Checklist to Evaluate A Cloud Based WAF Vendor

These days’ web applications are under siege. Commercially motivated Hackers, bots, and fraudsters are attacking around the clock, attempting to steal data, disrupt access, and commit fraud which today’s next generation firewall, IPS and other network security product are unable to safeguard. So in order to prevent breaches and downtime against web attacks, DDoS, site scraping and fraud we have introduced cost effective, in the cloud, Security as a Service (SaaS) based Web Application Firewall Service. The Solution is deployed in a reverse proxy mode so one just needs to route web traffic through Application Firewall which will mitigate web attacks & threats in real time and send out clean traffic back to web server.

( Read more:  Can your SMART TV get hacked? )

Check-list for Vendor Evaluation:

1. Deployment Architecture & Mode of Operation

  • Active/Inline, Passive, Bridge, Router, Reverse Proxy etc.
  • How the SSL traffic is processed & offloading done, whether it terminates SSL connections, passively decrypts traffic etc.
  • What Authentication method used to validate users/customers
  • High Availability, Redundancy & Scalability
  • Protect Multiple Website Behind Single IP


2.  Connection Handling & Traffic Processing

  • How the traffic is blocked – Drop Packet, TCP Reset etc.
  • HTTP versions,  Encoding & File transfer Support
  • Any other protocol support
  • Response Filtering


3.  Detection Technique

  • Normalization technique used
  • Negative Security Models
  • Positive Security Models
  • Minimal False Positives
  • Signature/Rule Database
  • How frequently Database is updated
  • Is APIs available to customize or extend vendor’s detection functionality
  • Virtual Patching
  • Fraud Detection
  • Business Logic Attacks

( Read more: Security Technology Implementation Report- Annual CISO Survey )

4.  Protection Technique

  • Brute Force Attacks
  • Cookie based Attacks
  • Session or Denial of Service Attacks
  • Hidden Form field Protection
  • Cryptographic URL & Parameter Protection
  • Reputation-Based Service
  • External Intelligence Feed, threat landscape etc.
  • Protection against Application DDoS
  • Protection against OWASP Top 10


5.  Logging

  • Which commonly used logs are supported
  • Log Forwarding to Syslog or SIEM
  • Unique transaction IDs are included with every log message
  • Log Export facility
  • Event logs and notification via Email, SMS, Syslog support, SNMP Trap etc.
  • Log Retention
  • Sanitization or Masking Critical Data from the logs


6.  Reporting

  • Reporting Format Supported
  • On Demand report generation, automation & scheduling
  • Report Customization
  • Report distribution methods available
  • Customized Block Page Display Message
  • Compliance Reports


7. Management

  • GUI – Web Based
  • Multi-Tenancy, RBAC & Secure Administration
  • Centralized Dashboard, Alerts & Reporting
  • Support of External APIs
  • Integration with existing infrastructure
  • Integration with Vulnerability Scanner, SIEM, DLP etc.
  • Configuration Management & Backup
  • Automatic signature update and Install
  • Profile Learning
  • Policy Management, Export/Import, Roll back mechanism,
  • WAF Security


8.  Performance

  • HTTP level performance
  • HTTP level performance with SSL enabled
  • Maximum  number of concurrent connections
  • Performance under Load
  • Fail-Safe & Pass through when device fails

( Read more:  Hardware Trojans: Sneak Peek into the Future )

9. Support

  • 24*7*365 Support Available
  • Quality of technical support
  • Support presence in local City, Country etc.
  • Direct Support or Partner
  • SLA, TAT, Escalation Matrix etc.


10.  Cost

  • Initial cost
  • Setup & Implementation Cost
  • Recurring subscription costs
  • Patch Update & Upgrade Cost
  • Any other hidden cost


11.  Vendor Reputation

  • Market share, Turnover, Profitability
  • Any certification like ICSA Labs etc.
  • Enable PCI 6.6 compliance requirement
  • Listed by any IT research company like Gartner, Forrester, IDC etc.
  • Customer Base
  • Any customer implementation similar to your line of business


-With Yadavendra Awasthi, Netmagic Solutions Pvt. Ltd., on How To Evaluate a WAF(Web Application Firewall) Vendor ClickToTweet

What are your quick tips to evaluate WAF vendors? Share with us in the comments below or write your own article here 

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