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Overview of the Wallarm Out-of-Band Deployment

Wallarm can be deployed as an Out-of-Band (OOB) security solution inspecting requests via a mirror of the traffic. This article explains the approach in detail.

The OOB approach involves placing the Wallarm solution on a separate network segment, where it can inspect incoming traffic without affecting the primary data path and, as a result, the application performance. All incoming requests including malicious ones reach the servers they are addressed.

Use cases

Traffic mirroring is a key component of the OOB approach. A mirror (copy) of the incoming traffic is sent to the Wallarm OOB solution, which operates on the copy, rather than the actual traffic.

As the OOB solution only records malicious activity but does not block it, it is an effective way to implement web application and API security for organizations with less stringent real-time protection requirements. The OOB solution is suitable for the following use cases:

  • Get knowledge about all the potential threats web applications and APIs may encounter, without affecting the application performance.

  • Train the Wallarm solution on the traffic copy before running the module in-line.

  • Capture security logs for auditing purposes. Wallarm provides native integrations with many SIEM systems, messengers, etc.

Advantages and limitations

The OOB approach to the Wallarm deployment offers several advantages over other deployment methods, such as in-line deployments:

  • It does not introduce latency or other performance issues that can occur when the security solution operates in-line with the primary data path.

  • It provides flexibility and ease of deployment, as the solution can be added or removed from the network without affecting the primary data path.

Despite the OOB deployment approach safety, it has some limitations:

  • Wallarm does not instantly block malicious requests since traffic analysis proceeds irrespective of actual traffic flow.

    Wallarm only observes attacks and provides you with the details in Wallarm Console.

  • Most of the Wallarm capabilities for vulnerability discovery do not work as server responses required for vulnerability identification are not mirrored. This limitation relates to the following features:

  • The Wallarm API Discovery does not explore API inventory based on your traffic as server responses required for the module operation are not mirrored.

Supported deployment options

Wallarm offers the Out-of-Band (OOB) deployment options for traffic mirorred by various means, including web servers and cloud platforms:

  • Most web servers such as NGINX, Envoy, Istio, etc. offer built-in modules or features for traffic mirroring. If you prefer the Wallarm OOB security solution to analyze traffic mirrored by a web server, refer to the appropriate deployment option overview.

  • Cloud platforms typically offer native traffic mirroring capabilities, with AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring being a prime example. For those who deploy their services on AWS from the Terraform-compatible environment, Wallarm offers the Terraform module which enables agentless Wallarm deployment with the required VPC mirroring configuration.