Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
What is a WAF?
A Web Application Firewall is an application layer device designed to protect web applications. By applying defensive mechinisms to inbound web traffic it can detect and mitigate attacks such as SQL injection or Cross site scripting while allowing legitimate traffic to pass through unimpeded.
What is the objective of a WAF?
The objective of a WAF is to provide a greater layer of defence for Web servers than traditional firewalling. Rather than focusing on port based connections like a traditional firewall, a WAF is a specific technology to defend web servers against the many application layer attacks such as those outlined in the OWASP top 10.
What are the benefits of a WAF?
Web applications are often key to a business's ability to trade and advertise services. The loss loss of data from, or defacement of a web application can cause embarrassment for the business, a loss of confidence by the customer and result in large financial loss. Because of the global accessibility of web applications they are typically at the top of the target list for a malicious actor attempting to gain access to data or systems. By deploying a Web Application Firewall it is possible to detect and prevent compromise from external threat actors.
How does a WAF differ from a traditional firewall?
Unlike a traditional firewall a web application firewall sits at the application layer of the networking stack allowing it to performed detailed scans and analysis of the http(s) traffic flow to and from web applications. This allows the web application to defend against application attacks such as SQL injection, Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) and zero-day attacks in deployed web technologies. As new threats emerge WAF providers continually update their products detection signatures to prevent exploitation of vulnerable components before they are identified and updated by the responsible internal teams.
By deploying a Web Application Firewall your organisation will be able to
Protect against common application attacks such as SQL injection and XSS
Defend your applications from specific attacks against web technologies such as Wordpress
Prevent data leakage from incorrectly configured applications
Protect your customer data