WAF-Web Application Firewall

Web Application Firewall-WAF Trends in 2020

In this article, you will get a complete idea regarding network firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF).

What’s Web application firewall (WAF)?

A WAF(Web Application Firewall) is used to filter, block inbound, and outbound web application HTTP traffic. WAFs have an immense focus on the application traffic and have the ability to provide in-depth data flow analysis.

It typically protects web applications from attacks such as cross-site scripting, file inclusion, and SQL injection, among others. The method of attack migration is usually part of a suite of tools that together create a holistic defense against a range of attack vectors.

For better understanding WAF, one thing you need to know is the nature of the frequent network attacks. Most of the successful ones were performed when attackers managed to find a vulnerability in the code and use it to make malware look like a part of application traffic.

web application firewall

What’s Network Firewall?

Network Firewall is to control the access, to monitor the web traffic across the network. It also authorizes the outbound sessions. As it only located with the Network Layer attribute in the OSI layer, it comes up with low access control limits.

Network Firewalls (ordinary) does not have the mechanism to detect/prevent threats. It only offers limited security from malware, attacks, and other unauthorized activities.

How Does Web Application Firewall Security Work?

Web Application Firewalls are designed to be placed on the application layer, and It acts as a two-way gatekeeper. The best benefit of WAFs is that they function independently from the application, but they can continuously adjust to application behavior changes.

You might think that we can have a standard Network Firewall for blocking the traffic. But you need to know the difference between these two.

WAF vs Network Firewall

  • Difference between Network Firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF)

waf

A WAF is a network security firewall solution that protects web applications from HTTP/S and web application-based security vulnerabilities.

While the network firewall is a device that controls access to secured LAN Network to protect it from unauthorized access, the firewall acts as a filter that blocks incoming non-legitimate traffic from entering the LAN network and cause attacks.

As discussed above, WAF is designed to monitor the traffic going into or coming out of a web app. With the variable nature of WAFs and the different configurations that can be employed, they are often popular with organizations that provide internet-based services.

  • Network Firewall offers the DDoS protection on Network Layer, whereas, WAF offers it on Application layer
  • A Network Firewall offers minimal Web application protection, whereas, WAF offers Extensive, including full application layer coverage web application protection.
  • Both Network Firewall and WAF carry the same Access control granularity as Port, Protocol, and IP address.
  • There is a lack of Threat detection/prevention techniques in a Network Firewall, whereas, WAF comes up with Signatures, Protocol anomaly detection, app-specific anomaly detection techniques.
  • A Network firewall can coverage any protocol type, whereas, WAF can coverage Web-centric: HTTP(s), XML, SOAP, SPDY.
  • Network Firewall works at the 3rd and 4th layer of OSI Layer architecture, whereas, WAF works at the 3rd to 7th layer of OSI Layer architecture.
  • Network firewall comes up with Layer 3 gateway deployment architecture, whereas, WAF comes up with Reverse proxy deployment architecture.
  • The network firewall does not offer the SSL/encrypted traffic inspection, whereas, WAF offers it.

Types of WAF’s

1. Network-based WAF

A Network-based WAF is generally hardware-based. Since they are installed locally, they minimize latency, but network-based WAFs are the most expensive option and also require the storage and maintenance of physical equipment.

2. Host-based WAF

A Host-based WAF may be fully integrated into an application’s software. This solution is less expensive than a network-based WAF and offers more customizability. The downside of host-based WAF is the consumption of local servers.

3. Cloud-based WAF

  • Cloud-based WAF provides an affordable option that is very easy to implement. They usually offer a turnkey installation that is simple as a change in DNS to redirect traffic. 
  • Cloud-based WAF’s can also provide a consistently updated solution to protect against the newest threats without any additional work on cost on the user’s end. The drawback of a cloud-based WAF is that users hand over the responsibility to a third-party.

Features of WAF Security:

1. Protection Against the OWASP Top 10

OWASP Open Web Applications Security Project is an open software security community calling, among other things.

Your WAF must protect web applications and servers from the OWASP Top 10 to ensure security against the most prevalent application attacks.

The effectiveness of a WAF solution’s security against the OWASP Top 10 is difficult to discern without testing. Seeking research testing and validation from a trusted organization is a reliable way to gain insight into the effectiveness of leading WAFs in the market.

2. Protection against known and unknown attacks

Your WAF should support both a positive and a negative security model. A negative security model is easy to deploy because it protects against known exploits.

3. PCI DSS Compliance

Malicious attacks designed to steal sensitive credit card information are increasing, with more and more security breaches and data thefts occurring daily. PCI DSS requirements have been revised in an attempt to prevent these types of attacks and keep customer data secure.

While you can adhere to PCI DSS standards by deploying a vulnerability scanner or a WAF, the most effective solution is to integrate the data from scanning technology with the WAF’s attack-mitigation power.

4. High performance without Negative Impact.

Performance is vital when it comes to a WAF. The WAF you choose should not impact the performance of existing infrastructures, including application and network devices.

This means that even though the WAF acts as the security proxy to the application, the application continues to transact the data without suffering from a backlog of requests and does not collapse under heavy loads.

5. Centralized Management

Centralized management is crucial when dealing with web application infrastructure that is distributed in different environments, especially across the globe.

Why Do You Need A Web Application Firewall Security?

cyber attacks

Just as an online retail customer can interact with an online retail site, hackers can conduct malicious interactions as well. These attacks predominantly occur as SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and malicious file executions.

WAFs can discern fraudulent interactions from legitimate traffic. This is a highly complex task as hackers today weave their attack code within safe-looking website traffic. A WAF accomplishes this by intercepting and analyzing each and every HTTP request.

WAFs are also designed to perform SSL termination. Much of today’s web traffic is encrypted in order to protect the data being transferred within the web sessions. HTTPs work both ways; however, in that, it also protects malicious hacking code from being scrutinized as well.

Because a WAF stands between the public and the web application, it is able to decouple the traffic between the web server and the internet. SSL certificates are hosted on the WAF, thus terminating the encrypted connection. Traffic is then forwarded to the web application in HTTP and analyzed.

The WAF is working as an inbound or reverse proxy. Response traffic is then sent back to the WAF, where it is then encrypted and forwarded to the user using the HTTPs protocol.

WAF provides an intelligent response, based on Web security settings, to potential threats that can impact your network. WAFs are designed to help protect your system from potential risks that have yet to be identified, which means that implementing this solution can protect your organization from Zero threats.

Compare Best WAF providers

Features Astra Security 
astra
Sucuri
sucuri
Stackpath
Stack path
URLclick hereclick here
Pricing$19/month$9.99/month$20/month
WAF protectionYesYesYes
Automated Malware RemovalUnlimitedUnlimitedYes
Manual Malware RemovalYesYesYes
Virtual patching and HardeningYesYesYes
DDoS Attack MitigationYesYesYes
DNS ManagementIndipendentDNS DependentDNS Dependent
Smart Caching OptionsIndipendentDNS DependentDNS Dependent
SSL CertificateIndipendentDNS DependentDNS Dependent
WAF Providers Comparision table – Astra Security Wins among three

1. Astra Security

Astra Web Security is a Techstars company. Astra’s vision is to make cybersecurity a five-minute affair for businesses. Astra’s promise to a business owner is that their business would be secure without any ifs or buts.

astraAstra Web Security is the go-to ‘ Security suite’ for your store. With Astra, you don’t have to worry about any malware, credit card hack, SEO spam, comments spam. This means you can get rid of other security plugins and let Astra take care of it all.

Features of Astra Security

  • Robust community-powered security engine
  • Installs as an extension in your store (No need to change DNS settings)
  • Real-time SQLi, XSS, LFI & 100+ threats protection
  • Malware scanning & removal
  • Bad bots blocking
  • Country blocking/whitelisting
  • IP range blocking/whitelisting
  • IP profiling & tracking
  • Malicious file upload prevention
  • Controlling file upload size
  • Limiting upload by extension type
  • Admin login activity logging
  • Blocking automated vulnerability scanners
  • Admin brute force protection
  • Fake search engine bots blocking
  • File Injection/Webshell protection
  • Code Injection protection

More Security Gives more confidence in your store.

With Astra Protecting your store, customers do not have to worry about the security of their information. Their data is secure and miles away from hackers. Credit card hackers, loss of personal information, etc can’t touch your store now.

GetAstra pricing:

The basic plan begins with $19/month with :

  • Rock-Solid Website Firewall.
  • Malware Cleanup.
  • Automatic Malware Scanner.

Check GetAstra Latest Update on pricing click here

pricings

2. StackPath

The Web Application Firewall is one of a suite of Cloud-based services offered by Stackpath who specialize in “edge Technology.” This term refers to the technique of pushing connected services out to the edge of your network and then and little beyond.

Stack path StackPath is a subscription-based cloud service that captures all of your traffic before it reaches your web server.

Only validated traffic gets forward onto your web server. All of that processing takes place so quickly that regular uses don’t experience any connection speed impairment.

StackPath offers the Web Application Firewall for free for the first month of service.

Stackpath WAF Features:

  • Unlimited CDN Sites.
  • Unlimited CDN Request.
  • Unlimited CDB Rules.
  • Unlimited WAF sites.
  • Origin Shield.
  • Free Private SSL certificates
  • Network-Layer DDos Protection.
  • Application- Layer DDoS Protection.

Pricing details of Stackpath:

The basic plan begins with $20/month with

  • CDN- 1TB/mo Bandwidth.
  • WAF- 5M/mo Request and 5 Rules.
  • DNS:- 2M/ mo DNS requests
  • Monitoring- 1 Service.

Check Stackpath Latest Update on Pricing Click here

Stack path prices

3. Sucuri Website Firewall

The Sucuri Web Application Firewall is part of a suite of website protection measures. The Sucuri Cloud-based protection system is an online service. Your website’s address is hosted at Sucuri’s server, also all of your web traffic goes there first.

sucuriDelivery performance is enhanced by caching, which means even if your site is down for maintenance, visitors will still be able to access your web pages. The Sucuri Web Application Firewall is available as a subscription service.

Features of Sucuri

Let’s see the salient features of Sucuri

  • Easy to enable and manage.
  • Direct access to the support team to get you onboard and configured.
  • Free SSL certificate through Lets Encrypt or GoDaddy.
  • One-Click GEO blocking.
  • Brute Force Protection.
  • Kicks out malicious bots and vulnerability scanner from going after your site.
  • Smart caching, allowing you to cache even dynamic pages.

Pricing details of Sucuri

The basic plan begins with $9.99/month with:

  • Performance optimization.
  • Layer 7 DDoS Protection.
  • Load Balancing.
  • Firewall-HTTPs and PCI complaint
pricings

Conclusion:

No matter whether you are a startup, small/medium, or large enterprise, the web application firewall should be a top priority for you. Your business can’t afford to lose customer data, assets, financial transactions, etc.

Mentioned above are the best web application firewall, providers. Choosing the right one primarily depends on the requirements of your business, budget, and height of protection.

Do you need any help in choosing the best Web Application Firewall for you?. Then we are here to give you the best solutions for your business.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is WAF and how it works?

A WAF or Web Application Firewall helps protect web applications by filtering and monitoring HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. … A WAF operates through a set of rules often called policies. These policies aim to protect against vulnerabilities in the application by filtering out malicious traffic.

What does a WAF do?

A ”’web application firewall (WAF)”’ is an application firewall for HTTP applications. It applies a set of rules to an HTTP conversation. Generally, these rules cover common attacks such as Cross-site Scripting (XSS) and SQL Injection. While proxies generally protect clients, WAFs protect servers.

What is the difference between WAF and firewall?

A Network Firewall offers the minimal Web application protection, whereas, WAF offers Extensive, including full application layer coverage web application protection. Both Network Firewall and WAF carries the same Access control granularity as Port, Protocol, and IP address

Why WAF is required?

A modern day WAF is designed to protect against these and other OWASP Top Ten application risks. WAFs are able to discern fraudulent interactions from legitimate traffic. … A WAF accomplishes this by intercepting and analyzing each and every HTTP request before they reach the web application

What does WAF protect against?

A WAF protects your web apps by filtering, monitoring, and blocking any malicious HTTP/S traffic traveling to the web application, and prevents any unauthorized data from leaving the app. It does this by adhering to a set of policies that help determine what traffic is malicious and what traffic is safe.

Where does a WAF sit?

A WAF (Web Application Firewall) is a filter that sits in front of your application inspecting incoming traffic for potential threats and malicious activity. It is one of the most common means of protecting against attacks at the application layer.

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