F5 Networks Configuring BIG-IP ASM v13: Application Security Manager


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The BIG-IP Application Security Manager course gives participants a functional understanding of how to deploy, tune, and operate BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) to protect their web applications from HTTP-based attacks. The course includes lecture, hands-on labs, and discussion about different ASM components for detecting and mitigating threats from multiple attack vectors such web scraping, Layer 7 Denial of Service, brute force, bots, code injection, and zero day exploits.

Target Audience

This course is intended for security and network administrators who will be responsible for the installation, deployment, tuning, and day-to-day maintenance of the Application Security Manager.​


Administering BIG-IP; basic familiarity with HTTP, HTML and XML; basic web application and security concepts.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the role of the BIG-IP system as a full proxy device in an application delivery network
  • Provision the Application Security Manager
  • Define a web application firewall
  • Describe how ASM protects a web application by securing file types, URLs, and parameters
  • Deploy ASM using the Rapid Deployment template (and other templates) and define the security checks included in each
  • Define learn, alarm, and block settings as they pertain to configuring ASM
  • Define attack signatures and explain why attack signature staging is important
  • Contrast positive and negative security policy implementation and explain benefits of each
  • Configure security processing at the parameter level of a web application
  • Use an application template to protect a commercial web application
  • Deploy ASM using the Automatic Policy Builder
  • Tune a policy manually or allow automatic policy building
  • Integrate third party application vulnerability scanner output into a security policy
  • Configure login enforcement and session tracking
  • Configure protection against brute force, web scraping, and Layer 7 denial of service attacks
  • Implement iRules using specific ASM events and commands
  • Use Content Profiles to protect JSON and AJAX-based applications
  • Implement Bot Signatures
  • Implement Proactive Bot Defense

Full Course Outline

Lesson 1 : Setting Up the BIG-IP System
  • Introducing the BIG-IP System
  • Initially Setting Up the BIG-IP System
  • Archiving the BIG-IP System Configuration
  • Leveraging F5 Support Resources and Tools
Lesson 2 : Traffic Processing with BIG-IP
  • Identifying BIG-IP Traffic Processing Objects
  • Overview of Network Packet Flow
  • Understanding Profiles
  • Overview of Local Traffic Policies and ASM
  • HTTP Request Flow
 Lesson 3 : Web Application Concepts
  • Overview of Web Application Request Processing
  • Web Application Are Vulnerable Even with SSL
  • Layer 7 Protection with Web Application Firewalls
  • Overview of Web Communication Elements
  • Parsing URLs
  • Overview of the HTTP Request Structure
  • Method: Perform Actions on a Server
  • HTTP Methods ASM Accepts by Default
  • Comparing POST with GET
  • Risks Within Other Methods
  • Methods Enforcement for URLs
  • HTTP Response Codes
  • Examining HTTP Responses
  • HTTPUser Input Forms: Free Text Input
  • User Input Forms: Free Text Input
  • How ASM Parses File Types, URLs, and Parameters
  • Using the Fiddler HTTP Proxy
 Lesson 4 : Common Web Application Vulnerabilities
  • Common Exploits Against Web Applications
Lesson 5 : Security Policy Deployment
  • Comparing Positive and Negative Security Models
  • Deployment: Combining Positive and Negative Security
  • The Deployment Workflow
  • Policy Type: How Will the Policy Be Applied
  • Policy Template: Determines the Level of Protection
  • Policy Templates: Automatic or Manual Policy Building
  • Deployment Workflow: Advanced Settings
  • Viewing Requests
  • Security Checks Offered by Rapid Deployment
  • Response Checks Using Data Guard
Lesson 6 : Policy Tuning and Violations
  • Post-Deployment Traffic Processing
  • Defining Violations
  • Defining False Positives
  • How Violations are Categorized
  • Violation Rating: A Threat Scale
  • Defining Staging and Enforcement
  • Defining Enforcement Mode
  • Defining the Enforcement Readiness Period
  • Defining Learning
  • Defining Learning Suggestions
  • Choosing Automatic or Manual Learning
  • Defining the Learn, Alarm and Block Settings
  • Interpreting the Enforcement Readiness Summary
  • Configuring the Blocking Response Page
Lesson 7 : Attack Signatures
  • Defining Attack Signatures
  • Creating User-Defined Attack Signatures
  • Defining Attack Signature Sets
  • Defining Attack Signature Pools
  • Updating Attack Signatures
  • Understanding Attack Signatures and Staging
Lesson 8 : Positive Security Policy Building
  • Defining Security Policy Components
  • Defining the Wildcard
  • The Entity Staging Lifecycle
  • Choosing the Learning Scheme
  • How to Learn: Never (Wildcard Only)
  • How To Learn: Always
  • How to Learn: Selective
  • Reviewing the Enforcement Readiness Period: Entities
  • Violations Without Learning Suggestions
  • Defining the Learning Score
  • Defining Trusted and Untrusted IP Addresses
  • How to Learn: Compact
Lesson 9 : Cookies and Other Headers
  • ASM Cookies: What to Enforce
  • Defining Allowed and Enforced Cookies
  • Configuring Security Processing on HTTP headers
Lesson 10 : Reporting and Logging
  • Reporting: Build Your Own View
  • Reporting: Chart based on filters
  • Brute Force and Web Scraping Statistics
  • Viewing ASM Resource Reports
  • PCI Compliance: PCI-DSS 3.0
  • Generating a Security Events Report
  • Viewing Traffic Learning Graphs
  • Local Logging Facilities and Destinations
  • Viewing Logs in the Configuration Utility
  • Logging Profiles: Build What You Need
Lesson 11 : Lab Project

Lesson 12 : User Roles and Policy Modification
  • Defining User Roles
  • Defining ASM User Roles
  • Defining Partitions
  • Configuring User Partition Access
  • Comparing Security Policies with Policy Diff
  • Merging Security Policies
  • Editing and Exporting Security Policies
  • Restoring with Policy History
  • Examples of ASM Deployment Types
  • ConfigSync and ASM Security Data
  • ASMQKVIEW: Provide to F5 Support for Troubleshooting
Lesson 13 : Advanced Parameter Handling
  • Defining Parameter Types
  • Defining Static Parameters
  • Defining Dynamic Parameters
  • Defining Dynamic Parameter Extraction Properties
  • Defining Parameter Levels
  • Other Parameter Considerations
Lesson 14 : Application-Ready Templates
  • Application Templates: Pre-Configured Baseline Security
Lesson 15 : Automatic Policy Building
  • Overview of Automatic Policy Building
  • Defining Templates Which Automate Learning
  • Defining Policy Loosening
  • Defining Policy Tightening
  • Defining Learning Speed: Traffic Sampling
  • Defining Track Site Changes
Lesson 16 : Web Application Vulnerability Scanners
  • Integrating Scanner Output Into ASM
  • Will Scan be Used for a New or Existing Policy?
  • Importing Vulnerabilities
  • Resolving Vulnerabilities
  • Using the Generic XML Scanner XSD file
Lesson 17 : Login Enforcement & Session Tracking
  • Defining a Login URL
  • Login Enforcement: Time and Logout Conditions
  • Defining Session Tracking
  • Configuring Actions Upon Violation Detection
  • Session Hijacking Mitigation
  • Why Fingerprint A Client
Lesson 18 : Brute Force and Web Scraping Mitigation
  • Defining Anomalies
  • Mitigating Brute Force Attacks via Login Page
  • Defining Session-Based Brute Force Protection
  • Defining Dynamic Brute Force Protection
  • Defining the Prevention Policy
  • Defining Web Scraping
  • Defining Geolocation Enforcement
  • Configuring IP Address Exceptions
Lesson 19 : Layered Policies
  • Defining a Parent Policy
  • Defining Inheritance
  • Parent Policy Deployment Use Cases
Lesson 20 : Layer 7 DoS mitigation
  • Defining Denial of Service Attacks
  • Defining DoS Profile General Settings
  • Defining Proactive Bot Defense
  • Using Bot Signatures
  • Defining TPS-based DoS Protection
  • Defining Operation Mode
  • Defining Mitigation Methods
  • Defining Behavioral and Stress-Based Detection
  • Defining Behavioral DoS
Lesson 21 : ASM and iRules
  • Common Uses for iRules
  • Identifying iRule Components
  • Triggering iRules with Events
  • Defining ASM iRule Events
  • Defining ASM iRule Commands
  • Using ASM iRule Event Modes
Lesson 22 : Content Profiles
  • Defining Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
  • Defining JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
  • Defining Content Profiles
  • The Order of Operations for URL Classification
 Lesson 23 : Review and Final Labs
  • Course Review Questions
  • Answers to Review Questions
 Lesson 24 : Additional Training and Certification
  • Getting Started Series Web-Based Training
  • F5 Instructor Led Training Curriculum
  • F5 Professional Certification Program
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