WAF Is Not SSL Why You Need Both For Proper Website Security
Many website owners believe the presence of an SSL certification suffices to secure a website. However, more than having an SSL is required to protect website security fully. An SSL can help to ensure information as it travels between servers and users; however, it does not guarantee complete protection against hackers.
It is, therefore, essential to understand that extra levels of security are required.
Though often confused with SSLs, Web application firewalls can effectively defend your website from various dangers. In this article, we will know over the difference between WAF and SSL and the reasons you should use both to have a safe website.
Understanding SSL certificates
Secure sockets layer (SSL) is the internet’s security standard for data encryption. It creates an encrypted connection between a web server that serves requests and the user’s browser.
The encryption of HTTP traffic by SSL is referred to as HTTPS.
People have been conditioned to use this encrypted HTTPS channel whenever they visit websites. It is easy to determine if the site is SSL secured by looking for the lock icon beside the URL in a Web browser:
Web administrators like Google can even mark websites with no encryption as “not secured” to deter users from navigating the site.
SSL is a protocol that works with three different protocols:
- The Handshake Protocol
- The Record Protocol
- The Alert Protocol
Through the SSL Handshake, the client authenticates with the server. This is because the Record Protocol encodes the data when the handshake has been completed, while The Alert Protocol scans for suspicious data packets.
The encrypted tunnels made by SSL SSL can help to prevent “man-in-the-middle” attacks where people monitor the traffic between the servers and clients. Therefore, they are essential to ensure the safe transmission of sensitive data like passwords for login, credit card numbers, and other personal data.
Without an SSL data exchange between servers and browsers is delivered via plain text. This is a significant security risk. If someone could steal the data , they will be able to see and utilize the sensitive information.
Every browser on the internet can communicate with websites via SSL. SSL protocol. To do this, your server must have to have an SSL certificate.
Web Application Firewalls (WAF) monitor filters and block or filter data packets while they travel between web-based applications. They can be network-based, cloud-based, or host-based. A WAF is typically a reverse proxy located behind the origin server.
It isn’t a replacement for the firewall on the network; it is typically implemented between the firewall and the server.
A WAF examines each data packet and employs rules-based logic to block dangerous traffic. This protects against vulnerabilities at the application layer, like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and Web shell attacks. To offer the most secure security for users, the WAF should be able to analyze both HTTPS traffic and HTTP.
Most websites utilize a combination of firewalls on web applications and load balancers to safeguard the communication between and within their applications. This way, many machine-to-machine connections must work together while ensuring a functioning application for the user.
This is more difficult as most websites today use a distributed backend system that includes applications. Owners of sites need more than to protect their edge by using WAF and load balancers. They also need to protect the inter-service communication between different applications.
WAF & SSL working togehter
While SSLs safeguard the transmission of information, hackers could take advantage of the vulnerabilities in a Web application to insert malicious code that isn’t identified through the SSL. To stop the execution of harmful payloads or scripts, a firewall for web applications is essential.
The WAF swiftly scans databases of known threats to find a malicious activity like SQL injection levels. This takes place at the application level, so the WAF must be aware of the SSL traffic from the client’s side.
Two options allow WAF to view the SSL-encrypted data. The first is for WAF to keep copies of the critical private, which can decrease the volume of data as it flows.
The second is to allow the WAF to operate its SSL server. In this instance, the WAF’s SSL is responsible for encrypting the data that the client will eventually see.
Using a WAF and an SSL lets you protect your servers on the internet as well as the personal information of your users.