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What is a WAF and how can it help me?

Web Application Firewall filters and monitors HTTP traffic between the internet and a web application; this offers protection to web applications from sites that may damage it, like the Cross-site-scripting (XSS) and SOL Injection. However, a WAF does not offer protection from every attack.

A WAF has similar characteristics to a proxy. Still, unlike a proxy, which prevents the identification of a clients’ machine from being revealed, Clients must go through WAF, which protects the server from being exposed. A WAF has policies that focus on offering protection from vulnerabilities found in the application by removing malicious traffic.

Moreover, WAF is considered valuable due to its speed and ease, allowing policies to be modified or implemented. Hence, this makes it respond to attacking vectors faster. An example is in the DDoS attack; the WAF policies are easily implemented and modified.

Blocklist and Allowlist WAF

A WAF can operate based on either in a blocklist or allowlist. A blocklist offers protection from known attacks. An allowlist only accepts pre-approved sites. Both a blocklist and allowlist have their pros and cons, but they offer good security when they are all implemented.

Implementation of a WAF

A WAF can be implemented in three ways: network-based WAF, cloud-based WAF, and Network-based WAF, which have their advantages and disadvantages.

The network-based WAF are hardware-based and have minimal latency because they are locally installed. However, they are more expensive and need physical equipment for storage and maintenance.

A host-based WAF can be wholly integrated into application software. It is cheaper compared to a network-based WAF and is customizable. The disadvantage of a host-based WAF is that it consumes local server resources and requires maintenance costs, which make it costly since an engineer is needed.

Cloud-based WAF is cost-friendly and is easy to implement. They have a turkey installation, which is simple. The upfront cost is less, and users can either make annual or monthly payments for security services. They provide solutions to the latest threats through constant updates, which do not require any extra work or cost. The disadvantage of this is that it is operated by strangers, making some of the features unlikeable.

How To Select a WAF

Intrusion Prevention system should be part of a WAF so that it can notice and thwart attacks. WAF providers can give you more details concerning the false positive or negative rate and how regular it restricts zero-day vulnerabilities.

Bandwidth limitations- Several WAF providers ask for payment depending on the amount of traffic you have. In an instance of DDoS mitigation, you must know the amount WAF has on all its network.

Points of presence- A WAF and CDN have an exemplary performance, but there are times when the connection is low, and web pages are loading faster.

Logging and reporting- WAF logs and audit trails help make an investigation based on a security incident easier. Therefore, you should ensure WAF integrates with your safety operations team.

AWS WAF

Besides monitoring and tracking the requests going to your AWS resources, WAF restricts or permits the resources depending on the specific rules set. This results in a clean server application log, reduced traffic on the server, reduced costs, and regular attack mitigation.

When using AWS WAF, you are only required to pay for what you have used. The price depends on the rules you use and the web requests that your application gets. AWS WAF can be utilized on Amazon CloudFront.
To begin on AWS, all you need is to sign up for a free trial AWS account, which will ensure you get access to AWS free Tier. 

Learn how to use AWS using a ten-minute tutorial. From then, you are set to start building with AWS using guides that will direct you on how to launch your project.

The process of starting AWS WAF includes setting up AWS WAF, coming up with a Web access control list with the help of the AWS WAF console. Selecting AWS resources that you need to be inspected by AWS WAF. Put in the rules and rule groups. You need to utilize it for filler web requests. Make a certain default action for your Web ACL either to restrict or permit.

Benefits

Offers strong protection from web attacks- AWS WAF takes less than a minute to update protection from your environment when an issue is detected. WAF approves several rules which inspect the various parts of a web request without causing any latency to the incoming traffic. AWS WAF safeguards web applications against attacks through sieving traffic according to the rules you created.

Saves time using manageable rules- The AWS WAF has manageable rules which can easily be set up, and you can safeguard your Web application from regular threats. There are several rule types to choose from, and they can be updated automatically if an issue arises, which makes you spend less time.

Cost-efficient- AWS WAF requires payment of what you use alone. It is automatically customized, has self-service offers, and prices are according to the number of rules you use and the number of website requests received by your web application. No minimum fees or upfront commitments are needed.

Easy to use and maintain- AWS WAF is user-friendly and safeguards applications used on Amazon CloudFront, among your CDN solutions. No other software is required to use DNS configuration or a reverse proxy setup. AWS firewall Manager Integration enables you to centrally control your rules and reutilize them in other web applications that require protection.

An improvement in web traffic visibility- AWS WAF ensures real-time transparency into your web traffic, which can make new rules or alerts in Amazon Cloudwatch. You can control how the metrics are removed, making it easier to monitor using the rule level. AWS WAF has comprehensive logging, which captures every inspected website request. Has protection integrated, which comprises of guidelines on how you develop apps. The AWS WAF has a management console that helps you access the DevOps team that specifies application rules. Through this, you can place web protection at several points throughout the development process chain.

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