In simple terms: a web application firewall (WAF for short) is an aspect of technology that monitors, filters or blocks HTTP traffic to and from the web application of your company. Now on to the detailed definition brought to you by the experts at Lean Security.
WAFs; the Recent Most Popular Security Measure
While it’s true that Web application firewalls found today have grown in popularity; however, we cannot overlook that the web-based threat factors have also been enhanced since then. The nature of these factors can vary; it can be anyone from a seemingly harmless teenager testing out his/her newly learned SQL injection skills on your website. It can also be a nation-state sponsored attacker on the lookout of proprietary information to steal.
This has made web security even more of a challenge. To make matters worse for enterprises, their WAF design needs to be both secured and ‘open’ in order to maintain wide availability all the while complying with proper user authorization and data security.
WAF Protects a Web Application By
Input, output, the access to and from an application etc is controlled with the help of a web application firewall. The technology runs like an appliance (either server plug-in or cloud based service) by which every HTML, HTTPS, SOAP and XML-RPC data packet is inspected thoroughly.
Attacks such as XSS, SQL injection, session hijacking, and buffer overflows are inspected through customizable security protocols, and then prevented. Such attacks are beyond the working of network firewalls and intrusion detection systems. This is why online retailers and businesses employ far more stringent protective measures, tools and softwares to make security process more effective.
WAF Can Be Network-based or Host-based
In addition, the technology (software or program) is usually deployed through proxy and is positioned in front of the web application. A WAF has the ability to monitor web traffic in real or near real time, before it even reaches the application. This is how it’s able to filter out potential harmful traffic patterns quite effectively.
Enterprises have used such security controls since a long time to protect their web applications against the growing threat of zero-day exploits, impersonation, known and unknown vulnerabilities and cyber attackers. It can be safely said that WAFs are the best tool of defence that your small business can employ - of course only when done right.
Never compromise with the security of your web application and systems as an enterprise. It’s better to hire experts in WAF software design. Get in touch with Lean Security, the best WAF managed service provider in Australia, to learn more about our iron-clad web-based security platforms.