Gartner Research

Protecting Web Applications and APIs From Exploits and Abuse

Published: 24 April 2017

ID: G00317335

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken , Michael Isbitski


Web applications, mobile applications and web APIs are subject to increasing volumes and complexity of attacks. Technical professionals responsible for application security architecture must use an appropriate mix of WAF, RASP, bot mitigation and other technologies to secure applications.

Table Of Contents



  • Selecting the Appropriate Protection Levels
    • Selecting the Scope of Protection
    • Selecting Protection Against Denial of Service
    • Selecting Protection Against Exploits
    • Selecting Protection Against Abuse
    • Selecting Protection Against Access Violations
  • Selecting the Right Technology Solutions
    • Designing for Architectural Coverage and Flexibility
    • Choosing On-Premises Versus Cloud-Based Solutions
    • Balancing Integrated Capabilities and Dedicated Solutions


  • Determine the Required Levels of Protection
  • Prioritize the Use of Cloud-Based Security Services
  • Start With Integrated Platform Capabilities for Broad Coverage
  • Add Dedicated Solutions for Specific or Additional Protection


  • A Brief Primer on Web APIs and How to Discover Them
  • Categorizing Attacks Against Web Applications and Web APIs
    • Denial of Service
    • Exploits
    • Abuse
    • Access Violations
  • Defining Automated Threats
  • Multifactor and Out-of-Band Authentication
  • Application Security Capabilities to Address the Attack Categories
    • Anti-DDoS
    • API Gateways
    • Application Shielding and Hardening
    • Bot Mitigation
    • Cloud Access Security Brokers
    • Runtime Application Self-Protection
    • Web Application Firewalls
  • Reusing Open Source to "Build Your Own"

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