Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs): The Security Tool You Didnt Know You Needed

Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs): The Security Tool You Didnt Know You Needed

Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs): The Security Tool You Didnt Know You NeededDowntime for even a few minutes can have a major impact on businesses’ bottom line and image. Businesses suffering from server downtime are subject to potential loss in sales, profits, productivity and customer satisfaction. In fact, the U.S. per record cost of data breach averages $194, according to Ponemon Institute.

Another unfortunate result of network outages and downtime is severe data loss, forcing businesses to cope with the cost of recreating data and the cost of notifying users in the event their data is compromised. As customers rely on access to a business’ website for purchases, support, information and services, 100 percent connectivity, 24/7 is imperative to businesses’ customer satisfaction.

Hackers and other security attacks are a source of server downtime and have consequently become a major concern for businesses. Fortunately, there are several preventative measures businesses can take to secure and protect their network against hackers and network infrastructure attacks. For example, application delivery controllers (ADCs), which are used primarily for traffic management and to ensure optimal application performance, are also equipped with security features that protect against the most common types of network attacks, meaning that businesses can utilize tools they already have to protect against oncoming threats.

Protecting Against Hackers

Hackers are a serious security threat for business of all sizes. Hackers are generally exploiting the network to discover the identity of the network content servers. After the hacker physically identifies the servers, he begins to work on cracking the security screen. This type of unauthorized access to sensitive data has the potential to cause serious consequences to businesses.

Fortunately, ADCs are equipped with several security features to protect networks against this type of attach. ADCs enhanced security capabilities prevent hackers from obtaining IP addresses of the network content servers by utilizing the NAT (Network Address Translation). The NAT protects the real IP address of the server that holds outside users in a DMZ, protecting the server from potential harm from the hackers.Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs): The Security Tool You Didnt Know You Needed

Network Infrastructure Attacks

Network infrastructure attacks generate large volumes of traffic to overwhelm the network appliances. These types of attacks are typically a planned and well-synchronized massive generation of incoming traffic that is aimed at the edge devices in a businesses’ network infrastructure. Network infrastructure attacks will penetrate as deep into the network as possible, with razor sharp focus on the network content servers.

ADCs add a layer of protection to the network infrastructure by mitigating attack vectors and monitoring all incoming requests. IPS/IDS and basic firewall functionality ensure that malicious attempts are not passed through to application instances. ADCs lie between the Internet and the application environment, putting them in a prime position to perform these functions.

For a complete implementation that can not only scale and withstand attacks, geographic site load balancers work in conjunction with local application delivery controllers to intelligently distribute user application traffic across dispersed data centers. Real time site monitoring coupled with configurable business-rule driven traffic steering algorithms results in the optimal use of a global data center fabric. In the case of multi-tier applications where an administrator is alerted to server resources requesting other servers through the ADC, and one random server exhibits anomalous traffic patterns, the ADC can block access to the offending server and act as an additional layer of protection against DDoS attacks.

Another common window of vulnerability in terms of application security is Missing Function Access Level Control exploits (a top 10 OWASP web app security concern). When developers create web interfaces, they have to restrict which users can see various links, buttons, forms, and pages but graphic design layers on top of HTML in terms of the web page look and feel often hide the exposed URLs.

ADCs can restrict which hosts and users can access fronted resources, as well as dictate which directories can even successfully be accessed. For most deployments the only successful traffic flow will be one that traverses the ADC for the request and the response, which helps to mitigate the amount of attack vectors that malicious efforts proffer. Additionally, as a reverse proxy, ADCs terminate TCP traffic, acting as a basic firewall in the strictest sense and only allowing explicitly allowed connections to ever make it through to the application infrastructure.

ADCs: A Key Security Tool

ADCs, while usually relied upon to improve the scalability and performance of business-critical applications running on the network, also serve as a key tool against network attacks. By utilizing the security features of ADCs, businesses can protect their networks against hackers and network infrastructure attacks to avoid any downtime while making the most of existing IT tools.

About the Author

Atchison Frazer is the CMO at KEMP Technologies.


  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • 91 Percent of Security Leaders Believe AI Set to Outpace Security Teams

    Bugcrowd recently released its “Inside the Mind of a CISO” report, which surveyed hundreds of security leaders around the globe to uncover their perception on AI threats, their top priorities and evolving roles, and common myths directed towards the CISO. Among the findings, 1 in 3 respondents (33%) believed that at least half of companies are willing to sacrifice their customers’ long-term privacy or security to save money. Read Now

  • Milestone Announces Merger With Arcules

    Global video technology company Milestone Systems is pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2024, it will merge with the cloud-based video surveillance solutions provider, Arcules. Read Now

  • Organizations Struggle with Outdated Security Approaches, While Online Threats Increase

    Cloudflare Inc, recently published its State of Application Security 2024 Report. Findings from this year's report reveal that security teams are struggling to keep pace with the risks posed by organizations’ dependency on modern applications—the technology that underpins all of today’s most used sites. The report underscores that the volume of threats stemming from issues in the software supply chain, increasing number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and malicious bots, often exceed the resources of dedicated application security teams. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • ResponderLink


    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3