Managed Web Application Firewall

A managed web application firewall protects websites from hacker attacks. It does this by checking all website traffic and blocking any harmful traffic. A managed firewall is better than doing it yourself because security experts run it. They constantly update the firewall to protect against new threats. This saves businesses time and money compared to doing security alone.

A managed firewall has three main benefits:

  • Security experts work it 24/7 so your website stays safe even when you sleep.
  • They use the latest technology to spot and block new attacks immediately.
  • Updates are free and automatic, so you don’t spend hours installing security fixes.

This overview explains a managed web application firewall, how it works, and why it’s the best way to protect websites from hackers and data thieves. Let’s look more at how these firewalls keep websites secure.

Types of Web Application Firewalls

There are two main types of web application firewalls: cloud-based and installed. Knowing the differences can help you pick the right one.

Cloud-based Firewalls

Like a security guard, a cloud-based or “reverse proxy” firewall sits between the internet and your website. All web traffic must go through its checkpoint before reaching your site. It checks each request for threats and then passes on the safe ones.

Web Security with a Managed Web Application Firewall
Web Security with a Managed Web Application Firewall

Some key things cloud firewalls do:

  • Block DDoS attacks These try to overwhelm a site with fake traffic. The firewall takes the brunt, so your site stays online.
  • Save server resources – It does the security work offsite, so your servers aren’t slowed down checking each request.
  • Easy setup – Just a few clicks have you protected without installing anything. Great for non-tech users or temporary sites.

However, being “offsite” means it can’t be seen inside your specific website like an installed firewall can. It also can’t help if it has server issues of its own.

Installed Firewalls

These live directly on your web server, so they see exactly how your site works. They can tell the difference between users based on your site’s permissions. Installed firewalls also know which plugins, themes, and accounts you use to spot targeted attacks.

The downside is they take more work to set up and use some of your own server’s performance for security tasks. But you maintain complete control, and they’ll keep working if the firewall vendor has an outage.

Overall, combining the two is best for solid security. A cloud-based one catches obvious threats, while an installed one protects your site’s inner workings. Proper configuration is also crucial, so talk to security experts if you need help choosing. Staying protected takes some work, but it keeps your visitors safe.

What Makes a Firewall “Managed”

By now, you get that web application firewalls help shield websites from online threats. But what exactly makes one “managed,” and why does that distinction matter? A lot of the answer comes down to the experts behind the scenes.

Constant Care by Security Pros

A managed firewall has a team of certified analysts watching around the clock. They ensure your setup stays optimized for your specific needs. These analysts also constantly monitor new risks so your firewall’s protections evolve alongside online dangers.

That real-time vigil means faster reaction times when threats emerge. And you gain insights from professionals staying on top of the latest techniques. And remember – updates are included! No more risky delays applying essential patches.

Customization from Consultations

Good-managed providers also take the time to learn the ins and outs of your business. Their analysts will meet with you to understand your workflows, assets, and compliance needs.

This collaborative approach allows them to fine-tune how the firewall functions. They can enable specialized rules to shield sensitive data or block access to parts of your network. The result is protection tailored precisely for your organization.

Focus on Your Core Business

With all that monitoring and maintenance handled behind the scenes, a managed firewall lets you focus entirely on your work. You gain an always-on security team without the recruiting costs.

And when issues occur, you have a direct point of contact to work with the analysts. They aim to keep you safe so you can focus on your goals without security holdups.

Ultimately, the difference a few experts can make is worth it for complete, customized website protection. A managed firewall takes the legwork out of security and puts the focus on your success.

Choosing the Right Solution

With all the options, how can you ensure the firewall you choose suits your specific setup? First, evaluate a few critical aspects of your site and traffic patterns.

  • Traffic Volume: How many daily visitors do you get? A small business site may need essential protection, while an enterprise handling millions of hits wants premium features.
  • Application Mix: Do you run one or 100+ websites? Consider solutions built for your common platforms like WordPress or Drupal. Custom apps may need custom rules, too.
  • Budgets: Managed firewall costs vary, so understand your budget limits. Free open-source, freemium, or fully-managed pro services cater to different budgets.
  • Compliance Needs: If you handle sensitive customer info, confirm any firewall meets your industry’s security standards like PCI.
  • Growth Goals: Look for scalable options if you expect traffic spikes. Make sure features like load balancing can handle surges.

Talk Tech with Providers

Once you understand these factors, talk to potential vendors. Reputable ones assess your needs and make unbiased recommendations. Ask about:

  • Specialized rule tuning for your use cases
  • 24/7 support response times
  • Automatic attack blocking and detailed logging
  • Monthly costs and contract terms
  • Reputation for handling outages and updates

Weighing these choices with a provider ensures you get a firewall tailored for your unique website’s security profile now and in the future. The right fit protects your peace of mind and your online presence.

Common Web Attacks Defended Against

Now that you understand how firewalls work, let’s look at the threats they help defend against. Web application firewalls focus on blocking the top attacks that security groups like OWASP warn about.

  • Injections: Trying to slip malicious code like SQL or JavaScript into your forms is a famous hacker trick. Firewalls identify and filter out these injection attempts before they reach your site.
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): XSS worms use dynamic pages to sneak malware onto your users’ browsers. Advanced firewalls catch these sneaky scripts and quarantine any infected pages.
  • Broken Authentication: When logins are cracked, it unlocks the front door for attackers. Managed firewalls automatically patch known flaws and block login methods like brute-force password guessing.
  • Sensitive Data Exposure: Any financial info, medical records, or personal details leaks can be devastating. Firewalls detect and plug holes where unencrypted data might be at risk of exposure.
  • Denials of Service (DoS/DDoS): There’s no stopping a tidal wave of traffic, but firewalls help withstand and divert large-scale outages attempting to overwhelm servers. Automated rules kick in to maintain performance.
  • Zero-Days: Even newly discovered vulnerabilities take time to fix. Firewalls buy you breathing room with temporary blocks against unforeseen attack types until full patches emerge.

With round-the-clock protection against these pervasive threats, firewalls provide robust shields for your site’s frontlines. Their layered defenses offer comprehensive protection from common and complex cracks alike.

Ensuring Overall Website Security

Web Security with a Managed Web Application Firewall
Web Security with a Managed Web Application Firewall

While a firewall serves as a worthy guardian for your websites, the best protection comes from teaming it with other security measures in a layered approach. Together, these precautions make gaining traction much more challenging for attackers.

  • Password Power-Ups: Robust, unique passwords are critical – use a password manager to generate and store complex phrases. Also, consider two-factor authentication for added login verification.
  • Backup Basics: Regular backups prevent data loss if the worst occurs. Store copies offline or in the cloud so they can’t be taken in an attack. Test restores to ensure quick recovery.
  • Software Scrubs: Keep software up-to-date, including your CMS, plugins, and themes. Promptly remove any unused or abandoned components as well—Disable remote access when possible.
  • User Management: Review user roles and permissions. Tighten access as needed. Watch for suspicious account activity and quickly suspend any compromised logins.
  • Incident Investigation: Review firewall and server logs regularly. Look for unusual traffic patterns or errors pointing to an issue requiring further examination.

With these best practices supporting your firewall defenses, you achieve robust security that gives attackers little opportunity to gain any foothold. It’s also easier to detect and respond quickly should anything suspicious slip by initial barriers. Together, a multi-layered approach creates a depth complex for even determined hackers to penetrate.

Protect Your Business with ZZ Servers

If you found this article on managed web application firewalls helpful, consider partnering with ZZ Servers for your website security needs. As a trusted provider since 2005, our experts can perform a security audit of your online properties and then deploy and manage the right firewall solution based on your assessment. Whether you need monitoring, patching, or full-scale cybersecurity protection, ZZ Servers delivers dependable results through personal service. Our clients appreciate our tailored approach and ability to translate complex topics into clear, actionable strategies. Contact us today at 800-796-3574 to learn how we can help you achieve the website security that lets your business focus entirely on growth.

Conclusion

Protects websites from hackers and security threats like injections, DDoS attacks, and stolen passwords. It is more accessible and affordable than going alone because experts monitor it 24/7 and handle all updates. It can be cloud-based for simple protection or installed on servers for customized rules.

Defends against common vulnerabilities through features like blocklisting, allowlisting, and automated threat blocking. Works best as part of an in-depth security plan, including strong passwords, software patching, backups, and activity monitoring.

With a managed firewall’s comprehensive protections and the latest techniques, you can rest assured your website and users’ data remain safeguarded—partner with an experienced provider to gain this robust, always-on security optimized for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a managed firewall differ from doing it yourself?

A managed firewall handles security for you so you can focus on your business. Experts configure, monitor, and update it around the clock. This is much easier than maintaining your firewall, patching software, or watching for new threats. A managed option also provides instant support if issues arise versus trying to troubleshoot complex security alone. Overall, it saves time and money and ensures your site stays protected by top professionals.

What features should I look for in a firewall solution?

Look for a firewall with automatic threat blocking, detailed logs, specialized rules, and 24/7 support. These help ensure complete website protection. Advanced features like bot detection and zero-day blocking give robust defenses against unknown risks. Customized monitoring and backups add an extra layer of security. Quality providers also offer usage analytics and reports to help track improvements over time.

How can I get started with a managed firewall?

First, evaluate your website’s needs by considering traffic levels and compliance needs. Then, get recommendations from reputable firewall providers. They’ll assess your setup and infrastructure to recommend the best solution. To get started, most vendors handle setup and initial configuration remotely. You’ll then gain ongoing support and updates through a monthly subscription. Ask about contract terms and any onboarding assistance, like security reviews.

Are managed firewalls expensive for small businesses?

Not necessarily. Many providers offer affordable options tailored for smaller sites. Some even have free or freemium tiers for essential protection. Most charge reasonable flat monthly rates that include all features and support. Managed firewalls are cost-effective insurance for your business compared to the cost of a data breach. Talk to vendors about your budget to find a solution that fits. Strong security can be something other than big business budgets.

What kinds of websites need a managed firewall most?

Any site handling sensitive customer data like financial or medical info needs top-notch security. This includes e-commerce, healthcare, banking, and government domains. Firewalls are also essential for higher-traffic websites that could be prime targets. Additionally, sites with complex infrastructure or custom code benefit from expert management and monitoring. Overall, a managed firewall delivers must-have protection if your website operations could be disrupted by attacks or data loss.