The big data revolution has changed the way people do business online, but it has also inevitably given rise to new types of cyber-attacks. Today, cybercriminals are using highly sophisticated methods to infiltrate websites, web servers, and web applications to access critical data or paralyze operations. They take advantage of big data and artificial intelligence to orchestrate more vicious attacks, so businesses need to be prepared.
Now more than ever, cases of cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, and Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks are prevalent. Companies that do not use the most sophisticated data technology to protect themselves end up being prime targets.
WAF is the Latest Evolution of Big Data Protection Against Cyberattacks
Any business, regardless of its size, is today vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This is because each business has critical assets that perpetrators may seek to exploit. It could be financial information or capital, personal data of personnel and clients, or even the company’s own infrastructure. Luckily, there are some strategies that can be employed to prevent cyberattacks, such as specially designed web application firewalls (WAF).
It is essential for web servers to integrate IDS, IPS, and standard firewalls into their systems to avoid attacks. They can use big data for better security.
However, these tools won’t be able to prevent SQL injection, XSS attacks, or web session hijacking if the web apps are susceptible to these kinds of attacks. To protect websites and applications, it’s therefore essential for companies to consider implementing specialized WAF into their network. It relies heavily on machine learning and other data technology for protection. Similar to other firewalls, WAF can be software, hardware, or both – the main difference is that they are highly specialized and effective. WAF software comes as an inline web server or a web server plugin. Both hardware and software WAF assesses the POST and GET commands sent through HTTPS and HTTP and uses configured firewall rules to uncover and sieve out malicious website traffic.
WAF identifies suspicious traffic that other security systems might miss before it makes its way to the actual server. When applied correctly, they can also assist companies in adhering to HIPAA and PCI-DSS regulations. Additionally, WAF’s logging can be incorporated into SIEM solutions so that admins can keep tabs with the company server’s security.
Unlike the standard firewall, a WAF doesn’t offer margin protection for the whole company; it only protects web apps. A web application firewall rests at the outer edge of a company’s network pointing towards the public side of the web app to monitor, detect, and prevent potential attacks. It’s purely designed for this function, and it executes it well. Unlike traditional security systems that concentrate on the third and fourth layer of the OSI Model, a web application firewall focuses on the seventh layer. Its goal is to monitor and block malicious web-based traffic.
WAF is perhaps one of the most utilized preventive and defective security tools for web apps today. According to a survey by Garter, the worldwide market size of WAF is $420 million big, with a yearly growth of 24%. WAF is also featured as one of the ten major security controls that businesses need to consider when embracing DevOps to achieve enhanced agility and minimized costs.
Big data is at the heart of WAF tools. It can help detect new forms of cyberattacks and optimize defense solutions to match your needs.
Gartner foresees that by 2020, above 60% of public web apps will be secured by a web application firewall.
Importance of WAF
The same way online clients interact with an online retail platform is how cybercriminals perform malicious interactions. These attacks mainly happen as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, and malicious file executions. The latest WAF versions are meant to safeguard against these and other app risks – they can differentiate malicious from legitimate traffic, and prevent them from reaching the web app.
WAFs also execute SSL termination. Most of today’s web traffic is encrypted to protect all information passed in a web session. But HTTPS can be double-edged – since it can shield fraudulent hacking code from being analyzed too. In fact, many cybercriminals capitalize on this and use HTTPS to cover their activities. But WAF can use machine learning to discern the traffic between the internet and web server since they host the SSL certificates.
In a bid to protect critical data among other crucial things, companies are implementing the latest WAFs into their network, regardless of having previously been victims of cyber-attacks. Companies that aren’t adopting WAF solutions will lack the necessary security strategies required today. And considering the extent of damage that a single attack could cost them, the aftermath can be pretty scary.
WAF Uses Cutting Edge Data Technology for Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity technology relies more heavily on AI and big data in 2019. WAF is one of the tools that is most dependent on big data to stop cyberattacks.