Powerful security should be a paramount priority for any organization that’s dependent on the success of critical applications. With applications playing invaluable roles spanning countless industries, the need for proven measures to protect them against malicious attacks remains more important than ever.

As depicted in the daily news, bad actors increasingly expose and exploit new attack vectors that remain all too easy to find. These vectors clearly test the limits of traditional security approaches by threading a thin line and bypassing protections. 

There are several application security approaches that one can consider as different layers of protection, each addressing different scopes. These approaches go hand in hand with an organization’s Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC), which is a set of guidelines often followed to ensure consistent security for their software products. 

The guidelines include several additional steps in the normal software development process incorporating security measures and testing. For example, one of the steps includes application scanning, such as Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST).


Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) is a security solution that monitors an application’s runtime environment and applies security measures when suspicious activity is detected. This solution helps protect against code-tampering and reverse-engineering, which are extremely common tactics attackers use to access sensitive information. 

RASP also provides static protections for the applications such as obfuscation. In addition, the solution can be incorporated into an organization’s SSDLC, further elevating the security posture.

By design, RASP solutions are application-centric, as they protect the application’s runtime environment and prevent static analysis. However, that’s where the scope ends for traditional RASP services. 

Malicious applications that attempt to send valid requests through the APIs of connected applications are not in the range of their defense. This limitation creates a different attack vector that traditional RASP does not cover, which is a profound “connected applications” blind spot. 

Taking it to the next level, if organizations consistently validate the integrity of connected applications, they can detect abnormalities such as known malicious applications running on the same device and prevent communication by causing the protected application to crash before any damage is done. 

By mapping out such instances and bringing them to a halt, they’re taking protection to a much higher level while also preventing future attacks from the same device by noting its identity in the first instance.


Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) is a security approach that helps protect mobile devices from malicious attacks. While application protection is an important step, the hardware it runs on is another layer that greatly affects it. With mobile devices increasingly targeted by attackers, it’s essential to ensure that mobile applications maximize their defenses from the onset.

MTD solutions use a combination of static and dynamic analysis to detect and prevent attacks on mobile devices. They also utilize heuristics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) backed by data lakes to detect vulnerabilities in a device. These measures help protect mobile devices from hardware and software attacks that might be used as part of an exploit vector.

Due to their scope, MTD solutions focus on the device layer but lack complete visibility over specific applications. While this means that devices with MTD are protected, the protection does not cover the full scope of the application (even within a protected device), making it a device-centric and unsuitable solution for application protection.


Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a security technology that protects web applications from common attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting. It analyzes incoming traffic to a web application and applies security rules to block or allow access based on predefined criteria. 

A WAF helps prevent attackers from accessing sensitive information or executing malicious code on a web application. WAF solutions will block malicious attempts detected from any device or connection. 

However, it will not provide integrity, authorization, business logic, race condition, or other checks. This issue allows malicious actors who compromise a device or account to act freely without being detected in most cases.

As explained above, the key differences between these 3 solutions are their focus and scope: 

  • RASP protects applications at runtime and provides static protection against anti-tampering and reverse-engineering.
  • MTD focuses on protecting the device itself, utilizing data from data lakes to analyze the hardware and software in the device, and heuristic checks to detect malicious behavior or malicious access attempts. 
  • WAF protects web applications from common OWASP Top 10 attacks by analyzing and detecting malicious traffic via security rules.

To combat today’s latest threats, organizations need to turn to more robust, multi-level security solutions to more powerfully protect their applications and ensure security.

The Verimatrix protection suite complements and enhances WAF and MTD solutions by protecting against their blind spots and improving their protections while providing an industry-leading RASP suite that covers the constantly advancing and expanding attack vectors.

RASP, MTD, and WAF are different cybersecurity technologies that focus on various security aspects and use diverse approaches to protect against attacks. In addition, each solution protects the application on a different layer. Click here to learn more about Verimatrix’s multiple levels of advanced protection.