What is Web Application Firewall?
When you think of a web application firewall or WAF, you can picture a firewall which is entrusted with the task of monitoring data packets flowing into and out of specific web applications. It not only scans these data packets, but also filters these and blocks them whenever needed. The WAF may be network-based, host-based or even cloud-based.
The WAF works by analyzing every individual data packet and then applies logic to take out the harmful or malicious traffic. So, it is an effective security measure which is now being used by hundreds of enterprises for safeguarding web applications against cyber attacks, exploits and known vulnerabilities. While the traditional firewalls could only block certain attacks, the WAF is equipped to prevent many attacks like SQL injections and XSS attacks, DDoS attacks, buffer overflows and session-hijacking.
The host-based WAF is capable of being integrated completely into applications and this is cost-effective with high customization options. These will consume local resources of the server and need local libraries for operating, and this may turn out to be a challenge.
The network-based WAF is typically hardware-based and it can successfully minimize latency. These WAFs are deployed close to the applications and this is why large scale configurations are feasible. The only downside is of course the heavy costs.
The cloud-based WAF is when you deploy a web application firewall according to a subscription model. It is an easy-to-install solution which does not need major changes. It will help to protect apps against a wide variety of attacks.
So, WAFs may vary; they can be in hardware forms that need dedicated staff for installations and monitoring. This is the best possible solution for your businesses because it offers comprehensive control across the entire web security environment. Many WAF vendors are today providing the cloud-based WAFs which are also easy to use and convenient.