Protecting your company’s cybersecurity is no easy feat. Think about it, to successfully safeguard your business against digital incursion you need to block every attack imaginable. To be a successful hacker on the other hand, all you need to do is find one weak spot. As you can see, the battlegrounds are inescapably uneven.
While many businesses employ firewall protection and antivirus programs, it is not enough to protect a company’s web application layer. Crafty hackers often exploit user web services to gain access to a remote server. How?
Here’s an example: Let’s say an unfamiliar user visits your website and tries to create a login account. A well-behaved visitor enters their email and new password; easy as that. But a malicious hacker doesn’t care about making an account. Instead they inject a harmful segment of code into the entry field which bypasses the web application layer and into your SQL database where your data is stored. Now they can swipe and wipe your information in what is known as a SQL injection attack.
Of course, this isn’t the only web application assault a cybercriminal could use. Your organization also needs to watch out from cross-site scripting, cookie poising, buffer overflow, parameter tampering and more! It’s enough to make your head spin.
Hackers love these kinds of attacks because the methods of incursion are openly available to anyone with a browser! Not to mention that web developers often overlook security issues until it’s too late.
So how do you block these kinds of attacks? If you want to sure up your cyber defenses, cybersecurity experts strongly recommend a web application firewall (WAF).
A WAF is not the same thing as a traditional network firewall which generally handles the intercommunications between devices and servers. For example, a firewall can allow or block computers from talking to your company server based on their permissions. A WAF, on the other hand, exists to monitor, filter or block HTTP traffic to and from a web application.
How important is this function? Below are some of the ways WAF can save your business:
#1 Web Application Firewalls Protect You from the Vast Majority of Traditional Attacks!
According to Gartner, an American research and tech advisory firm, 75 percent of cyberattacks occurs on the application level. “Applications must be available, useful, reliable, scalable and, now more than ever, secure. Therefore, build security directly into the application life cycle to reduce costs and significantly increase application security.”
#2 WAF Is Better at Blocking Zero-Day Exploits!
Many companies rely on third-party content management systems to publish and host their websites. The trouble with this, however, is that enterprising cybercriminals will often explore new vulnerabilities for popular CMS platforms and launch an attack before the provider knows what hit them. This is known as a zero-day attack, because developers had zero days to prepare for it.
Thankfully, a WAF can block these attacks while developers work on a security patch. Phew!
#3 WAF Is a Necessary Defensive Measure for Any Business That Allows User Interactivity!
Does your website publish user content? Do you allow consumers to create site logins or profile pages? Do you host ecommerce merchandise, store shopper data or process online payments? If your company’s website allows for any user interaction, you need to invest in a WAF. It’s just that necessary.
According to Business 2 Community, “[A web application firewall] can ultimately be the deciding factor between a safely guarded website that upholds users’ trust and a website that eventually becomes a business liability.”
Now that you know what a WAF can do to protect your business, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of web application security today!