Why a WAF Should Be One of Your Online Business’s Top Priorities This Year

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(Newswire.net— January 20, 2020) —

The goal of a WAF is to block malicious traffic from entering your web applications while minimizing false positives. In doing so, WAFs prevent hacks to company systems and protect against the stealing of sensitive data.

Why a WAF is important for your online business

Online businesses are highly vulnerable to attacks that target web applications. Web applications have complex code, making them easy to manipulate. Hacking web applications also comes with a relatively high payoff, such as the stealing of sensitive company data or intellectual property. Because of this, web applications, particularly those of small businesses with limited cybersecurity resources, are attractive targets.

Given this high vulnerability, having a WAF needs to be a priority for your business:

Preventing common attacks

Web application firewalls can prevent some of the most dangerous web application attacks. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) notes the top 10 common attacks for each year.

Among the most common attacks are SQL injection, cross-site scripting, remote file inclusion, and cross-site request forgery:

 

  • SQL injection – Uses malicious SQL code to manipulate backend databases and obtain sensitive information.

 

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)- Injects malicious code into a web application, putting users at risk.

 

  • Remote file inclusion (RFI) – Exploits the referencing function in an application to upload malware from a remote URL.

 

  • Cross-site request forgery (CRSF) – Tricks the web browser into executing an unwanted action when the user is logged in.

 

Using a WAF helps prevent these and other attacks so that your company’s data and intellectual property stay protected.

Protecting your business’s success

The main benefit of a WAF, of course, is to prevent attacks. But closely related to this is another important benefit for your company: maintaining your credibility in the industry and upholding customer trust.

Web application attacks tend to be PR disasters for your company–particularly when sensitive information is exposed. Customers will abandon your company in favor of a competitor. This loss of customers, combined with declining company value and the expenses of recovering from the attack, is a huge financial blow. While WAFs don’t come cheap, they’re a worthwhile insurance policy when it comes to retaining your customers and keeping your company afloat.

Adhering to legal standards

The law is becoming increasingly strict with regards to safeguarding the privacy of internet users. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented in the EU in May 2018, aims to protect user privacy by imposing stricter data protection laws on businesses and organizations.

According to the law, it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure the protection of users’ data. That is, if an attacker hacks into a company and steals sensitive information, that company could face legal consequences for not having adequately protected their data.

Keeping data safe is a promise companies make to their business partners, clients, and customers. Adopting a robust cybersecurity strategy helps you uphold that promise while keeping in line with the law.

What to look for in a web application firewall

Now that you know why you should be prioritizing a WAF, here are some important features to look for in order to protect your business:

Protecting against top attacks

A strong WAF reliably protects your business against OWASP Top 10 and Automated Top 20 Threats. On top of that, it should adapt to the continually evolving threat landscape by monitoring current threat data and staying one step ahead. A WAF should detect attacks as accurately as possible to block all threats while minimizing false positives.

Unified security policy

A WAF should have a unified security approach to all your applications. To maintain order and consistency, the same set of security policies and management capabilities should apply on all applications, both on-premises and in the cloud while meeting the specific security requirements of individual applications.

Thorough reporting

Look for a WAF that comes with well-organized and easy to interpret attack analytics. This allows security professionals to understand their organization’s security status real-time, generate reports, and meet regulatory compliance standards.

SIEM integration

Ideally, your WAF should integrate with your existing platforms to help you protect all your company’s data. This way, you can maintain a clear and unified picture of your security status and respond more quickly to security incidents.

Conclusion

While your business may be tempted to focus on product development and marketing, you shouldn’t lose sight of cybersecurity. One of the most important components of a strong cybersecurity policy is a web application firewall, since it protects one of your most vulnerable features–your web applications–against malicious actors. By prioritizing a WAF in your cybersecurity approach, you can protect the data of your online business against the most common attacks.

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/blog-post/00000000-why-a-waf-should-be-one-of-your-online-business-s-top-priorities-this-year.html