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Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) For Mobile Apps

Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) for Mobile Apps

Runtime Application Self-Protection or RASP connotes a self-aware, self-protecting app system. Promon adds mobile security that is part of the app’s source code, providing the great benefits explained on this page. 

App Security from the Outside In

Today, security is typically implemented from the outside in. In most cases, this involves defining a virtual perimeter around apps or valuable assets, before bringing in security tools to defend it. Many businesses still believe that adequate cyber security lies in building a better wall, despite the fact that cybercriminals have been finding ways to puncture holes in these perimeters for years.

According to Gartner, organizations spend more than 20 times as much on protecting the perimeter than on the apps themselves. The mobile threat landscape is constantly evolving as a result of mobile phones becoming increasingly pervasive in our daily lives. The number of available apps is growing rapidly. Simply protecting the perimeter is no longer sufficient.

Mobile Apps Should Protect Themselves

A change in thinking is required: every app should be self-aware and self-protecting. Protecting mobile apps from the inside out needs to move further up the agenda.

Protecting apps presents a series of unique challenges. In all likelihood, they could reside on a device not owned by the enterprise that has created them. In other words, they operate outside of corporate perimeter protection. These devices might be using insecure, out-of-date operating systems, so malware could already be residing there.

Graphics of enterprise infrastructure illustrating how runtime application self-protection apps (RASP) work.
Server-side infrastructure does not provide enough protection, and reliance on the security architecture of (mobile) operating systems is not enough. Runtime Application Self-Protection protects your apps from the “Inside out” and secures the increasingly common entry point: high-value apps’

Enterprises should be aiming to implement a new form of app protection to help tackle these issues. This is where the concept of Runtime Application Self-protection, or RASP, comes in. RASP Security involves protecting apps from the inside out, by adding security that can be part of the app’s source code.

RASP Protection Measures

The protection measures offered by RASP include one or more of the following abilities:

  • Termination of user sessions
  • Termination of an app without affecting other apps on the server or device
  • Identication of a misbehaving or compromised app
    • If an app is compromised, an alert is sent to a management console or directly to the user
  • Inspection of application logic flow and data flow
  • Connection to the application runtime processes and environment

In most cases, RASP tools support a variety of programming environments. Java, Objective C and Swift are included along with most common development frameworks. Some tools are designed largely for desktop apps, while others can handle apps running across a wider range of desktop and mobile operating systems.

Runtime Application Self-Protection – An Important Part of Your Mobile Security Strategy

It is important to note that RASP technology, while a hugely important part of any mobile security strategy, should not be your sole security solution. A layered approach, incorporating RASP at the runtime level, provides a holistic framework granting the best possible protection to apps.

Part of iPhone screen showing apps illustrate how RASP is an important part of a mobile security strategy.

Operating at the app level, RASP can complement rather than compete with other security layers. Perimeter-oriented solutions can still operate in tandem with a RASP solution, despite not offering the granularity of protection provided by RASP technology.

According to Securosis, “There is absolutely no reason you can’t run RASP alongside your existing WAF. RASP solutions are much more effective at attack detection than web application firewalls because they actually see what’s really happening, and can more effectively apply security controls.”

The benefit is two-fold:

  1. businesses can implement a highly effective security solution
  2. they do not have to dispense with any traditional systems they already have in place

The Great Benefits of RASP

Natively integrating RASP technology ensures complete integrity of your mobile apps and protects sensitive data and high-value transactions from fraudsters.

Business Benefits

  • DEFEATS TARGETED ATTACKS. RASP is a proactive security solution against zero-day and other targeted attacks, allowing mobile business apps to run securely, even on infected devices. If a hacker attacks, RASP will either block the foreign code from working or shutdown the application if a threat to data integrity exists.
  • QUICK TO DEPLOY. RASP provides an automated implementation process. Once integrated, RASP sifts through the business logic, event and data flows of the application, before binding itself to existing code. This allows organizations to quickly release RASP-protected apps, without affecting the development timeline.
  • PROTECTS MULTIPLE BUSINESS APPS. Because RASP is not bound to one app with one business logic, it allows for effective scaling across multiple apps of the organisation while maintaining an optimal user experience (UX).
  • MEETS STRICT COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS. Regulations across different regions often require advanced levels of security. RASP provides a powerful tool for businesses to address compliance goals that include preventing cybercrime and personal data theft.
  • IMPROVES FRAUD DETECTION. RASP data can be utilized by risk management platforms for the most accurate detection and prevention of attacks by performing extensive analysis that scores the risk of the mobile device.

Our Runtime Application Self-Protection technology detects malware, man-in-the-app (code-injection) and jailbreaking/rooting before the application even loads on the device. It secures the app from both known and unknown attack vectors.

How does RASP secure applications?

Runtime application self-protection wraps around the application code to create a shield against foreign code injection. Even if a device becomes infected with malware, our RASP technology will detect and block that code from running. Malicious system components, such as Screen-reader or Keyboards on Android, are detected and blocked from accessing user’s input, including login credentials.

Securing Mobile Apps Aross All Industries

Mobile app use is increasing across every industry from banking to gaming. Application security has never been more important. Hackers are targeting these unprotected applications with a focus on banking and gaming to steal and profit from valuable user data.

Protection Traditional Solutions Cannot Offer

Mobile apps present a range of security challenges for businesses. Hackers are continuing to hone their craft, and have a fertile hunting ground on which to search for prey, thanks to the rapid proliferation of apps and mobile devices.

RASP technology is a highly effective way of guarding apps, thus protecting your sensitive data and positive reputation. Our runtime application self protection solution provides a level of protection that traditional systems cannot offer, while minimizing the impact on pre-existing systems.

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