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December 2005

Building A Perimeter Defense With Application-Level Firewalls

Companies have spent a great deal of time and money securing their network perimeters but that hasn't deterred cybercriminals. Instead, they're simply bypassing those perimeter defenses and zeroing in on the weakest link in the security chain--the application layer. By exploiting application vulnerabilities, attackers can find a treasure trove of sensitive corporate data and cause irreparable damage. Market-research firm Gartner estimates that 75 percent of attacks take place at the application layer. Attackers are exploiting application vulnerabilities not only because it's easier than defeating perimeter defenses such as stateful firewalls and IDSes, but because it's an avenue to the valuable data they want. Often, sensitive information such as names and credit card numbers reside in the application itself. Loss of this information could severely damage a company's reputation and livelihood. How can you make sure your company doesn't fall victim to application-layer attacks? How can you prevent intruders from gaining ...

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