Cloud WAF vs Endpoint WAF – Which one is better and why?

Difference between Endpoint WAF vs Cloud WAF3 min

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There are various options to choose from when it comes to selecting a web application firewall for your website. The technical approaches have different pros and pitfalls and are tend to be more effective in different situations.

What Is a Cloud-Based Firewall? (DNS, Reverse Proxy)

The cloud-based web application firewall is a middle-man between your site and the visitor.

When the visitor tries to enter your domain name into the browser, the connection, in reality, goes through the cloud-based firewall providers’ servers, where it is analyzed.

If all the checkpoints are passed and the visitor is found to be a legitimate user, does not possess any risk to the site, the traffic is pushed to the actual website.

what is web application firewall

Advantages of a Cloud-Based Web Application Firewall

Cloud-based web application firewalls often analyze a wider diapason of traffic. Since everything that is sent to the domain has to be passed through the cloud-based WAF servers.

One of the primary advantages is protection from DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-service) attacks.

cloud-based web application firewalls often save server resources from illegitimate traffic even before accessing the site itself.

While most companies today are very satisfied with their cloud firewall solution, one consideration is that you will be reliant on the availability of your provider.

If there are any issues or downtime with the provider, this could open you up to the risks of a security breach. You wouldn’t receive any protection at this time, which is a huge concern for organizations of all sizes.

For larger companies, you may want to employ a security team who can look after your network in the case of an emergency.

Shortcomings of a Cloud-Based Web Application Firewall (Cloud WAF)

It is no doubt that cloud-based firewalls also have their own disadvantages. One of the many would be the fact that the cloud-based web application firewalls don’t really know who the visitor really is.

The cloud-based web application firewall has zero to no understanding of how a site works, what are the software-specific circumstances, who is authenticated, and what permissions do they have?

Cloud-based firewalls have often generic use cases, many software-specific vulnerabilities (probably plugin vulnerabilities) may not be blocked.

cloud based web application firewall

When it comes to selecting a cloud firewall, there are two different options available to consumers today. Firstly, SaaS firewalls are most similar to your traditional hardware or software firewall.

However, it’s an off-site solution that’s deployed from the cloud. Alternatively, you can opt for Next-Generation Firewalls.

This is a cloud-based service that is deployed within your virtual data center. They’ll protect your own servers, and the firewall is based on a virtual server.

From there, it can secure traffic coming in and out of applications in the cloud. Either of these solutions may be suitable for your business, and they can help with any concerns you may have surrounding security in the cloud.

How do you define an Endpoint Web Application Firewall (Endpoint WAF)?

Endpoint web application firewall (also known as Endpoint WAF) runs within the application itself. It is well informed of the software that is used inside the website and understands how it is built.

Endpoint web application firewalls fully understand how the software used inside the website works. Who are the visitors by their permissions and if they are authenticated or not?

Endpoint security works by allowing system administrators (in business applications) to control security for corporate endpoints using policy settings. Depending on the types of protection or web access employees and systems require.

For example, admins would be wise to block access to websites known to distribute malware and other malicious content in order to ensure full endpoint security protection.

Home and business devices – like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops – are vulnerable to numerous threats from cybercriminals.

While the user may enable a threat actor access to their device by falling for a phishing attack or opening a suspicious attachment, having an endpoint security solution can keep malware from spreading through the machine.

Read also: Digital Transformation

Pitfalls of an Endpoint Firewall (Endpoint WAF)

The most noted disadvantage is that the endpoint web application firewall runs on its own resources. Whenever the traffic hits a site, it gets analyzed. Which can require a slightly powerful infrastructure for high-traffic sites.

Endpoint WAF usually does not come with DDoS protection. Especially when DDoS is applied on the application (not deep within the server).

Advantages of an Endpoint Web Application Firewall (Endpoint WAF)

Endpoint web application firewalls tend to have lesser false positives and are way more effective in blocking more complicated and software-targeted attacks.

Endpoint web application firewalls often are the combination of signature-based and interrogative protection, some are even inclusive of behavioral analysis.

Since the endpoint firewall has all the information about the technical environment of the website and also its software specifics.

It is multifunctional and is also capable of serving the role of Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).

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