SMECHow Web application firewalls can prevent current Cyber Attacks?

How Web application firewalls can prevent current Cyber Attacks?


Why do we need a Firewall and Web application firewall?

Technological advancement has many benefits it has been utilized in several private and government sectors. Digitalization has paved a new way to implement a lot of business activities. One of the major disadvantages of technological advancement is Cyber attacks. Nowadays we are utilizing the internet to do several transactions and it is also utilized in several organizations. During the business process, several transactions are carried out by utilizing the internet so all these transactions must be properly done. In the government sector and also in the private sector there are several sensitive data and all these data should be protected. Firewall and web application firewall plays a major role in cyber security.


Advantages of utilizing firewall

A firewall can be described as a security device that will secure your network. It can protect your organizational data from incoming and outgoing network traffic. Basically, we can define a firewall as a filter between the internal network and the public internet. The firewall won’t allow any threatening traffic in the internal network and due to this, the chances of attacks are reduced. We can protect several sensitive data with the help of a firewall. So a firewall will be utilized in most industries and also it is utilized in the government sector too. A firewall can protect any organizational or private network from suspicious sites, hackers, malware, etc.

Big organizations will be composed of several networks, and servers, and also there will be several data regarding the business process. All these are subjected to attack because it is connected to the internet. So by utilizing a firewall we can protect all of these. A firewall is capable to allow or deny any IP addresses or ports. There won’t be any unauthorized access to your network if you are utilizing the network firewall.

What is a Web Application Firewall and how is it different from a network firewall?

A web application firewall is a firewall that is used to protect web applications. There are different types of web attacks such as Phishing, Malware, SQL injection attacks, and a lot more. Web attacks are the major source of data breaches several confidential data can be protected by using WAF. The web application firewall is specially developed to protect web applications.

A web application firewall will filter and monitor the traffic which will be HTTP based between the web application and the internet. Web applications will be subjected to several web-based attacks if it is not protected by the Web application firewall. We won’t be able to protect a web application by utilizing the network firewall because it won’t be able to determine the non-web traffic.

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Web application firewall

The major difference between a web application firewall and a normal firewall is that firewall is utilized in the network sector and WAP is utilized for the web application. The web application firewall is also known as a special purpose-built firewall. Mostly almost all web applications utilize the HTTP protocol. When web applications are available to the public the chances of attack will be high. The web application firewall will only forward proper application requests to the web app and this will be done after several inspections. Web application firewall will be utilized or placed directly in front of the web server. There will be a network firewall and DMC firewall before the Web application firewall.

A firewall will block the illegal network or network which can’t be trusted. The WAF will check the data and also the traffic which is trying to access the web applications. WAF is located close to the servers and applications while the firewall is implemented near a network. The firewall will act as a wall between the organizational network and the other networks. WAF can prevent attacks on HTTP/HTTPS applications and servers. The firewall focuses on the third and fourth OSI layer which is the network and transport layer.

The network layer implements the transport of packets in and out of a network. Layer four is the transport layer and it will properly implement the transfer of the data to the required destination. The Application layer is the layer with which the user will utilize it to interact in a network. Another difference between a firewall and WAF is that access control is not a function of WAF while the firewall does this.

Firewall and WAF both can prevent the denial of service attack. But both of them does this in a different way. WAF will provide denial of service protection in the application layer while the firewall provides denial of service protection in the network layer.

The firewall implements several things in a network such as data transfer between networks and checking the data packets and addresses. The WAF will provide protection for the whole application. Mostly in an organization, there will be a firewall, and also a web application firewall will be used with it. So both have their own functions and they do this in a unique manner.

What are the major advantages of a Web application firewall over a normal firewall?

As we discussed above a web application firewall is specifically designed for an application and the firewall is used to protect a network. A firewall won’t be able to detect several attacks such as HTTP flood attacks, cross-site scripting, cross-site forgery, SQL injection, etc. A network firewall will check the IP and ports and it won’t be able to provide protection against any HTTP attacks. Due to this normal firewall is not sufficient to protect a web application. WAF will have several rules or security measures that can prevent unauthorized access to your application.

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How will a Web Application Firewall protect your application?

In case someone is trying to access a web application that is protected by the Web application firewall then there won’t be any illegal access. Consider that you have a web application with proper WAF. If someone is trying to access your web application then a request will be transmitted to the web application firewall then the WAF will transmit it to the network firewall then from there it will give to the web application.

So if you are not utilizing the WAF then the access request will be transmitted to the network firewall and from there it will be sent to the web application. So if you are not utilizing the WAF then the network firewall won’t be able to protect the application from non-web traffic. So to protect a web application WAF is required. The WAF will operate in two different modes one is the passive mode and the other is the active mode. In the passive mode, the WAF will only do the checking if you need to get proper protection for your web application then you should choose the active mode.

How to deploy the Web application firewall?

The web application firewall can be deployed based on the application requirements. Requirements such as the service and the required flexibility. We can deploy WAF by utilizing the cloud service.

Why do we need a web application firewall and what are the advantages of WAF?

  • To secure the customer data
  • Security of the Web Application
  • Protection against HTTP flood attack
  • Cross-site scripting protection
  • Cross-site forgery protection
  • Protection against SQL injection
  • Protection against SSL attack
  • Denial of service attacks can be prevented
  • WAF can prevent the zero-day attacks
  • It can prevent cookie poisoning

Author – Ashlin A J

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