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How To Deploy Web Application Firewall

In the 1990's the web application firewalls first came about and these were created mainly as responses to threats which went beyond the capabilities of regular traditional firewalls. Such threats were deemed to be quite dangerous; they used authorized protocols like the HTTP but managed to attack the applications in question over and beyond that protocol. So, hackers could actually attack in spite of there being trusted protocols and directly steal all kinds of information or compromise systems by bypassing standard firewalls.

What are the different ways in which the WAF can be deployed?

Regardless of who manages the WAF, an organization must have a team for development which typically handles its administration too. WAFs are found to be deployed in three main ways, namely: network based, cloud based and application based.

- The network based web application firewalls are the regular hardware based ones. These reflect the traditional ways in which the technology was implemented. The network based ones offer multiple advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that these being hardware based and locally-based, latency is less and there are minimal negative performance effects. However, the biggest downside is that the product turns out to be very costly for both purchase and deployment.

- The application based WAFs refer to those firewalls that are installed nearest to the application like those on the hosting platform. These are typically integrated into the codes and the benefits are better customization options and enhanced performance. The open-source WAF ModSecurity may be deployed inside the Apache as a module. It is able to exploit all features and lets overheads be managed by the servers locally. So, costs of application based WAFs are therefore low. However, as far as flexibility and scalability are concerned, larger organizations would expect much more from these WAFs.

- Cloud based WAFs as expected are the lowest in terms of deployment costs and they involve minimal effort. These are perfect for organizations that want turnkey products. They are very easy to install or deploy and usually need very less changes for redirecting traffic. You can get these WAFs on a subscription model. Performances and customization options for these Web Application Firewall may be limited but these products are the perfect stop gap arrangements which may be deployed quickly.

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