If you are reading this post, chances are your organization or company has a web presence on the internet. While this may be a great way to interact with your customers and build long-lasting relationships, it also gives hackers the ability to sniff at your site and try to compromise your business operations.
It happens every day, and the sad truth is that a traditional firewall does little to protect a multi-tier web application.This is the primary reason why Website Application Firewall (WAF) was developed.
A website application firewall is a specialized web security tool that is specifically designed to protect your web applications and not servers. A WAF resides at the outer edge of your network in front of the public side of a web application, and its purpose is to analyze all incoming traffic.
You can think of it as a bouncer for your site. It stands between your website and the public and determines who gets in and who is kicked out. It filters traffic to ensure that your visitors don’t mean any harm. So, why do you need a web application firewall?
Stops Data Leakage
Hackers can gather data in the most unimaginable ways. Unless you are 100% sure that your site has been compromised, detecting hackers can be quite tricky. Data leakage can be caused by something as small as a malicious error message that is sent to an unsuspecting user.
Therefore, if your website stores critical data such as credit card numbers or source code, then it is easy to become a victim of data leakage. Unfortunately, any kind of data leakage can be catastrophic.
A website application firewall scans every request to your web applications, and if anything appears unusual, the firewall stops it from leaving your network.
Provides Automated Temporary Patches
It is always a good idea to run vulnerability scans regularly. Ideally, if you operate an online store, you should be running vulnerability scans at least once every month.
Now, consider what might happen if you discover a vulnerability in any of your web applications; you may not have the resources and expertise to fix the problem quickly.
So, what are you supposed to do in such a case? This is where website application firewalls come in handy. Some WAFs can use your vulnerability scan findings to temporarily patch your web application for immediate protection.
Although this temporary patch isn’t a long-term solution, it is usually enough to mitigate the risk as you prepare a permanent solution.
Protects Against Zero-Day Exploits
The truth is that you are not always in control of the software that you use and therefore, you can’t control its security. If a zero-day exploit was dropped by a hacker, you would be at the mercy of the software developer to come up with an official patch as fast as possible to help safeguard your information.
However, if you have deployed a website application firewall, you can virtually patch the vulnerability and protect your information until the software developer releases a patch or until the time you can patch the code yourself.