With the rising number of attacks on web servers in the past few years, web application security has evolved drastically. But choosing the right approach to enhance the security of an application is not an easy task for small and medium-sized enterprises that host applications on-premises.
Even though, web application firewall has strengthened its place in application security, choosing between a cloud-based and on-premise solution is rather a tricky job, largely due to their architectural complexities.
In this blog, let us talk about the benefits of adopting a cloud-based web application firewall over an on-premise solution.
In case of an in-house deployment, post the deployment and configuration process, the web application firewall rests on teams technical expertise to function efficiently and add sustainable value to the enterprise’s security system (as it requires the advanced level of web application firewall administration skills), whereas updates to a cloud-based web application firewall solution are comprehensively managed by the cloud service provider.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack
We solely cannot rely on an on-premise solution because of the volumetric aspects of DDoS attacks. Most enterprises would not be able to deal with multi Gbps attacks as their connection lines would fill up and cause considerable financial loss.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
Cloud-based web applications add another layer of security and content delivery networks have the infrastructure to fight DDoS attacks from multiple points of presence, spreading out the DDoS attack traffic, and slowing it down to a point where it becomes inconsequential.
In an event of a site breakdown, the cloud-based firewall provides extremely high availability through sophisticated infrastructure with fully dispensable power, HVAC, and network services, as well as a remedial backup plan.
A cloud-based firewall delivers services to multiple users and their firewalls are designed to scale up to meet ever-increasing customer demands. Scalability is an important aspect to consider for any business enterprise, as the user base increases. Unlike an on-premise firewall that needs substitution when bandwidth overshadows the firewall.
The extensive availability of cloud-based firewalls makes it easier for the network managers to provide a protected communication path. Given how well they are connected between different network providers, the cloud-based firewalls may expand well beyond the boundaries of a single service provider’s network.
On-premise web application firewalls need multimillion-dollar investment and not every enterprise is willing to spend that much on IT infrastructure that would demand constant updates. Not only a cloud-based web application firewall is cost-effective, but also enjoys bandwidth flexibility and automatic updates to patch zero-day vulnerabilities.
Cloud-based firewall security offers an affordable option that is relatively easy to implement. Further, it bears minimum installation cost and is consistently updated against security threats without the users having to shell out any additional cost. As it is difficult for a third-party to thoroughly understand the internal architecture of an enterprise and design security policies around it. Moreover, depending on a third-party for enterprises’ internal security is never recommended.
Larger companies can have their own cloud infrastructure but small to medium-sized organizations can take advantage of cloud providers, where cloud-based web application firewalls can intercept web traffic before it enters the network or reaches the server. An internal security team can be deployed to focus on the security of application with a minimal impact to firewall performance.
A better security approach is blend cloud and on-premise web application firewalls to build hybrid security solutions. However, make sure to get multiple references, and understand the processes and procedures of cloud-based firewall provider to uncover, assimilate and gain knowledge to deliver a strong firewall security system.
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|Rajendra Kumar Panda worked as a security analyst at Evoke. He performed several tasks relating to application security including vulnerability assessment, penetration testing of web applications, API, and mobile application. He is a contributor to Evoke’s blog.