WAF (Web Application Firewall) is an extremely powerful technology built into the AWS Cloud that allows you to protect your web applications from attacks such as SQL injection and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS). It gives developers visibility into the activity within their web application, reduces the risk of being attacked by a DDoS attack, and protects against DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
What is AWS WAF?
AWS WAF is a web application firewall (WAF) service designed to protect against web attacks and keeps your website secure. It helps protect your web applications from several attacks. You can also use AWS WAF to enforce custom security policies to allow some traffic while blocking others.
AWS WAF Classic
AWS WAF Classic protects from common attacks like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). You can also use it to block common malicious URLs, IP addresses, and domains.
It's easy to get started with AWS WAF Classic —enable the service in the Security Hub console and select "classic" mode. Then select one of these three options:
Block known bad requests; automatically block only those requests blocked previously by other applications or your own customs policies. This option is ideal for protecting against common web application vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
Block known bad requests and new threats; automatically block all unknown requests that have been blocked previously by other applications or your own customs policies and new threats that may not be present in those lists yet.
What does it do?
It analyzes inbound and outbound HTTP requests to detect and block malicious requests before reaching your web applications. The service uses a combination of rules and machine learning to determine whether an HTTP request is potentially harmful or not.
If AWS WAF detects a potential threat, it blocks the request and sends you an email notification so that you can investigate further. If AWS WAF doesn't detect anything suspicious, it allows the request through your web application without interruption.
You can create rules to block malicious requests, mitigate the impact of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, or prevent users from accessing known malicious sites. You can also use AWS WAF to detect potential security issues in your traffic, such as SQL injection attempts or cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities.
Why don't we keep building our web application firewall?
Building your own WAF is hard! It requires significant time and effort to build a complex solution that works well enough for most people. AWS WAF has been designed from the ground up to be easy and efficient for developers to use, so you can focus on building your apps instead of building security infrastructure.
It comes with a library of preconfigured rules that make it easier to protect your web apps against common vulnerabilities like SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting (XSS). You can also easily add custom rules for more complex attacks that the predefined rules library doesn't cover.
What are some of the benefits of using AWS WAF?
There are several reasons why you might choose to use AWS WAF. Some of these include:
Cost savings: You can control the costs by setting up rules that block unwanted traffic and allow only the traffic you want. This is important because AWS WAF charges based on the number of requests that you block. There's no cost for using it if you aren't blocking any requests.
Security: AWS WAF protects your applications from common web attacks by blocking malicious requests before they reach your application. The service automatically learns about known threats and updates itself with new attack patterns as they emerge. It uses machine learning models to identify unique characteristics of known attack patterns and signature-based detection for all other attacks to ensure maximum protection against known and unknown threats.
Performance: AWS WAF has been designed to be fast, reliable, and scalable so that it doesn't adversely affect your application performance or availability.
Why would someone be technically inclined to love AWS WAF?
If you have a team of engineers and security professionals interested in learning how to secure their web applications, then AWS WAF could be a good fit for you. The service provides easy-to-use and configured rules that will help protect your applications from common web application vulnerabilities. You can also easily automate the creation of new rule sets based on specific events or requests.
What happens if I start with AWS WAF and then decide it's not for me?
AWS WAF offers a free tier to test out the service before making any commitments. This way, even if you decide it's not for you after testing out the free tier, it won't cost you anything!
AWS WAF gives you the ability to protect your website with comprehensive and flexible web application firewall (WAF) rules, allowing you to implement security policies as unique as your web applications themselves.
Want to learn more? Let's talk!