general availability in Q4 2019.