Instant security and operations improvement without code changes.

Client Profile

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a leading Australian University based in Brisbane, Queensland. Home to nearly 50,000 students, it is providing real-world infrastructure, learning and teaching, and graduate skills to the next generation of change-makers. It is a front-running Australian university providing real-world learning experiences and research, being a global leader in areas such as robotics and business process management.

Industry: Education Geography: Australia Revenue: AUD $1 billion
Website: www.qut.edu.au
Employees: 15,000
Products Supported: Oracle E-Business Suite 11.1.2.3 and 12.1.3; Oracle Database 12.2; Oracle Fusion Middleware, including WebLogic and SOA Suites; Advanced Database Security; Advanced Application and Middleware Security

Background

A global financial services company selected Waratek to apply virtual patches without code changes while vulnerable applications continued to run. Prior to evaluating Waratek, the customer assessed hundreds of internal web applications, finding multiple Java versions that required quarterly patching of security vulnerabilities. As a result, the Company determined that a traditional upgrade or patching program was not feasible due to:

  • Significant financial costs and staff time required to patch hundreds of applications at least four times per year on a timely basis
  • Operational burdens that could negatively impact customers

Results

Waratek is integrated into the Company’s application hosting platform and applies virtual patches that are the code equivalent of an Oracle Critical Virtual Patch (CPU). Virtual patching hundreds of applications means application development teams do not spend time upgrading to new versions of Java along with testing and deployment activities related to traditional physical patching. This avoids the financial and operations barriers to patching Java-based applications. In global production for two years, the company has realized other benefits from Waratek’s virtualization approach to application security:

  • No false positives have been generated by Waratek in two years of production in unconditional blocking mode.
  • Emergency virtual patches have been developed in less than 24 hours for newly discovered high severity vulnerabilities like Struts 2; protection is instant compared to traditional patching protocols.
  • Unique approaches to application security such as Name Space Layout Randomization (NSLR) and Component Privilege De-Escalation mitigate complex attacks that fall outside the 2013 OWASP Top Ten.
  • Staff members now focus on improving applications and infrastructure to better serve customers and shareholders. Waratek provides real-time attack alerts to security teams and comprehensive data that guides development teams to vulnerable sections of code.

“Many of the security patches from Oracle are released on a quarterly basis, often addressing vulnerabilities which are up to 12 months old; that means your system may have been vulnerable for 12 months. By using more modern security approaches we found we would be able to better protect our systems. – Scott Lawry, Associate Director Solution Design and Delivery at QUT”

Waratek’s virtual patching allows customers to instantly apply routine and emergency security patches in a more cost-effective and time-efficient manner – without code changes or removing an application from production to deploy a patch. This dramatically reduces the risk of a cyberattack well as decreases the human and financial resources needed to keep up-to-date on required patches. Further, the Company has seen the elimination of false positives during two years of live production in unconditional blocking mode. Performance overhead while under attack averages a very low 3%. Other clients have seen performance improvements during normal operations after modernizing applications on out-of-date platforms.