Is It Time To Move To A Web Application Firewall?

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A Traditional Firewall vs. A Web Application Firewall

Traditional firewalls block or allow the flow of web traffic into your business network. They monitor the information flowing through ports, protocols, and IP addresses.  A Web Application Firewall goes a step further: it hides your server and protects your web apps. If you are using a lot of web applications, it’s time to think about updating to a Web Application Firewall.

Here are a few examples of popular business web applications:

  • Quickbooks
  • WordPress
  • Salesforce
  • Office 365
  • Adobe Suite
  • Google Docs
  • Evernote
  • Dropbox

If your employees are using any of these applications and your company still has a traditional firewall, it’s time to think about an upgrade.

Web Application Firewall: Providing Advanced Data Security Protection

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) has many sophisticated threat detection features that protect against cyberattacks. WAFs filter content coming into and going out of your business network by securing static, dynamic, E-commerce, ERP, CRM, or any kind of web applications.

Web Application Firewalls intercept and examine incoming Hypertext Transfer Protocol/Secure (HTTP/HTTPS) and XML/SOAP semantics requests. Content coming into your website is scanned for SQL Injections, Buffer Overflow, cross-site scripting (XSS), File Inclusion, Cookie Poisoning, Schema Poisoning, and other threats.

A Web Application Firewall has smart data security features that automatically trigger alerts when malicious activity is detected.

Five Web Application Firewall Benefits:

  • Shields your business network from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. This business disrupter is a big cause of costly downtime and unproductive work hours. Botnets search for improperly protected servers. When it finds a weak spot in the firewall or an open port, the bot floods the server with an overwhelming amount of data. This causes the server to shut down, and deny any service requests.
  • Sends automatic security alerts to your IT team
  • Deployed physically, virtually, or in the cloud
  • White list rule configuration options
  • Custom user access allows you to control which web resources your staff can access, and allows you to set regional access limits

WAFs: Built for Data Breach Risk Prevention

Web Application Firewalls mask public-facing servers, databases, and operating systems. They shield server banners, error messages, HTTP headers, return codes, debug information, or backend IP addresses from probes. Without details of a business infrastructure, it is difficult for a bot to attack a business. A Web Application Firewall reduces the risk of a security breach.

Some Web Application Firewall models provide URL encryption. If your business uses APIs or mobile applications, you may want to consider a WAF with this feature.

Automated and Customizable Features Help Prevent Data Loss

A Web Application Firewall provides businesses with protection against data loss. These intelligent firewalls identify credit card numbers, U.S. Social Security numbers, or other custom data patterns. Web Application Firewalls can prevent sensitive content like this from leaving your business network, or can shield this data if it must be sent. Once its rules are configured, a web application firewall performs automatically.

A Web Application Firewall records its actions. Regularly reviewing these logs will safeguard your network and help your IT team quickly find possible trouble spots.

If your business must meet PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA, and SOX compliance standards to ensure the privacy of sensitive data, a WAF might help you satisfy the requirements. Your IT specialist can explain the differences in models. Not all web application firewalls are compliance-approved.

Nettology: Expertise in Web Application Firewall Deployment and Management

Nettology can help you upgrade to a physical, virtual, or cloud-based Web Application Firewall. We can serve as IT consultants or act as your end-to-end team and handle the deployment, configuration, and/or management of your WAF. If your organization uses vulnerability scanners, we’ll make sure it’s all working together and is properly integrated.

We can also help you understand the differences in firewall models, and advise you on which might best suit your company’s needs.

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