Web Application Firewalls: Essentials and Basics

Since their initial appearance around the end of the 80’s, firewalls have really helped numerous organizations, businesses and individuals in the area of security. That being said, like about everything else, tech and otherwise, firewalls too have made progress.

Web Application Firewalls

Web application vulnerability has been a concern for many business owners and other professionals—exactly what firewalls address. But what exactly are firewalls?

Is there any difference between a WAF (web application firewall) and a regular firewall? Let’s find out!


WAFs were developed and evolved starting around the early 90s. These were developed to address threats and risks that managed to evade regular firewalls.

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What Threats?

To be specific, threats that gained access through trusted protocols (like HTTP), to piggyback and then access other related secure (or meant to be secure) applications. Once this is done, everything from data to system operating may be compromised.

In response, various WAFs were developed each boasting separate specifications.

Getting Down to It

To make things simple, we could divide WAFs into three general categories. We’re going to skim over these and a little about how they function.

Network Based

Network based web application firewalls are the primary category of WAFs to be developed. These are highly effective and hardware based. They are good at countering negative performance. Another thing they are good against is latency. That being said, these are costly both to install or procure as well as to apply.

Application Based

Application based firewalls operate in close quarters to the application being protected. At times, they and the mentioned application code can even be intertwined. This allows for higher performance and well as further flexibility with regard to customization.

Last but not least, the low cost of this form of WAF makes it an attractive network security prospect for many! On the downside, application based WAFs can sometimes be inadequate for macro establishments and organizations.

Cloud Hosted

Cloud hosted web application firewalls are effective guard dogs for those who need a prompt solution. What they lack in versatility and customizability, they make up for in sheer convenience.

They are easily deployed and make traffic redirecting rather simple. They can be subscribed to temporarily and work well as a go between before shifting to supplementary or more permanent solutions.  

The WAF Edge

The good thing about WAFs is they are geared to protect you from both threats; known and unknown. WAF protocols are geared to detect and address threats combination methods which may include validation of input as well as security and threat removal on a data base level.

Will My Company Benefit?

Anyone who performs online transactions can benefit from a web application firewall. That being said, businesses which involve a lot of online transacting such as banks or online stores should most definitely be investing in WAFs if they aren’t already!


Given that many today still need to get their head around web application firewalls and how they work. There is always more information out there however we can tell you this, whether you know it already or not, network security, WAFs included in this day and age are a needed investment!

If you’re looking for security testing services and Cloud WAF service to see where you stand by way of network security, check out your options or give us a shout! Maybe we can help!

Just remember, when it comes to keeping the data of yourself and your clients secure, it is always better to be safe than sorry!