Applies To:Show Versions
- 16.0.0, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.2, 14.1.0
Creating a Simple Security Policy
Types of security policies
Security policy type
Automatic security policy
Create a security policy for a web application by having the system examine traffic and create the policy based on statistical analysis of the traffic and the intended behavior of the application. The system stabilizes and enforces the security policy when it processes sufficient traffic over a period of time. You have the option of modifying the policy manually, as well, to speed up policy creation.
Manual security policy
Use rapid deployment or an application-ready security policy (pre-configured template) to develop a security policy so you can develop a policy manually. The system creates a basic security policy that you can review and fine-tune. When the security policy includes all the protections that you need, and does not produce any false positives, you can enforce the security policy.
Security policy integrated with vulnerability assessment tool
Create a security policy based on integrating the output from a vulnerability assessment tool, such as WhiteHat Sentinel, IBM AppScan, Trustwave App Scanner (Cenzic), Qualys, Quotium Seeker, HP WebInspect, or a generic scanner if using another tool. Based on the results from an imported vulnerability report, Application Security Manager creates a policy that automatically mitigates the vulnerabilities on your web site. You can also review and fine-tune the policy. When the security policy includes all the protections that you need and does not produce any false positives, you can enforce the security policy.
Parent security policy
Create a security policy that can form the basis of other related security policies. This is useful if you have several similar applications for which you want to create security policies. Selected settings in the parent policy are inherited by child policies that you create. By adjusting the parent policy, the child policies are changed as well.
Child security policy
Create a security policy that is based on a parent security policy. When you create a child policy, the values for the settings are inherited from the parent. You can edit some of the settings and others can only be changed in the parent policy.
Template security policy
Use a template to populate the attributes of a new policy. The template is only used when creating the policy - a security policy is always created based on a user-defined or system-supplied template. Unlike parent policies, the templates do not affect the policy after it is created. If you modify a template, policies created from them in the past are not affected.
Preparing to create a security policy
- How strict a policy do you want to create? Fundamental or comprehensive?
- How many applications do you want ASM to protect? If protecting multiple applications, how similar are they?
- Do you want to develop one policy for multiple applications, or are the applications different enough that you want to create separate policies for them?
- Are there a basic set of features that you want to control from a parent policy? Multiple policies can inherit settings from a parent policy.
- How much traffic and what types of traffic do the applications handle? HTTP, HTTPS, or both?
- Do the applications have lots of parameters and URLs associated with them? Or are they simple?
Overview: Creating a simple security
Creating a simple security policy
- On the Main tab, click.The Policies List screen opens.
- ClickCreate New Policy.You only see this button when no policy is selected.
- In thePolicy Namefield, type a name for the policy.
- LeavePolicy Type, set toSecurity.
- ForPolicy Template, selectFundamental.
- ForVirtual Server, clickConfigure new virtual serverto specify where to direct application requests.
- ForWhat type of protocol does your application use?, selectHTTP,HTTPS, or both.
- In theVirtual Server Namefield, type a unique name.
- In theHTTP/HTTPS Virtual Server Destinationfield, type the address in IPv4 (10.0.0.1) or IPv6 (2001:ed8:77b5:2:10:10:100:42/64) format, and specify the service port.If you want multiple IP addresses to be directed here, use theNetworksetting.
- In theHTTP/HTTPS Pool Membersetting, specify the addresses of the back-end application servers.
- If you have chosen HTTPS protocol, in theSSL Profile (Client)field, select clientssl to enable theHTTP/2 Profile (Client)field.
- If you have chose HTTPS protocol, in theSSL Profile (Server)field, select serverssl to enable theHTTP/2 Profile (Server)field.
- From theLogging Profilelist, select a profile such asLog illegal requeststo determine which events are logged on the system.
- In the upper right corner, clickAdvanced.You can use default values for the Advanced settings but it's a good idea to take a look at them.
- If you selectedFundamentalorComprehensivefor thePolicy Template,Learning Modeis set toAutomaticandEnforcement Modeis set toBlocking.If you need to change these values, set application language to a value other thanAuto detect.
- If you know theApplication Language, select it or useUnicode (utf-8).
- To add specific protections (enforcing additional attack signatures) to the policy, forServer Technologies, select the technologies that apply to the back-end application servers.
- You can configure trusted IP addresses that you want the security policy to consider safe.
- ClickCreate Policyto create the security policy.
How the security policy is built
- Adds policy elements and updates their attributes when ASM sees enough traffic from various users
- Examines application content and creates XML or JSON profiles as needed (if the policy includes JSON/XML payload detection)
- Configures attack signatures in the security policy
- Stabilizes the security policy when sufficient sessions over a period of time include the same elements
- Includes new elements if the site changes
Automatic policy building characteristics
- The security policy starts out loose, allowing most traffic, then the Policy Builder adds policy elements based on evaluating the traffic.
- By examining the traffic, the Policy Builder makes learning suggestions that you can review on the Traffic Learning screen to see the suggested additions to the security policy. You can select and examine each suggestion if you want to learn more about it. If using automatic policy building, you can still change the policy manually, or leave it up to the system to make the changes.
- The system sets the enforcement mode of the security policy toBlocking. Traffic with obvious violations is blocked right away.
- The system holds attack signatures in staging for 7 days (by default, you can adjust the length of staging): the system checks, but does not block traffic during the staging period. If a request causes an attack signature violation, the system disables the attack signature for the particular element (parameter, JSON or XML profile, or security policy). After the staging period is over, the Policy Builder removes attack signatures from staging if enough traffic from different sessions and different IP addresses was processed. The security policy enforces the enabled signatures and blocks traffic that causes a signature violation.
- The system enforces elements in the security policy when it has processed sufficient traffic and sessions over enough time, from different IP addresses, to determine the legitimacy of the file types, URLs, parameters, cookies, methods, and so on.
- After a while, the security policy stabilizes.
- If the web site for the application changes, the Policy Builder initially loosens the security policy then adds policy elements to the security policy, updates the attributes of policy elements, puts the added elements in staging, and enforces the new elements when traffic and time thresholds are met.
- On the Main tab, click.The Traffic Learning screen opens, and lists suggestions based on traffic patterns and violations that the system has detected.
- Take a look at the Traffic Learning screen to get familiar with it.With no suggestions selected, the right pane displays sections that facilitate the reviewer decision-making process. These include graphical charts that summarize policy activity, a summary of top violations inReduce Potential False-positive Alerts, an enforcement readiness summary and a summary of suggestions to add new entity or delete an obsolete entity.
- To change the order in which the suggestions are listed, or refine what is included in the list, use the filters at the top of the column. Click the search icon to see basic and advanced filters.
- Review the learning suggestions as follows.
- Select a learning suggestion.Information is displayed about the action the system will take if you accept the suggestion, and what caused the suggestion.
- Select a suggestion to learn more about what caused it by looking at the action, the number of samples it is based on, the violations caused and their violation ratings, and if available, by examining samples of the requests that caused the suggestion.
- Select a request to view data about the request on the right, including any violations it generated, the contents of the request itself, and the response (if any).By examining the requests that caused a suggestion, you can determine whether it should be accepted.
- To add comments about the suggestion and the cause, click the Add Comment icon to the right of the suggestion commands, and type the comments.
- Decide how to respond to the suggestion. You can start with the suggestions that have the highest learning scores, or those which you know to be valid for the application. These are the options.OptionWhat happensAccept SuggestionThe system modifies the policy by taking the suggested action, such as adding an entity that is legitimate. If the entity that triggered the suggestion can be placed in staging (file types, URLs, parameters, cookies, or redirection domains), clickingAccept Suggestiondisplays a second option,Accept suggestionand enable staging on Matched <<entity>>. Click this option to accept the suggestion and place the matched entity in staging.Delete SuggestionThe system removes the learning suggestion, but the suggestion reoccurs if new requests cause it. The learning score of the suggestion starts over from zero in that case.Ignore SuggestionThe system does not change the policy and stops showing this suggestion on the Traffic Learning screen now and in the future. You can view ignored suggestions by filtering by status ignored.If you are working in automatic learning mode, when the learning score reaches 100%, the system can accept most of the suggestions if you selected theLearning Mode Auto-apply Policy, or you can accept suggestions manually at any time. If you are using manual learning, when the learning score reaches 100% (or before that if you know the suggestions are valid), you need to accept the suggestions manually.If you know that a suggestion is valid, you can accept it at any time even before the learning score reaches 100%. The ones that reach 100% have met all the conditions so that they are probably legitimate entities.
- To put the security policy changes into effect immediately, clickApply Policy.
Learning suggestions you must handle manually
Reviewing outstanding security policy tasks
- On the Main tab, click.The Action Items screen opens.
- Examine the Action Items screen for information about recommended tasks that you need to complete.
- Review the Suggested Action Items area, which lists system tasks and security policy tasks that should be completed. For example, you can update attack signatures if new ones are available.
- Click the links to go to the screen where you can perform the recommended action items.
- Click any security policy task link to open the Summary screen, where you can view and resolve the tasks for that security policy.
- In the Quick Links area, clickPolicies Summary.The Policies Summary opens and shows a summary of all the active security policies on the system.
- In the Policy Details area, click the links to display details about a security policy.
- Click the Policy Name to view or edit policy properties.
- Click a security policy row (not on the policy name) to view Suggested Action Items, Quick Links, and how Policy Builder is operating for that security policy (whether automatically, manually, or disabled).
- Click a number in the File Types, URLs, Parameters, Cookies, or Redirection Domains column of a security policy to see details about these policy elements.
- Click the Real Traffic Policy Builder column to view the learning suggestions for the policy.
application security protections
Description and Location
DoS attack prevention
Prevents Denial of Service (DoS) attacks based on latency and/or transaction rates (also using behavioral analysis, geolocation, CAPTCHA challenge, heavy URL detection, proactive web scraping detection, and blacklisting). Click. You create a DoS profile with Application Security enabled to configure Layer 7 DoS protection.
Brute force prevention
Stops attempts to break in to secured areas of a web application by trying exhaustive, systematic, login combinations. Click.
Logs and blocks attacks from IP addresses that are in the IP Intelligence Database and are considered to have a bad reputation. Click.
Web scraping detection
Mitigates web scraping (web data extraction) on web sites by attempting to determine whether a web client source is human. Click.
Lets you specify countries from which users can and cannot access the web application. To set geolocation restrictions, click.
Prevents cross-site request forgery (CSRF) where a user is forced to perform unwanted actions on a web application where the user is currently authenticated. Click.
Sensitive data masking
Protects sensitive data in responses such as a credit card number, U.S. Social Security number, or custom pattern. Click. Create sensitive parameters if needed (they are also masked); click . As an additional protection, set the
Mask Credit Card Numbers in Request Logoption in the policy properties.
Configures the system as an Internet Content Adaptation Protocol (ICAP) client so that an external ICAP server can inspect HTTP file uploads for viruses before releasing the content to the web server. To set up the ICAP server, click.