WAF-as-a-Service: Everything You Need to Know About

August 25, 2022

As businesses grow, they tend to become vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks as they hold high-value assets like customer data, intellectual property, and other sensitive information. Attacks like identity theft, stolen credentials, and data leaks not only compromise such information but also hurt the users by exposing their confidential information and robbing their trust.

What worsens the situation is the rise of bot-based attacks and the availability of off-the-shelf solutions that make it easier than ever for hackers to commit such crimes.

Therefore, modern solutions like managed and subscription-based services like WAF-as-a-service create a win-win situation for businesses and their customers. In addition to being easy to use, they’re also affordable, scalable, and inherit advanced threat detection and prevention capabilities.

So this blog discusses the benefits of WAF-as-a-service and how it differs from traditional WAFs. But first, let’s understand the fundamentals.

What is WAF-as-a-service?

WAF-as-a-service is a web application firewall hosted on the cloud and offered on a subscription basis. Managed by security professionals, WAF-as-a-service comes with cloud-based benefits like advanced security, scalability, and high availability.

Cloud-based WAFs monitor and filter HTTP and HTTPS traffic to detect anomalies and block malicious traffic from reaching the website or applications. Moreover, it protects cloud assets like platforms, applications, data, infrastructure, and more.

Finally, WAF-as-a-service is an ideal security solution for any enterprise looking to tighten cloud application security. This includes financial institutions, e-commerce businesses, small businesses, and more.

Finally, WAF-as-a-service not only protects businesses from known vulnerabilities like identity theft, injection flaws, data theft, and DDoS, but also from unknown vulnerabilities like zero-day attacks.

Let’s see some of the benefits of WAF-as-a-service and why businesses should adopt it.

6 Benefits of WAF-As-a-Service

Cyber crimes are not slowing down anytime soon. Recent stats by Kaspersky shows that the average duration of a DDoS attack in Q2 2022 was 3,000 minutes which is a hundredfold as compared to Q2 2021.

Cloud-based WAFs strengthen security around applications, providing widespread protection against threats. Here are a few more benefits of cloud-based WAFs.

1.   Supports Multi Cloud Protection and Security

Businesses today are embracing multi-cloud infrastructure, including public/private cloud or hybrid. This means a dire need to protect applications across various environments from rising cybercrimes.

Cloud-based WAFs protect malicious traffic from exploiting internet-facing resources like applications and APIs, whether they reside on-prem, cloud or multi-cloud.

2.   Scalability

Security often causes friction with performance, which is one of the biggest concerns for security teams.

However, since cloud-based WAF is configured as a reverse proxy, they prove to be an excellent security solution for scalability without hurting the performance.

This means they act as the entry point – the last line of defense, and protect your website and internet-facing apps from unprotected incoming traffic.

Moreover, it leverages the power of a massive edge network, and with globally distributed points of presence, it ensures minimum latency and maximum coverage.

Simply put, cloud-based WAFs are set up to protect your applications in the event of a traffic spike, allowing you to grow your business without worrying about security risks.

3.   Advanced Threat Detection and Prevention

WAF offers automatic, real-time updates to stay current with the most recent threats. Moreover, it inspects HTTP and HTTPS traffic and detects any threat before it approaches the internal infrastructure, websites, or applications.

Finally, this security solution protects your business from malicious threats like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, brute force, and more.

4.   Easy Deployment and Management

In comparison to setting up hardware WAFs, businesses can set up cloud WAFs and be operational in much less time.

Moreover, cloud WAFs may be controlled from a single dashboard that gives security experts all the information at a glance. Finally, cloud-based WAFs make upgrades simple.

5.   Managed by a Security Expert

One of the most significant benefits of WAF-as-a-service is that seasoned security professionals manage it. These professionals work 24×7 and monitor the environment and provide actionable threat mitigation strategies.

Security experts manage configuration, incident response, monitoring, and more for you. This way, you can be assured about the protection of your web applications and focus on growing your business.

6.   The Lowered Total Cost of Ownership

The incredible security offered by cloud-based WAFs for your applications comes at a low cost.

Cloud-based WAFs reduce the upfront cost and require little to no maintenance.

Finally, since they come with subscription plans, predicting annual spending on security solutions becomes intuitive.

What Is the Difference Between a Traditional WAF and a Cloud-Based WAF?

One of the main differences between the two lies in how they’re deployed. Traditional WAFs are deployed on-prem, whereas cloud-based WAFs are deployed on the cloud.

Another difference is that cloud-based WAFs are more effective in hardening and patching – which essentially means blocking the ways in which hackers can infiltrate a network or exploit a vulnerability. One instance could be when cloud-based WAFs auto-update any upgrades available.

Finally, as discussed above, WAF-as-a-service secures your web applications from massive DDoS attacks.

Key Takeaway

With the rapid adoption of cloud and multi-cloud environments, businesses should not overlook the importance of embracing the latest technologies like cloud-based WAFs that are configured specifically to work in cloud and hybrid environments.

WAF-as-a-service is not only economical but an incredible way to protect your web applications against proliferating attacks and ensure business continuity and customer data integrity.

Array Network’s web application firewall as a service is a next-gen SaaS security solution that’s managed by our security professionals, provides an enterprise-grade solution, and comes with dual redundant power supplies to ensure maximum uptime.

In short, with Array Network’s WAF-as-a-service, your security is in safe hands. Contact our sales team today to learn more about WAF-as-a-service.

Shibu Paul

Mr. Paul has 25 years of experience in the field of Digital transformation – IT, IS and telecom – having worked with Sify Ltd, British Telecom Global services (India) and BT Americas in various roles. He was part of the team that launched the first IP network, first private ISP and first Certifying Authority in India. He joined Array in 2009 as country sales head and progressed to leadership positions including Country Manager and Regional Director-APAC.