Perimeter
12/7/2011
11:59 AM
Adrian Lane
Adrian Lane
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

ADMP: DAM For Web Apps

A look at the technology that combines application and database protection

Continuing the "DAM is morphing" thread, I am going to describe the ADMP variation -- or Application & Database Monitoring & Protection. As the name implies, ADMP couples application monitoring with database monitoring to provide more thorough analysis prior to real-time alerting, taking corrective action, or blocking transactions.

For those of you who follow my posts, you know I have talked about this before. I've described ADMP as "The Web AppSec" variation of database monitoring because it links DAM to Web application firewalls to provide activity monitoring and enforcement. And this make sense: databases don't just support Web applications -- they are Web applications.

In the ADMP model, DAM protects content in a structured application and database stack, and WAF shields application functions from misuse and injection attacks. The original synergy between these two platforms was the ability to de-alias user activity at the application layer (i.e., identify the user of the application) and share that information at the database layer to get a better idea if the user request was legitimate. As applications connect to databases with a generic account, DAM could not attribute SQL queries to specific users, limiting effectiveness. When ADMP was originally sketched out four years ago to predict where the DAM market would head, we focused on two areas of development. The first was business transaction validation, which was accomplished by anti-exploitation, transaction authentication, and adaptive authentication capabilities. The second was validating the right applications were communicating with each other; this was accomplished through session security and application access control (i.e., "NAC" at the application layer).

Remember, four years ago we were focused on virtualization, but this capability is even more pressing with cloud computing. What we have witnessed is coverage for a wider variety of applications and the "hooks" required to analyze business operations. Authentication of users and services is included, but implemented as a passive reporting feature instead of active validation and blocking. We did not witness application authentication or session validation capabilities predicted.

One surprise is the ADMP model has evolved to include File Activity Monitoring (FAM), which protects data as it moves in and out of documents or unstructured repositories. Yes, this means unstructured databases can be monitored, but the feature is especially helpful in protecting back-end applications that are leaking data or Web application servers from unwanted file substitutions.

The benefit of ADMP over the other evolutionary models of DAM is better application awareness. While the Business Activity Model I referenced in my last post is geared toward protecting data before it is read, this model is better at protecting the application infrastructure while reducing false-positives through transactional awareness. The ADMP model also provides advanced detection of Web-borne threats in a way that makes it unique among its peers. Since the majority of applications are designed to serve content over the Web, this provides the broadest application of the technology. Granted, the user will need to spend more time on set-up and policy creation, but that's the trade-off.

Next up I will talk about policy-driven monitoring hierarchy and how DAM fits within that model.

Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting practice. Special to Dark Reading. Adrian Lane is a Security Strategist and brings over 25 years of industry experience to the Securosis team, much of it at the executive level. Adrian specializes in database security, data security, and secure software development. With experience at Ingres, Oracle, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.