Web Application Firewall Software
Web Application Firewall Software (WAF) is an application layer firewall that applies a set of rules to a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) conversation that covers application layer attacks, such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks and application layer Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and protects application servers from security breach and loss of critical business information. Web Application Firewall Software (WAF) solutions are deployed ahead of web servers to defend web applications from internal and external threats, control and monitor web applications, and help organizations achieve the compliance requirements.
The competitive landscape analyzes the growth strategies adopted by the key players in the Web Application Firewall Software (WAF) market. Imperva, Akamai, Barracuda, Citrix, Cloudflare, DenyAll, Ergon Informatik, F5 Networks, Fortinet, Penta Security Systems, Radware, Trustwave, Sophos, Positive Technologies, NSFOCUS, StackPath, Zenedge, Qualys, Instart Logic, United Security Providers, Applicure, Sucuri, Brocade, A10 Networks, and SiteLock are recognized as some of the top players in the WAF market. This chapter also includes the MicroQuadrant matrix, which provides information about the 25 major players who offer WAF solutions and services. The vendor evaluations are based on 2 broad categories: strength of product portfolio and business strategy excellence. Each category carries various criteria based on which the vendors have been evaluated. The evaluation criteria considered under strength of product portfolio include breadth and depth of product offering, product feature and functionality, focus on product innovation, product differentiation and impact on customer value, and product quality and reliability. The evaluation criteria considered under business strategy excellence include geographic footprint, breadth of applications/verticals served, channel strategy and fit, and mergers and acquisitions strategy. The products offered by these top players are loaded with many features and capabilities. Additionally, these players have adopted various business strategies to maintain a leading position in the Web Application Firewall Software (WAF) market.
Vendors who fall in this category generally receive high scores for most of the evaluation criteria. They have strong and established product portfolios and a very strong market presence. They provide mature and reputable Web Application Firewall Software (WAF) systems, solutions, and services. They also have strong business strategies. Imperva, Akamai, Citrix, and F5 Networks are the vendors in the visionary leaders category in the MicroQuadrant matrix.
Innovators are the vendors who have demonstrated substantial product innovations as compared to their competitors. They have a much focused product portfolio. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business. Barracuda, Cloudflare, Fortinet, StackPath, Zenedge, Applicure, Instart Logic, DenyAll, Radware and SiteLock are the vendors in the innovators category.
They are established vendors with very strong business strategies. However, they are low in product portfolio. They generally focus on a specific type of technology related to the product. Trustwave, Sophos, Positive Technologies, and Brocade are the vendors in the dynamic differentiators category.
They are vendors with niche product offerings and are starting to gain their position in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies as compared to other established vendors. They might be new entrants in the market and require some time before getting a significant traction. NSFOCUS, Ergon Informatik, Penta Security Systems, Qualys, United Security Providers, Sucuri, and A10 Networks are the vendors in this category.
Major Solutions in WAF
The solutions segment is further categorized into hardware appliances, virtual appliances, and cloud-based. Various features offered by WAF solutions include web application attack protection, deployment option, protocol validation, virtual patching, active and passive authentication, Uniform Resource Locator (URL) rewriting, content routing, cookie signing and encryption, DDoS prevention, data leak prevention, and web server and application signature security.
Hardware appliances are configured on the local network to protect the network from periphery threats. These Web Application Firewall software are easy to install and are suitable for high-volume sites, which require a high throughput. Physical WAF is a remote network component, hence it can be managed better. It can be easily moved and reconfigured with minimal interference in the network infrastructure. WAF solutions vary depending on the network infrastructure of the enterprise.
The WAF solutions map the virtual cloud resources to the physical ones and control the flow of data to and from the networks. They provide effective protection against web attacks, such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, forceful browsing, information leakage and improper error handling, cookie poisoning, botnets, and DDoS.
Virtual appliance-based solutions facilitate the deployment of wide-area distributed computing infrastructure. Such solutions run on Windows OS to create a virtual environment that resembles a completely separate computer environment. The WAF security provided by virtual appliances is equivalent to the security provided by hardware appliances. Rapid deployment, a significant feature of the virtual appliances solution, helps in reducing the deployment time. Advanced security, high scalability, elasticity, and greater visibility are some of the features offered by virtual appliances for virtualized and cloud-based environments.
Cloud-based Web Application Firewall software are available as software bundles, with a full stack of threat prevention technologies that provide the best protection against vulnerabilities, such as malware, phishing, ransomware, and the emerging cyber threats. Cloud-based WAF solutions provide protection and safeguard the network even if users are not on their Virtual Private Network (VPN). They offer capabilities, such as bot detection and enforcement, access control, caching, threat intelligence, Application Programming Interface (API) security, malware detection, and DDoS mitigation. Cloud-based deployment is cost-effective and delivers a better user experience, along with scalability options to safeguard the data. Cloud-based deployment of Web Application Firewall software is said to be gaining pace, due to the increased adoption of cloud computing technology across various organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Application Firewall Software Quadrant
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- Breadth and Depth of Product Offerings
- Hardware Appliance Capabilties
- Hardware appliance
- Virtual appliance
- Cloud based solutions
- Product Features and Functionality
- Professional Services
- Managed Services
- Professional services
- Consulting Services
- Support and Maintenance
- Training and Education
- Focus on Product Innovation
- R&D Spend
- New Product/Platform Launch
- Channel of Delivery
- Through Partners / Third-Party Vendors
- Product Differentiation and Impact on Customer Value
- Brand Recognition
- Product Quality and Reliability
- Level of Support Services
- Customer Redressal Mechanism/Program