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Manual Chapter: Using Application-Ready Security Templates
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Using application-ready security templates

The Application Security Manager™ provides application-ready security policies, which are baseline templates, for the following enterprise applications:

  • Microsoft ActiveSync® 1.0, 2.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Web Access Exchange® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft Outlook Web Access Exchange® with Microsoft ActiveSync® 2003, 2007
  • Microsoft Sharepoint® 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Oracle® Applications 11i
  • Oracle® Portal 10g
  • Lotus Domino® 6.5
  • SAP NetWeaver® 7
  • PeopleSoft® Portal Solutions 9

By using an application-ready template, your organization can quickly create a security policy designed to secure that specific web application. It is a fixed policy that only changes if you decide to adjust it manually or configure additional security features.

Task summary

Creating a security policy from an application template

Before you can create a security policy, you must perform the minimal system configuration tasks including defining a VLAN, a self IP address, and other tasks required according to the needs of your networking environment.
If you want to create a security policy for one of the commonly used enterprise applications, you can use application-ready templates to create the policy quickly. The Deployment wizard takes you through the steps required.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Application Security > Security Policies. The Active Policies screen opens.
  2. Click the Create button. The Deployment wizard opens to the Select Local Traffic Deployment Scenario screen.
  3. For the Local Traffic Deployment Scenario setting, specify a virtual server to use for the security policy.
    • To secure an existing virtual server that has no security policy associated with it, select Existing Virtual Server and click Next.
    • To create a new virtual server and pool with basic configuration settings, select New Virtual Server and click Next.
    • To create an active but unused security policy, select Do not associate with Virtual Server and click Next. No traffic will go through this security policy until you associate it with a virtual server. The Policy Builder cannot begin automatically creating a policy until traffic is going to ASM through the virtual server.
    The virtual server represents the web application you want to protect. The Configure Local Traffic Settings screen opens.
  4. Configure the new or existing virtual server, and click Next.
    • If creating a new virtual server, specify the protocol, name, IP address and port, pool IP address, and port.
    • If using an existing virtual server, it must have an HTTP profile and cannot be associated with a local traffic policy.
    • If you select Do not associate with Virtual Server, you will have to manually associate the security policy with a virtual server at a later time. On the policy properties screen, you need to specify a name for the security policy.
    The name of the new or existing virtual server becomes the name of the security policy. The Select Deployment Scenario screen opens.
  5. For Deployment Scenario, select Create a policy manually or use templates and click Next. The Configure Security Policy Properties screen opens.
  6. From the Application Language list, select the language encoding of the application.
    Important: You cannot change this setting after you have created the security policy.
  7. From the Application-Ready Security Policy list, select the security policy template to use for your enterprise application.
  8. For the Staging-Tightening Period setting, retain the default setting of 7 days. Staging and tightening allows you to test the security policy entities for false positives without enforcing them. The security policy provides learning suggestions when requests are processed that do not meet the security policy entity's settings, but the security policy does not alert or block that traffic, even if those requests trigger violations.
  9. Click Next. The Security Policy Configuration Summary screen opens.
  10. Review the settings for the security policy. When you are satisfied with the security policy configuration, click Finish. The system creates the security policy and opens the Properties screen.
When you first create the security policy, it operates in transparent mode (meaning that it does not block traffic). When the system receives a request that violates the security policy, the system logs the violation event, but does not block the request.

Fine-tuning a security policy

After you create a security policy, the system provides learning suggestions concerning additions to the security policy based on the traffic that is accessing the application. For example, you can have users or testers browse the web application. By analyzing the traffic to and from the application, Application Security Manager™ generates learning suggestions or ways to fine-tune the security policy to better suit the traffic and secure the application.

Note: If you are using the Policy Builder to add elements to the security policy, you can skip this task.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Application Security > Policy Building > Manual Traffic Learning. The Manual Traffic Learning screen opens, and lists violations and learning suggestions that the system has made based on real traffic.
  2. In the Traffic Learning area, click each violation hyperlink, then review and handle learning suggestions:
    Option Description
    Accept Select a learning suggestion, click Accept, and then click Apply Policy. The system updates the security policy to allow the file type, URL, parameter, or other element.
    Clear Select a learning suggestion, and click Clear. The system removes the learning suggestion and continues to generate suggestions for that violation.
    Cancel Click Cancel to return to the Manual Traffic Learning screen.
    By default, a security policy is put into a staging-tightening period for seven days. During this time, you can examine learning suggestions and adjust the security policy without blocking traffic.
  3. On the Manual Traffic Learning screen, review the violations and consider whether you want to permit any of them (for example, if a violation is causing false positives). Select any violations you do not want the system to trigger, and click Disable Violation. A popup screen opens, and you can verify that you want to disable the violations or cancel the action.
  4. To put the security policy changes into effect immediately, click Apply Policy.
  5. On the Main tab, click Security > Overview > Application > Action Items. The Action Items screen opens.
  6. Examine the Action Items screen for information about recommended actions that you need to complete.
    1. Review the Suggested Action Items area, which lists system tasks and security policy tasks that should be completed.
    2. Click the links in the Suggested Action Items area to go to the screen where you can perform the recommended action.
    3. In the Quick Links area, click any of the links to gain access to common configuration and reporting screens.
The security policy now includes elements unique to your web application.
It is a good idea to periodically review the learning suggestions on the Manual Traffic Learning screen to determine whether the violations are legitimate, or if they are false positives that indicate a need to update the security policy.

Enforcing a security policy

To perform enforcement tasks, the security policy must be operating in transparent mode, and have been created manually. Traffic should be moving through Application Security Manager™, allowing users to access the web application for which you set up the security policy.
When you enforce a security policy, the system blocks requests that cause violations that are set to block.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Application Security > Blocking > Settings. The Settings screen opens.
  2. In the Current edited policy list near the top of the screen, verify that the edited security policy is the one you want to work on.
  3. For each violation, review the settings so you understand how the security policy handles requests that cause the violation.
    Option Description
    Learn If selected, the system generates learning suggestions for requests that trigger the violation.
    Alarm If selected, the system records requests that trigger the violation in the Charts screen, the system log (/var/log/asm), and possibly in local or remote logs (depending on the settings of the logging profile).
    Block If selected (and the enforcement mode is set to Blocking), the system blocks requests that trigger the violation.
  4. For the Enforcement Mode setting, select Blocking.
  5. Click Save. The system saves the configuration settings.
  6. On the Main tab, click Security > Application Security > Security Policies > Active Policies.
  7. Click the name of the security policy you want to work on. The Policy Properties screen opens.
  8. To change the number of days the security policy remains in staging, change the value in the Enforcement Readiness Period field. The security policy does not block traffic during the Enforcement Readiness Period even if violations occur. If you want to block traffic that causes violations, set the value of this field to 0. For details, see the online help.
  9. Click Save. The system saves the configuration settings.
  10. In the editing context area, click Apply Policy to put the changes into effect.
  11. For a quick summary of system activity, look at the Overview screen (Security > Overview > Application). The Summary screen displays statistical information about Application Security traffic. 
After the enforcement readiness period is over and the enforcement mode is set to blocking, the security policy no longer allows requests that cause violations set to block to reach the back-end resources. Instead, the security policy blocks the request, and sends the blocking response page to the client.
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