WAF vs Firewall


Understanding security threats and defenses

Businesses must understand their security threats and defenses in the age of sophisticated cyberattacks and digital innovation. This applies in particular to firewalls that protect groups from different attacks. You must know how to avoid attacks by web and network, the difference between a network and an application firewall.


Difference between application and firewalls at the network level

By targeting traffic from the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), a WAF protects your web applications. This is different from a standard firewall, where external network traffic is blocked. 
A WAF is configured to examine all HTTP traffic between external users and web applications. It detects and prevents malicious applications from gaining access to users or web applications. This protects WAFs against non-day threats and other app layer attacks on mission-critical web applications and web servers. 
This is becoming increasingly important as businesses embark on new digital initiatives, exposing new Web applications and APIs to attack. 
A web firewall prevents unauthorized access to a secure local area network, reducing the risk of an attack. Its main objective is to separate a secured area and control communications between the two from a less secure zone. Without this, any computer with an IP address is accessible from outside the network and accessed.

Traffic on the network versus traffic on the application

Traditional network firewalls are used to protect private networks from intruders. The firewall policies in place deny other attempts to connect to the network. Unauthorized users and attacks from users or devices in less secure zones are examples of network traffic. 
A WAF is designed to target app traffic. It protects HTTP and HTTPS traffic and applications in network zones exposed to the internet. DDoS, XSS, and SQL injection attacks are all prevented as a result of this.

Unauthorized access Vs. Web attack

Web-based attack protection against WAF solutions. Without an application firewall, hackers could infiltrate the LAN. WAFs protect against web attacks like flooding a network or server with internet traffic. It depletes the target’s resources and is undetectable. 
SQL injection allows hackers to take over a web application’s database server. Attackers can retrieve the SQL database’s content and add, modify, and delete records without authenticating. With a SQL injection, hackers can access customer and intellectual property data. It was the top 10 OWASP threat in 2017. 
Cross-site scripting allows hackers to compromise user-application interactions. It bypasses the same-origin policy that separates websites. To access data and resources, the hacker must impersonate a legitimate user. 
Firewalls block unauthorized network traffic and access. Network-wide attacks on connected devices and systems are protected

  • Unauthorized Network Access
  • Credential Theft
  • Wak Passwords
  • Insider Threats

Hackers intercept traffic between networks. Insecure communication protocols frequently allow attackers to steal data in transit, get login information and take over accounts. 
Hackers gain access to a network and also access other systems within the same system horizontally or vertically.

Layer 7 vs. 3 and 4

The main technical distinction is between application-level and firewalls. Operating System Interconnection (OSI) model defines and standardizes communication functions. 
WAFs guard against app-level attacks. Cookie manipulation, SQL injection, and URL attacks are all examples of Ajax. Browsers and servers are connected via HTTPS. 
The server layer generates and delivers web pages in response to HTTP requests. With a WAF, a server’s traffic is protected from malicious requests and DDoS tools. 
Firewalls protect data transfer at OSI model Layers 3 and 4. DNS, FTP, SMTP, SSH, and Telnet are all targets.

Application Firewall vs. Network Firewall

A different network firewall or WAF guards against each type of threat. WAF capabilities, not a network firewall, are the only way to prevent website attacks. 
Businesses risk exposing their entire system to web application vulnerabilities if they do not use an application firewall. Because a WAF cannot protect against network-layer attacks, it should supplement rather than replace a network firewall. 
Web-based and network-based solutions protect different types of traffic. Rather than competing, they complement one another. 
A network firewall defends against a wider range of traffic, while a WAF protects against a particular threat. As a result, having both solutions is wise, especially if a company’s operating systems are web-based.

Read more about WAF vs Firewall

After reviewing the difference between firewall and web application firewall we can now understand the importance of attacks that wafs prevent. While configuring Web Application Firewall is challenging, L7 Defense Ammune™ offers an easy Automated WAF security solutionwhile presenting an unique concept of API security technology, based on AI and Machine Learning. The API WAF module protects from malicious content-based (classical) attacks that appear in the “OWASP Top 10“. Performing in real time, the module conducts full deep packet inspection (DPI), followed by AI/ML analysis of requests and replies that are passing through, making it the ultimate first line of API protection. The Ammune™ AI security platform was proven to be very accurate in finding threats in years of production experience, while consistently protecting the user experience at highest quality.