4 Things to know about Web Application Firewall

Wed Oct 05 2022
4 Things to know about Web Application Firewall

In recent years, the trend of attacking web applications is becoming more and more popular. The attack techniques used are mainly cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and many others. A web application firewall is a solution to protect web applications from these security flaws. So what is a web firewall? Let's answer that with VNIS in this article.

WAF - What is a Web Application Firewall?

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a layer of protection between the Web Client and the Web Server, where user access requests pass through. Here, all data flows going through the firewall will be controlled according to a predefined security policy. Using it is like going through an airport security check – everyone and goods are checked before boarding the plane so that nothing can happen.

In a word, think of your website as a restaurant that is always crowded with visitors. The kitchen of this restaurant contains business information, key data, and recipes.

Surely you don't want thieves to break in, steal your property, business secrets or damage your restaurant. Likewise, you probably don't want hackers to visit, find, and exploit security holes on your company's website.

WAF security models

WAF has 2 main operating models, namely Positive and Negative:

  • Positive model: Only allow valid traffic to pass, all the rest will be blocked.
  • Negative model: Allows all to pass but will block any traffic it considers harmful.

WAF only offers both models in some cases. But usually only provide 1 of 2 only. One point to note is that the Positive model requires a lot of configuration and customization, while the Negative model relies mainly on the ability to learn and analyze the behavior of network traffic.

How Web Firewall Works

WAF can check both Get and Post requests to detect and block anything malicious. Malicious attacks on computers are often automated. These types of attacks are difficult to detect because they are designed to mimic the traffic of a normal person.

WAF performs detailed inspection of every request and response for all types of traffic to the website. This helps it identify and block threats from entering the server.

Web application firewalls can operate under many models, the most common of which is the Reverse-proxy model. To understand how Reverse-proxy works, let's go back to the restaurant image that represents your website at first.

To be able to enter the restaurant, guests will have to go through a control gate. WAF too, it acts as a proxy in the middle position between the user and the website. Instead of the user sending requests directly to the server, the WAF will receive those requests, forward them to the web server and receive a response from the web server, and then pass it back to the user. During that process, WAF will analyze to evaluate whether the request is malicious or not to remove it.

WAF quality of service largely depends on the quality and identity of the proxy server - which determines the number of scenarios WAF can recognize and its ability to prevent large-scale malicious attacks. In the event that a new attack technique or vulnerability is discovered, the corresponding identifier will be promptly updated to the WAF.

Which type of WAF to choose for your website?

In fact, any website is not immune to the existence of security holes, which can be caused by errors in programming, system configuration or vulnerabilities from platforms,... The complete elimination of holes This vulnerability is quite difficult to implement because companies often do not have or lack professional security testing and fixing teams.

In addition, attack techniques are changed and upgraded every day, so just because a website is safe at the moment, does not mean that new security holes will not appear in the future.

Currently, the issue of security of information, applications or confidential documents of the organization is the leading topic of concern due to Malware attacks, ransom demands such as WannaCry, Petya, etc.

This can cause losses of up to hundreds of billions of dong when the company loses important data, costs for troubleshooting, information ransom. And not to mention that financial institutions will lose a significant amount of revenue when the website stops working.

Relying on a local firewall or security solutions from a hosting provider, VPS, Cloud Server, etc. will not be enough to prevent hackers from entering your website. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to consider choosing a suitable Web Application Firewall solution to protect your business.

Overall, a Web application firewall is certainly an effective way to eliminate certain security risks. Currently, there are quite a few providers of this solution. Among them, VNIS is a very interesting name - the leading provider of Cloud WAF systems and security services in Vietnam.

What makes VNIS big difference is combining the power of Web Application Firewall with Multi CDN system and AI artificial intelligence technology, creating a comprehensive cloud-based website protection solution, helping to fight attacks on web vulnerabilities, attacks DDoS attack, Botnet, Crawler and other potential external threats.

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