Gartner Research

Protecting Web Applications and APIs From Exploits and Abuse

Published: 24 April 2019

ID: G00383318

Analyst(s): Frank Catucci , Ramon Krikken , Michael Isbitski


Web applications, mobile applications and web APIs are subject to increasing volumes and complexity of attacks. Security and risk management technical professionals responsible for application security architecture must use an appropriate mix of mitigating 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 Protection Against Tampering and Reverse Engineering
  • 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
  • Edge and Inner Architecture Protection Considerations


  • Categorizing Attacks Against Web Applications and Web APIs
    • Denial of Service
    • Exploits
    • Abuse
    • Access Violations
    • Tampering and Reverse Engineering
  • Defining Automated Threats
  • Multifactor and Out-of-Band Authentication
  • Application Security Capabilities to Address the Attack Categories
    • API Gateways
    • Application Shielding and Application Wrapping
    • Bot Mitigation
    • DDoS Protection
    • Runtime Application Self-Protection
    • Web Application Firewalls
  • Reusing Open Source to “Build Your Own”

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