Image Alt

Why Web Application Firewalls Play A Key Role In Protecting Your Applications

Why Web Application Firewalls Play A Key Role In Protecting Your Applications

A web application firewall helps in protecting web applications by monitoring and filtering the HTTP traffic between the internet and the web application. Cross-site forgery, file inclusion, SQL injection, cross-site scripting are some of the attacks that are protected with the help of these web applications. Web application Firewall is a protocol layer 7 defense from the Open Systems Interconnection Model. It is not designed for defending all types of attacks. Holistic defense against several attack vectors is created with the help of these tools and methods.

Web Application Firewall allows you to place a shield between the internet as well as the web application. A proxy server provides protection to the client machine’s identity with the help of an intermediary. However, a web application firewall is kind of a reverse proxy. It protects the server exposure by having clients surfing through the Web Application Firewall before they reach out to the server.

The web application Firewall always operates on a certain set of rules called policies. Most importantly, the policies are helping to protect against all vulnerabilities in the application simply by filtering out malicious traffic. With the help of policy modification, Web application Firewall allows for a faster response to varying attack vectors. for example, in case of a DDoS attack, by modifying the web application Firewall policies, rate limiting can be quickly implemented.

We depend on applications every day. This is the way, your customers as well as partners connect with you. Sadly, the application remains one of the most exploited and exposed one towards the threat vectors. Barracuda WAF ensures protection to your webpages, API applications, mobile from getting compromised. Along with this, it also prevents data breaches. They believe in maintaining the reputation as well as the trust and confidence of the customer.

According to the Baracuda, WAFs help in deploying enterprise-proven security in just minutes. It also offers complete control over building specific policies. Lastly, with the help of a Fully-featured API, dev-ops can automate security controls using familiar tools.

Types Of WAFs

There are three different ways in which a web application firewall can be implemented. Each of them has its own benefits as well as negatives.

Network-Based WAF

Network-based web application Firewall is generally hardware-based. Latency is minimized as they are installed locally. These are kind of expensive options as they require maintenance and storage of physical equipment.

Host-Based WAF

Most of the time, an application firewall can be integrated into the application’s software. Customizability is offered in this. In addition to this, this solution is also less expensive than compared to the network-based web application firewall. Some of the shortcomings for host-based web application firewalls include implementation complexity, consumption of local server resources, and maintenance cost. Along with this, engineering time is required by the components.

Cloud-Based WAF

This type of application Firewall is the easiest to implement, indeed, available at an affordable cost. They have a minimal upfront cost, as users are paying either monthly or annually for these solutions. Cloud-based web application Firewalls are constantly and consistently updated. Most importantly, they help in protecting against the newest threats without any additional cost from the user side. Contrary to this, the user is handing over the responsibility to a third party for handling the cloud-based WAF. Therefore, some features of the cloud-based web application Firewall might be simply unknown to them.

Benefits Of A Web Application Firewall

Swift protection against web attacks: Web application firewall updates just under a minute. Hence, in case any issue arises, it enables the quick and swift update of security across your environment. Hundreds of rules are supported by WAF that can be inspected by any part of the web request and has minimum latency impact towards incoming traffic.
Real-time visibility into your web traffic: A real-time visibility towards your web traffic is provided by a web application firewall. This can help you to create new policies or rules. Granular control is provided to you for how the metrics are getting emitted. This helps in monitoring the entire inbound traffic. Full header data of any web request is been conducted comprehensively by the web application firewall for the purpose of security automation, auditing, and analytics.
Easy to deploy: A web application Firewall is easy to deploy for protecting your applications. Most of the service providers offer an API interface or gateway for ease of deployment and maintenance. No additional software is required to deploy the DNS configuration. In addition to this, no additional software is required to deploy the SSL/TLS Certificates. Your rules can be centrally defined and managed with the help of top leading web application Firewalls such as Azure and AWS.
Integrated Security: Web application firewalls by AWS can be configured using either their own API or management console. Increasing web security is possible through the DevOps teams by defining application-specific rules. This helps you put web security at multiple endpoints during the development process itself. Lastly, allowing you to integrate security with how you develop applications.

Challenges While Securing Applications With WAF

Moreover, with numerous benefits of securing your applications with the web application firewall, there also arises several challenges faced during the same. Some of the challenges of faced while securing applications with web application Firewall are:

As the web application firewall sits outside the application, it is quite unaware of the fact of what the application is more vulnerable to. In certain rare case scenarios, it’s difficult to know which attacks are real without having any false positives.
Some customers might use a web application Firewall that does not provide a basic suitable cloud deployment solution. Therefore in such cases, cloud deployment can become very expensive. Scaling their web application policies can be a tedious job for the customer. With each and every code change, the customer might have to modify rules manually.

Source:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/web-application-firewall/ag/ag-overview
https://aws.amazon.com/waf/?sc_channel=PS&sc_campaign=acquisition_IN&sc_publisher=google&sce!!g!!waf&ef_id=CjwKCAiAnIT9BRAmEiwANaoE1SdMO-y3xsa6nwqAuhO-DVaanHuifPY1CG-4gbULOK70mazFabth4xoC7QgQAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!4422!3!159792790718!e!!g!!waf

https://www.barracuda.com/products/webapplicationfirewall

Reference:

https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/ddos/glossary/web-application-firewall-waf/
https://www.contrastsecurity.com/security-influencers/top-5-challenges-securing-applications-with-web-application-firewalls

Progressive