Nowadays, almost all companies store their data online, on the cloud, because it allows them to keep a lot of information in one place, which is very practical. However, as technology evolves, so does the frequency of hacker attacks that lead to data theft and problems in the operation of the company. Because of all this, having a firewall application is not a luxury, but it is necessary in order for all data to be protected and for the company to be able to operate without worries. Of course, choosing a WAF (web application firewall) is not always easy, because there are many things to take care of. That is why below we discuss the most important things to look for in a web application firewall.

1. Overall performances and availability

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The application firewall has a role not only to protect the data contained within the application, but also to ensure its smooth operation, maximum availability, as well as the fast flow of information. All this is important for optimal user experience and consequently for the best possible work of the company.

When choosing a web application firewall, it is important to pay attention to whether it has the ability to cache copies of the content that is frequently searched. This reduces the number of requests on the servers and speeds up the flow of information. Another way WAF can increase flow efficiency is to perform automatic content compression, and this is another option you want your WAF to have. The way SSL content is processed is another important feature. If the processing is not adequate, there may be problems in decrypting the HTTP data, which further leads to other problems. In case there is a possibility of SSL acceleration on the hardware, it can optimize the processing, as well as reduce the overall load on the servers.

Overall performance and availability are the main characteristics you need to evaluate before choosing WAF, as this can significantly affect the general performance of your business and the problems that will occur on a daily basis.

2. The way it protects data

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The thing you should definitely pay the most attention to is how much protection your web application firewall provides. You want to find one that provides the full range of protection against all sorts of attacks and thus ensure that all important and confidential information of your company is completely secure.

There are two types of WAF that can block traffic in different ways in the event of an attack. These are the so-called active and passive web application firewalls. Active WAF works by being placed between the applicant and the server on which the applications are hosted. Therefore, they can block cyber attacks in real time. However, these WAFs also have some drawbacks. For example, they can significantly contribute to the slowdown of all traffic, and sometimes even block traffic that does not pose any danger.

On the other hand, passive WAFs are not placed within the path, but outside it. Therefore, they cannot directly prevent hacker attacks, but they can connect to other systems that block traffic in case of danger.

Your company’s data protection is definitely the main criterion based on which you want to choose a web application firewall. If it does not fit your idea and needs, it is a better option to skip it instead of contenting yourself with something that does not provide an adequate level of security for your business.

L7defense offers inline protection and provides real-time detection of dangerous content, thanks to its advanced AI/ML technology. With this kind of WAF you can be sure that you are always up to the task.

3. Compatibility is important

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Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a WAF is its compatibility with other network equipment. It must be able to cooperate with other systems to ensure an optimal level of protection. As we mentioned, some firewalls cannot directly block unwanted content, but they do so by notifying the network firewall that further prevents the flow of information. If WAF is not compatible with many other network equipment, we advise you to think twice before choosing it.

4. Providing information on past and potential hazards

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A good web application firewall not only protects your applications on the cloud and prevents threats, but it also provides all relevant information about previous and potential dangers. This means that, every time something unforeseen happens online, it has the ability to save that data and eventually provide you with a report on cyber attacks and application security in general. If you can identify a threat before an attack occurs, it gives you time and opportunity to protect yourself and prevent your data from being compromised and stolen by someone who will misuse it.

5. Security Operations Center that provides support 24/7

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And last but not least: when choosing a WAF you need to inquire what support their security operations center provides. This is crucial in alarming situations, when you need someone to solve your problem instantly. Try to find a WAF provided by a company whose security operations center is there for you 24/7. Another important question is how often the vendor updates the software, as this can also affect the security of your data. You want someone who will be up to the task and provide you with maximum support so that you can work unhindered.

Conclusion

More and more companies nowadays choose to store their data online, on the cloud, which is a great idea because it provides a lot of space. On the other hand, this system can also be quite secure if you find the optimal WAF (web application firewall). When choosing WAF, make sure you learn all about its overall performance and availability, as well as how it protects your data. Compatibility is important, as is providing information about threats. Lastly, make sure the security operations center is open 24/7 and that you can rely on them completely. With the right WAF, your business will run smoothly and you won’t have to worry about the security of confidential data.


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