In today’s competitive environment, government, and educational sectors, web-based apps and services have revolutionized the landscape of sharing information and exchange. As a result of this increase, companies rely more on web-based services. They connect internet information systems and data sources with web applications.
WAFs have become an important part of web application security since they protect against web application vulnerabilities while also allowing for the customization of security rules for each application.
What is a Web Application Firewall?
A WAF or web application firewall helps secure online applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. A web application firewall (WAF) can assist protect online applications from cross-site request forgery (CSRF), cross-site scripting (XSS), file inclusion, and SQL injection attacks.
A WAF might be especially advantageous to a company that offers online financial services or an e-commerce site. Any other web-based product or service that involves business partner contact. WAFs can be extremely useful in avoiding fraud and data theft in these situations.
On the other hand, a WAF is best used as part of a suite of tools that support a comprehensive application security program because it isn’t designed to protect against all forms of assault.
How does a Web Application Firewall (WAF) Work?
A web application firewall (WAF) secures your online apps by filtering, monitoring, and blocking dangerous HTTP traffic, as well as preventing unauthorized data from exiting the app. It accomplished this by following a set of policies that assist in determining which traffic is malicious and which traffic is not.
WAFs follow a set of rules or policies that are customized to certain vulnerabilities. As a result, WAFs protect against DDoS attacks in this way. However, creating the regulations for a typical WAF can be difficult and time-consuming, requiring experienced management.
The open Web app Security Project (OWASP) keeps track of the top web app security issues that WAF policies should address.
WAFs are available as software, appliances, or services. Policies can be customized to your web app or group of web applications specific requirements. WAFs protect web applications from dangerous endpoints, while proxy servers protect devices from malicious applications.
Why Do You Need a Web Application Firewall?
Everyone knows you need a firewall, but installing one isn’t the only thing you need to do to make your computer network secure. Hackers are improving their methods all the time, as evidenced by the fact that the number of data breaches in the United States has constantly been increasing.
Although this is an unfortunate reality, the trend does not have to continue. Installing a web application firewall during web application development, in addition to following basic security practices, is a quick and cost-effective solution to improve the security of your computer network.
What Are the Web Application Firewall Benefits?
A web application firewall (WAF) protects against attacks that exploit flaws in web-based applications. The flaws are frequently found in legacy systems or insufficient coding or design. WAFs use custom rules or policies to address code flaws.
Intelligent WAFs gives you real-time information about your application’s traffic, performance, security, and threat landscape. Because of this visibility, administrators can respond quickly, even to the most complex attacks on protected applications.
Administrations can use WAFs to establish custom security rules to combat various attack types. For example, an intelligent WAF examines the security rules that apply to a specific transaction and gives a live view of attacks as they change. The WAF can limit false positives by using this information.
What Is the Difference Between a Firewall and a Web App Firewall?
A standard firewall secures data flow between servers, but a web application firewall filters traffic for a single web application. Web app firewalls and network firewalls are complementary and may exist.
Network firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and intrusion prevention systems are examples of traditional security measures (IPS). On the lower end of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, they successfully block problematic L3-L4 traffic at the perimeter.
They allow the open and shut off of the port that sends and receives requested web pages from an HTTP server. Web application firewalls successfully prevent SQL injections, session hijacking, and Cross-Site Scripting attacks because of this (XSS).
How Do You Use a Web Application Firewall?
The installation, configuration, administration, and monitoring of a web app firewall must be done correctly.
The following four phases must be included in installing a web application firewall: secure, monitor, test, and enhance. To achieve application-specific protection, this should be an ongoing process.
The business rules and guardrails established by the company’s security policy should be used to configure the firewall. This approach allows the web app firewall’s rules and filters to define themselves.
Ways to deploy a WAF
A WAF can be deployed on a web server in three ways: network-based, host-based, or cloud-based.
Hardware or physical equipment is utilized to sit between server and client traffic in a network-based WAF. Because the protection is provided by a separate physical device on-site, network-based WAF has the advantage of minimizing latency. On the other hand, network-based WAFs are usually the most expensive solution.
The web servers software provides security for host-based WAF. Host-based WAFs, like networked-based WAFs, are local, reducing latency. However, host-based WAFs use the web server’s resources to execute their protective role in contrast to network-based WAFs.
As a result, host-based WAFs may be expensive due to the requirement to optimize a web server so that its performance is not harmed due to the deployment of a host-based WAF on the server.
The key benefits of cloud-based WAFs are their low cost and ease of use. Cloud-based WAFs, unlike network-based WAFs, are often provided as a service for a monthly subscription and do not require a large upfront expenditure such as purchasing physical equipment. Cloud-based WAFs are similarly simple to establish.
The fundamental disadvantage of cloud-based WAFs is the protection is not on-premise. In addition, because a third party provides the protection, the end-user does not know the policies and tactics in use.
We hope you’ve understood the importance of a firewall in a web app. A web app firewall is a cost-effective security solution that can save you the money and shame of dealing with security breaches.
By doing this, you safeguard your web app from various common attacks. You will be able to protect users’ data and thus provide a better experience.