Web Application Firewall reduces the need of reviewing the code of the application for the developers to fix any security related issue in it. It filters the unwanted input, output or access to or by an application or service by monitoring and blocking the potential threats.
Security requirements are the most important element in the operations of an organization since protection of the confidential data is intended everywhere within the campus. Moreover, confidentiality in the data assures that the experience and knowledge gained by the company remains intact and assists in the development of business.
With technology based business practices, software has become a crucial part in the operations and activities of businesses. Software improves the efficiency and ability of an organization to sustain and grow with the resources it posses. Security is also influenced with such software deployment practice and Web Application Firewalls or WAFs are one of the examples of technology based security.
WAFs are the software or similar applications (software or hardware-software couple) which secures the TCP port 80/443 from any kind of unauthorized access and inhibits the traffic to connect with it. Basic functions which a WAF perform are:
- Deep Packet Inspection
- Examination of data payload
- Monitoring of potential threat causing requests and responding to them
- Reduces the necessasity of code modification
- Brute force monitoring
- Session management
- Network protocol filtering along with HTTP filtering
Web Application Firewall controls and monitors all the network traffic up to the application layer of the OSI model. Modularity is the key feature as it can control even at the service or application level to strengthen the security policies.
Few benefits which can be drawn while deploying a Web Application Firewall are as follows:
- WAF is capable of filtering the traffic even at the TCP/IP level i.e. Layer 3 and 4 and at the Application level i.e. from layer 5 to 7 of OSI reference model. This way, web servers can be protected with high security procedures.
- Dependency on patching the problem or vulnerability with code modification is reduced. If some part of the code is faulty and is prone or cause threat, WAF can efficiently protect the infrastructure from such vulnerabilities temporarily until either the vendor has provided a permanent solution or in house software developer has modified the code for a permanent solution.
- Deep Packet Inspection brings advantage in using WAF as there may be a case if the message is carrying crucial information in the data payload and if the behavior of the packet is not in accordance with the policies defined in WAF, it simply stops the packet from transporting it to the network. It protects any kind of data leakage from the network which can cause serious issues related to the confidentiality of the data.
- Using a WAF provides a software security solution for the network infrastructure related issues in an organization. It also enables the utilization of resources on other security issues as WFA overtakes the task of securing the code and liberates the dedicated resources to focus on other threat prone areas in an enterprise network.
A WAF posses its application in a wide variety of industries and sectors like Government sector, Healthcare, Retail, E commerce, Finance etc. Any industry which involves the transfer of confidential information over the network and intends to conduct the transportation securely, should deploy WAFs. It provides a preventive measure for the activities which may cause data leaks and interception.