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How Web Application Firewalls Can Boost Server Security

ABI Research is projecting that worldwide revenue for web application firewalls to reach over $400 million for 2014. It is a growing business and one that is looked to as a solution for many dedicated server providers. It ads server security for their customers at affordable rates. Dedicated servers are prone to a variety of cyber attacks ranging from:

  1. SQL injections

  2. simple scripting errors resulting in stolen data

  3. downtime resulting in

    1. damage to a company’s image or brand

    2. loss of productivity

    3. upset customers

    4. fines.

Web Application Firewalls (WAF) are able to work alongside other security technology and they work at the application level and not out at the network level.

Options and Affordability

Competition in the web application firewalls market has resulted in attractive pricing. However, ease of use, implementation, and scalability is also an important factor to consider when deciding on which particular application to utilize. An important tool to have with any WAF is being able to identify false positives and preventing legitimate requests from getting through. DDoS attacks are one example of causing this sort of scenario.

Web applications are an attractive target since many are vulnerable to attacks.

Network firewalls or Intrusion Prevention Systems are sufficient for many security tasks however, this hardware cannot work with specific application “lingo” which prevents IPS’s from knowing what is legitimate software activity or unusual or at the very least, suspicious activity. WAF’s are tailored to detect specific events and protect against several web vulnerabilities. This includes application Layer 4 and 7 protection which is a fundamental part of DDoS protection. In addition, preventing attackers from acquiring sensitive data and assisting in PCI DSS compliance.

Fine Tuning Web Application Firewalls

Web Application Firewalls require continued fine-tuning and adjustments as traffic and network behavior changes over time. A WAF should not be set up, configured once and left untouched for long periods of time. Many things can easily change over time. Another attractive feature of a WAF is easy-to-deliver patches and updates to new and current, yet evolving web applications that are at risk. This also includes Security as a Service. SaaS is able to stay up to date and protect dedicated servers or VPS for a small fee. Any company with a public facing web presence should be utilizing some sort of WAF or SaaS.

Even though from an ideological or financial standpoint which results in most security breaches, every business can be at risk. Cost can be a factor in determining in what specific solution to implement, however, the cost of a data breach could certainly cost any business far more. Customizing these solutions to each business’ online environment is essential. A “one size fits all” may not be suitable for some companies especially when it comes to (budget) third-party SaaS solution in the cloud.

In summary, price and simply convenience alone should not be the deciding factor. If security was easy, everyone would have it and they would all be secure with no reports ever of security breaches. This sadly is not the case.

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