Do you know what is AWS WAF? What purpose is the service used for? And the benefits it can provide to your application? If you don’t, read this to know.
The technology of the 21st century has advanced life leaps and bounds from what it used to be.
Connecting with someone over the telephone was considered a major accomplishment. Nowadays, you can video chat with them when you wish.
We believe the development of web applications can be considered one of the leading reasons why technology has advanced at such a rapid pace.
However, like everything successful, some entities wish to control them by causing them to harm in the form of attacking and hacking them.
Yet, they are safe and flourishing because of services like AWS WAF.
What is AWS WAF (Web application firewall)?
Amazon Web Services Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) is one of the leading AWS services that is primarily used to protect your web application from end-to-end threats.
AWS WAF can be considered the savior of your web application health because they are the ones who protect them from everyone.
Professional hackers regularly target bots, spam, and other web exploits to derail your web application. Your application’s competitors usually hire them, and if you are not vigilant, they can cause your application serious harm.
But if you are vigilant and employ services like AWS WAF for your web application, you can remain protected from their unruly efforts.
Why is AWS WAF Important?
Now that you know what AWS WAF is, the next topic we want to talk about is why are they important.
According to us, AWS WAF is important because it can protect your web application from all forms of harm.
It has this capability because by allowing you to establish security rules that limit bot traffic and prohibit typical attack behaviors, AWS WAF offers you governance over how traffic enters your applications.
You can also create custom rules to exclude particular traffic patterns.
Controlled Policies for AWS WAF are a pre-configured collection of policies controlled either by AWS or AWS Marketplace Vendors to resolve concerns you have related to the web attacks your web application might face.
Core Tasks AWS WAF Can Perform For Your Application
The following are the core tasks AWS WAF performs for your application:
1. Filtering Relevant Traffic to Your Web Application
Your web application attracts a lot of traffic; however, the engagement and visibility of your application only matter if the right audience is coming to your webpage.
Page redirects from less credible sources only overburden your web application.
One of the core jobs that AWS WAF performs that benefits you is that it can use its algorithm filter and encourage relevant traffic to your application while diverting the non-usable.
2. Removing & Blocking Bots
Bots are the worst trouble an application faces. It can literally destroy your application’s credibility and even marketing capabilities.
AWS WAF’s second core task is removing and blocking them, so using your application feels smooth.
3. Preventing Application Account Takeover
Hackers usually try to hack web applications so either they can steal the data and sell it to the highest bidders, or either your competitors employ them to take you down.
Utilizing AWS WAF for your web application ensures that your application doesn’t get taken over.
4. Real-Time Metrics Stats
Another core task of AWS WAF is to inform you about the number, type, and from where your traffic is coming.
They can map the life cycle of traffic and provide you guidance on how you can make their experience more convenient for your application.
5. Integration With Other AWS Services
The final core task AWS WAF performs for your web application is that it is compatible with other AWS services.
So if you are developing or managing your web application using various AWS services simultaneously, they can overall benefit your application to reach its next level of productivity.
What Makes AWS WAF Worth It?
We believe the following are the reasons that make AWS WAF worth it.
|Restricting Unwanted Traffic|
|Controlling & Eliminating Damaging Bots|
|Protection From Hostile Takeover|
|Analytics To Improve|
Benefits of Using AWS WAF
The following are the benefits of AWS WAFs when you use them for your web application.
1. Provides You Unanimous Protection Against All Web Attacks
Applications provide you tremendous reach, any business using them can increase the capacity of their business. Yet, they are extremely volatile to web attacks.
So, the biggest benefit you gain when you use AWS WAF for your application is that it provides it protection against all web attacks.
It ensures that your web application is protected from all bots, spam, viruses, and other malicious web attacks. This ensures that it performs safely and to the best of its capabilities.
2. Allows You To Curate Your Own Rules For Enhanced Protection
One of the most significant advantages of using AWS WAF over other protection services is that it allows you to curate your own rules for your web applications’ enhanced protection.
Different types of web applications face different problems, so only the development team can know what their issue is.
Hence, in a situation like this, when you have the ability to customize what you want, redirecting your protection service to focus on what you would like it to perform can benefit you a lot.
3. Nudges Quality Web Traffic Towards Your Application
A major benefit of using AWS WAF for your web application is that it can filter and redirect quality web traffic toward your application.
AWS WAF is designed to serve your web application what is best for them, and filtering unwanted traffic ensures they spend their time serving their targeted audience.
4. Extremely Convenient To Learn, Use & Implement Deployment
Our personal favorite benefit of using the Amazon Web Application firewall is that compared to other protection services, whether from AWS or others, they are the easiest to learn.
Within a few hours, you can learn how to use this service the way you want and implement its deployment almost instantly.
5. Unrivaled Bot Detection, Blocking & Elimination
You can create the best application in the world, but if it is riddled with bot attacks, it will never be able to reach its true potential.
AWS WAF wards off bots in your application and eliminates them altogether. Allowing your web application to perform to its complete capability.
Drawbacks of AWS Web Application Firewall
AWS WAF has a lot going for it, making it one of the most sought-after protection services available for web applications.
However, in order to be transparent with you, we need to inform you that they have their set of drawbacks as well:
1. Protection Limited For Application Built on Amazon Web Services Only
The biggest drawback of the Amazon Web Application Firewall is that it only works on web applications that are developed using AWS services.
This limits their scope of work to a tiny niche and loses many potential users.
2. Learning Advanced Features Can Be Dicey
Although learning and implementing AWS WAF basic features are some of the most effortless features.
The story completely changes when dealing with advanced features like creating your own rules for customized protection. They are challenging and cause many to quit.
3. Lots of Trials & Errors Due To Lack of Training Documentation
The final drawback AWS WAF has is it does not have a guidance power course or manual to teach you how to use this service as a power user.
Many trials and errors are involved in learning and mastering this service.
Is AWS WAF The Best Protection Service Offered By Amazon Web Services?
Deciding if AWS WAF is the best protection service offered by AWS is a highly debatable topic.
AWS offers many protection services, like AWS Guardduty and AWS Shield, to name a few.
All of them have their pros and cons, so deciding who is the best boils down to what specific requirement you are looking for from your AWS protection service.
If the web is your preference, AWS WAF will take the cake, but if you are looking for an overall experience, we believe AWS Guardduty is a better all-rounder.
Can You Improve Web Traffic Using AWS WAF?
You can improve your Web Traffic Using AWS WAF because of the following reasons.
|Filtered & Relevant Traffic|
|Protection From Bots|
|Analytic Suggestions For Betterment|
What Job Does AWS WAF Perform?
AWS WAF performs the following jobs for your web application.
|Monitors & Protects Your Web Application From All External Threats|
|Prevents Application Hacking|
|Provides Insight To Optimize Your Application|
AWS WAF pricing
The number of ACLs and the rules you create for each ACL determines the cost of WAF. Along with that, you will be billed for the number of calls processed by ACL.
What Are AWS WAF rules
Rules are made to protect our application from threats that our application has.
Rule 1 – Make sure to test your web application in the test environment as per the guidance provided by WAF for testing.
Rule 2 – There is a rule group list that is there to add an extra layer of security to your web application.
AWS shield architecture
So, let us check out how the WAF fits in our AWS environment and of course our web application.
AWS shield vs WAF
|Works in Edge helps protect the infrastructure||Even this works in Edge, this protects the application|
|Standard protection, lacks custom configuration||Protects from cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks and others|
|Protects from DDoS attacks||Protects from cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, and others|
FAQs of What is AWS WAF
The following are the FAQs of AWS WAF.
Q: How Is AWS WAF Different From Other AWS Protection Services?
AWS WAF is different from other AWS protection services because they are solely focused on the web part of your application.
Q: What Can I Expect To Pay For Using The AWS WAF Service Of Bot Blocking?
You can expect to pay a subscription fee of $10 and $1 for every million requests countered/blocked.
Q: Why Utilize AWS WAF Services?
You should invest in AWS WAF services because they are the best web application protection service.
Q: AWS WAF layer 7?
WAF works on Layer 7, which is the application layer. WAF protects the application.
Q: AWS WAF DDoS?
WAF doesn’t work against DDoS attacks, its Shield that protects against DDoS attacks
Q: AWS WAF documentation
We have covered most of the topics in WAF. for more reading you can refer to the AWS Documentation.
Q: What Is AWS WAF regional?
There are a few application in AWS that works on regional levels like Application Load Balancer, Appsync, and more.
Q: What is ACL in AWS WAF?
ACL helps to grant fine-grain access to the application so that better control can be gained on the request to our web application.
Q: what is count in AWS WAF?
WAT allows configuring count on the number of web requests you are getting as per our condition set in the rule.
Web applications have made the world more accessible than it has ever been. Whatever you want to do, you can do it using their service.
Therefore, many want to control it and prevent them from doing that AWS offers you one of their premier web protection service AWS WAF.
Go through this article to learn about them in detail, and let us know what you think about them.
I am an Amazon Web Services Professional, having more than 11 years of experience in AWS and other technologies. Extensively working in various AWS tools like S3, Lambda, API, Kinesis, Load Balancers, EKS, ECS, and many more. Working as a Solution Architect and Technology Lead for Architecting and implementing the same for different clients. He provides expert solutions around the world and especially in countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Check out the complete profile on About us.