Concerned that security threats pose a risk to your website? This is where you need a Web Application Firewall (WAF) solution.
If you have a website, protecting it is essential, especially if it is your online business.
However, as the complexity of cybersecurity threats increases and the number of attacks increases, special security measures may be required to ensure the integrity and availability of your site.
One of the easy to implement and beneficial measures is a cloud-based Web Application Firewall (WAF). Here, we’ll get a quick rundown of what a WAF is and take a look at some of the best options available.
What is a web application firewall?
A WAF is a barrier between your website and Internet traffic, which monitors and filters HTTP requests.
It blocks all malicious requests, presents a challenge to suspicious requests, and allows visitors to securely access your website.
You can find different types of WAFs which include network based and host based systems. However, here we will focus on cloud-based WAFs, as they are easy to deploy, do not depend on your server resources and often a managed service.
How does a WAF protect your website?
A WAF protects your website against known attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and unknown zero-day exploits.
To detect new and emerging threats, a cloud-based WAF uses machine learning to detect anomalous patterns and block suspicious requests.
It also gives you the option to protect your site from DDoS attacks.
Not only limited to that, your website also gets a potential performance boost thanks to its Integrated Content Delivery Network (CDN).
It should be noted that a WAF is not an all-in-one solution to protect your website. You still need server-side security tools and to make sure that your app is patched on a regular basis.
Things to look for when choosing a cloud-based WAF
Most WAF services offer more or less the same functionality. However, depending on your needs, you may want to consider a few factors before deploying a WAF:
Block zero-day attacks
Ability to defend against Layer 7 DDoS attacks
Hack cleanup service (if affected)
It’s also worth checking out the feature set available for upgrading and comparing prices in case you need to upgrade in the future.
Web application firewall services to secure your site
We have selected the most popular services that have a good reputation in blocking threats and protecting websites from attacks
Sucuri specializes in providing security services to web portals. It offers WAF protection, monitoring service, CDN and can also help you remove malware from compromised website.
They even offer a free SiteCheck tool to spot potential security issues that you can fix even without opting for their service. This gives you a basic idea of what you were missing and how a WAF can help you.
The pricing plan starts at $ 199 / year and increases as you choose more features.
Applying virtual patches
Zero-day exploit protection
Cloudflare is an incredibly popular choice because it offers a basic level of protection for free.
If you’ve just started a new website and don’t have a budget for WAF, you can set up Cloudflare. You also get an integrated CDN with servers around the world for free. However, you will have to go for a premium subscription if you need WAF protection, unlimited DDoS protection, alerts, customer support, and several other features.
Cloudflare WAF subscription starts at $ 20 / month and scales.
Free CDN without premium subscription
Performance tuning features to improve loading time
If you already use AWS services for your website, AWS WAF is a solution that you can easily deploy and manage.
AWS services offer a learning curve if you are new to website management and do not have any AWS configuration. However, this can be a profitable option in the long run.
Unlike some of the other options here, it’s charged based on your usage, and you can also find a price calculator before you try.
Scalable and Profitable for Websites with Huge Traffic
Akamai is a business-oriented offering with built-in CDN and DDoS protection.
It might not be a viable option for small and medium businesses online, but it does offer free trials. Not only limited to security services, it provides several technical services that you can choose to explore.
Akamai does not disclose a pricing plan – so you should contact them as per your requirement.
Zero-day exploit protection
SiteLock is popularly known as a malware scanner and backup solution for websites. But it also offers a WAF. It is a cheaper alternative to some cloud-based WAFs.
It includes essential safeguards against common application security risks. Unfortunately, it does not include DDoS protection with its WAF but offers it as an additional service.
It also provides an automated malware removal service with a built-in CDN.
Basic WAF protection costs $ 9.99 / month and includes more features.
Protect against common application security risks
Automatic malware removal
Azure WAF is an AWS-like offering where you pay as you go. It offers protection against DDoS attacks, common threats, site monitoring and provides an integrated CDN.
It is easy to set up, but you will find detailed documentation if necessary.
Monitor your site
StackPath is yet another enterprise-focused WAF that protects against common and sophisticated cyber attacks.
You also get DDoS protection and the ability to use a built-in CDN.
They don’t mention a pricing plan – so you should contact them to find out more as per your requirement.
imperva is an enterprise-focused cybersecurity company that also provides a WAF.
You get DDoS protection, reporting features, and security against common application threats. Also, it can be deployed in AWS and Azure if you rely on their services but want different WAF protection.
If you are looking for a solution with the fastest CDN, Imperva may not be the one for you.
They don’t mention a pricing plan, but you get a free trial offer if you want to test it out before you deploy it.
Protection against common application security threats
Suitable for cloud applications, containers and virtual machines
Do you need web application firewall services?
Considering the risks associated with cybersecurity threats, deploying a WAF reduces the risk of compromising your website.
If you are just starting out with a simple blog, you may not need to invest in a WAF on top of server hosting costs. But, whether it is a critical website or your online business, having a WAF protection service can give you peace of mind.