WAF is a specific type of online security firewall that can filter the unacceptable HTTP data packets between a web application and client. It detects the threats and possible attacks by closely monitoring every HTTP request before it reaches the web server. This offers the possibility to detect and successfully block malicious cyber attacks hidden within the sites. Web Application Firewall (WAF), according to cybersecurity experts, prevents organizations from suffering from different vulnerabilities. This is because the ever developing technological advancements are giving rise to different threats and massive attacks. The firewall detects and prevents XSS (cross-site scripting) attacks, buffer overflows, session hijacking, and SQL injection attacks. WAF has proven to be very beneficial to organizations offering different products and services online. Given the rising digitization and online shopping platforms, a growing number of organizations are moving their traditional organizational models to online ones. This results in increased companies vulnerabilities, making it even easier for hackers to target them.
WAF Market Overview
The WAF market was valued at $2.76 billion as of 2018, and this number is expected to hit $6.89 billion by 2024. Currently, the most common trend is to merge the outstanding ability of network vulnerability scanner with the specific toolkits for the web application safety space. This offers the ability to utilize data found from a single level and drive a more focused approach from the other level. The healthcare sector is a particularly interesting case in this sense because its significant growth is being reflected on enhanced use of WAF. In fact, firewalls are the first line of defense for every healthcare network to protect EHRs (Electronic Health Record) and protected health information (PHI) from cyber attacks.
Healthcare organizations’ interconnected medical devices rely on an online network to collect patient data and monitor health. These online networks are hackers’ cup of tea as they can be used for remote access to freely access a lot of information. Moreover, WAFs used in healthcare organizations should be covering more ground than web application firewalls used in other industries given the criticality of EHRs and clinical data. Nearly all web applications and services have changed the overall landscape of information delivery and exchange in the current government, corporate, and educational arenas. Information is now more accessible, which ultimately results in plenty of web services, higher reliance on web-based services and the overall firewall market for better integration of relevant information systems.
Key WAF Trends
1. ‘Pushing Left’ and ‘Building Security In’
While this might not be a new trend, it is gathering some pace and a higher momentum. An increasing number of organizations are beginning to recognize the need to make sure that security is factored in the software development lifecycle. Web application security must be considered right from initiation through the development phase and maintenance as well.
2. Web Application Monitoring, Alerts, and Response
One of the elements that have always been considered crucial include network security monitoring, alerting, and response. But app-level security monitoring hasn’t always been able to take up. WAF can help, but it generally sits outside the application. Thus, it may be ineffective when it comes to detection and prevention of generic attacks or to the identification of standard attack patterns. Fortunately, there have been developments in monitoring, detecting, and response solutions that sit within or alongside the web application and understand how the application works.
3. Going ‘Serverless’
The overall concept of going ‘serverless’ revolves around web applications that exist only as programming code in the cloud environment. It also refers to the backend services that are provided by a third party. This new concept is being implemented in various applications using the Backend as a unique service. These services include ‘Function as a Service,’ Google Firebase, and more.
To end up, the web application firewall market is growing at a really fast pace. The number of web application attacks is increasing and more and more sectors are being impacted by it. Security awareness is a critical economic challenge in all countries, industries and for all businesses. Company’s growing concern to ensure the protection of sensitive data has increased as well as governments awareness and intervention.
That’s why up-to-date WAF solutions that can address specific industry-related vulnerabilities should be a priority for all businesses that intend to protect their, and their customers’, sensitive information.