Selecting the right WAF for your business

Published on 14 Oct 2021

White paper - Selecting the right WAF for your business

Despite the industry’s best efforts to bolster secure application development practices, the growing decentralization of infrastructure has resulted in complex application deployments that are by nature more difficult to protect. The Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals that in 2019, nearly half of all breaches involved web applications. This should not be surprising, since today’s decentralized multi-cloud environments, third party integrations and content, and new architectures such as serverless and container environments require complicated deployments that intrinsically put apps at risk.

See also: AV-TEST Evaluates Efficiency of DNS-Layer Security

What are web application firewalls (WAFs)?

The good news is that there are tools to help you bolster your apps against breaches by mitigating vulnerabilities and stopping attacks—specifically, web application firewalls (WAFs). A WAF provides virtual patching for code and software-level vulnerabilities, but it also inspects ingress and egress application traffic to identify and block scanners, attackers, and bots while preserving and accelerating apps for legitimate users. A WAF can also provide
security to your APIs, which have become foundational in the building of modern applications and are a favorite target of attackers (with much success). Regardless of your application architecture and its respective threat surface, a WAF can be leveraged in a variety of forms to help defend your organization against attacks. Those forms include a physical or virtual appliance managed by you, cloud-delivered, containerized, or outsourced to a dedicated managed service.

Does your business need a WAF?

  • The answer will depend on several factors, like:
  • Do you have a public-facing web property or mobile application?
  • Do you have a high-sensitivity web property or mobile application?
  • Do you deal with bots and unwanted automated traffic?
  • Do you have compliance obligations?
  • Do you have software stacks that are difficult to upgrade?
  • Do you need API security?
  • Do you leverage legacy web apps?
  • Do you need some breathing room from zero-day attacks?
  • Do you want to reduce your development time to market through CI/CD pipeline integration? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider WAF technology when you plan how to protect your apps, your data, and your business
from application attacks and data breaches. 

It can be hard to justify spending money on security solutions. Sure, we all know we should have robust defensive measures; and we hope we’ll be protected if we get attacked. But you never know if you’re going to be attacked, much less whether that firewall or IPS will be able to effectively protect your network if you do. Security is often regarded as a necessary evil with no quantifiable ROI, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. In the world of cloud computing and big data, good security solutions can actually save you money by helping you optimize your web applications and digital properties.

Download this whitepaper by F5 to learn more about web application firewalls and their benefits. Subscribe to whitepapers.online for information and resources on data and network security in the new cloud landsape.