The benefits of using RASP in high-risk industries

High-risk industries like the medical, financial, and government sectors all deal with highly sensitive documents and customer data.

Even a small breach can have disastrous consequences in these fields, making constant vigilance and effective management of their security posture vital. 

An effective tool that high-risk industries are increasingly using to protect from threats like zero-day attacks is Runtime Application Self-Protection – also known as RASP. RASP actively monitors the runtime environment of applications, instantly noting any inconsistencies that may suggest a zero-day attack is occurring.

In this article, we’ll dive into RASP cybersecurity tools, outline what they are, and demonstrate why high-risk industries are increasingly using them to protect their sensitive data.

What is RASP?

Runtime Application Self-Protection is a piece of cybersecurity architecture that sits within an application’s runtime environment. From this position, RASP is able to monitor all of the incoming and outgoing traffic to the application, as well as all of its internal activity. 

Over recent years, hackers have become increasingly familiar with typical cybersecurity defenses like web application firewalls and access control mechanisms. While these are still highly valuable security deployments, many cybercriminals are developing methods of bypassing them.

Instead of protecting a system from forced entry – as is the case with many cybersecurity tools – RASP works from the inside out. RASP uses its presence within an application to conduct a more effective analysis of the runtime itself. Instead of preventing access, it instead aims to identify any breaches that have already occurred or are in progress.

When RASP detects a suspicious change to the runtime environment, it is then able to monitor the application logic to identify where a hacker may be in the system and neutralize them. Whether the access is one without authorization or is a breach in progress, this either directly stops an attack or alerts security teams proactively, giving them enough time to prevent major damages. 

Especially considering its real-time operation, RASP is one of the most impressive and effective aspects of security architecture that modern security teams can turn to. Especially in high-risk industries, where data is even more valuable, RASP is quickly becoming a necessity.

The role of RASP in high-risk industries

Cybercriminals can target any one point of a company’s near-endless attack surface. While major developments in cybersecurity have been made over recent years, no business is infallible to attacks. Even a small data breach can have disastrous consequences, resulting in the loss of reputation, financial damages, and even fines due to non-compliance with data security initiatives.

High-risk industries – those that deal with private financial, medical, or confidential records – are even more exposed to the damages that breaches can cause. Hackers are able to sell each record that they breach, with medical records reaching upwards of $429 per record. Financial information is equally as valuable to hackers, coming in at $210 per record.

Due to the high-cost potential of breaching a governmental, financial, or medical company, these fields are high risk when it comes to cyber security. While organizations in this sector employ advanced security tools, one attack vector is much harder to defend against.

Zero-day attacks are when a hacker finds a vulnerability in a system that the developer doesn’t know is there. They can then abuse this exploit to rapidly breach data, with the hidden nature of the attack meaning that security teams often don’t know the attack has occurred until it’s too late.

RASP technology is the only effective defense system that organizations have against zero-day attacks. By actively monitoring an application’s runtime environment, RASP can:

  • Detect Anomalies: Whenever RASP detects a small anomaly in activity, it is able to trace the signature with a high degree of precision, detecting entry attempts like zero-day attacks, SQL injections, or unauthorized access pushes. RASP helps to detect and stop any threats that have already gotten past other defenses.
  • Provide Deep Visibility into the Application Health: RASP technology offers a comprehensive assessment of application data, providing full visibility for security teams that want to better monitor their systems.
  • Launch a Real-Time Response: When a hacker starts to utilize a zero-day exploit, a RASP system can automatically identify it and then trigger a response, helping to stop breaches in their tracks and protect high-value data.

RASP technology acts as the last line of defense against cyber attacks, helping high risk industries to embed the highest possible level of protection into their current security posture. As security is paramount in these industries, finding the most powerful tools will help shield data from breaches and create a more comprehensive security architecture.

Integrating RASP into an enterprise security architecture

Runtime application self-protection is one of the most effective additions that organizations can make to their current security posture. Acting as a last layer of defense, businesses that employ it are able to enhance their security architecture, creating a real-time system that monitors application activity for potential malicious intent.

While RASP is a fantastic tool, it’s important that high-risk industries use it only in conjunction with other tools. RASP should be a final point of defense that a hacker encounters, rather than the first that your business relies on. By using other security tools, like WAAP, threat monitoring, and even AI and ML technologies, you give your business the best possible chance of avoiding data breaches.

When every second in cybersecurity counts, RASP technology provides a rapid, effective, and comprehensive solution for real-time monitoring.