An Exclusive List of the Top Web Application Firewall with Features and Comparison for Secure Websites. Select the Best WAF Based on Your Requirements:
Website visitors trust you to keep their information secure. However, with the growing number of cybersecurity threats, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to counter website hacks and data breaches.
Although websites have always been under threat from malicious users, the advent of AI-driven cyberattacks is making website security even more difficult than before.
One recent victim of such attacks was the Australian graphic design website – Canva, which suffered from a massive data breach in May 2019. The cyberattack exposed usernames, email addresses, names, cities of residence, as well as hashed bcrypt passwords of 137 million users.
At the same time, e-commerce websites processing credit card payments have to comply with PCI data security standards, even when they use third-party payment processors. In a hostile online world accompanied by increasing requirements for compliance, a web application firewall (WAF) is necessary to ensure data integrity and safety.
What You Will Learn:
- What is WAF?
- List of Best Application Firewalls
What is WAF?
Website Application Firewalls are software that intercepts and monitors website traffic while blocking hackers and malicious users. Without cloud-based WAF and CDN solutions, web apps and websites can easily become victims of DDoS attacks, SQL injections and other forms of attacks.
In this tutorial, we will review the best Web Application Firewalls in 2023.
Similarly, depending on the type of operations and features you want, one firewall could be more suited to your needs than other solutions. Therefore, it’s best to review each Website Application Firewall individually and choose the solution that falls within your budget and meets your requirements the best.
Web App Firewall – Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) What does WAF protect against?
Answer: Most people believe that firewalls are meant to passively monitor incoming or outgoing traffic and alert users if they detect irregular traffic. However, comprehensive website application firewalls protect web apps against all known vulnerabilities and are designed to mitigate security risks across servers, applications, third-party resources, and software patches.
Q #2) What is the difference between a Typical Firewall and WAF?
Answer: The main purpose of any firewall is to monitor and block unreliable requests. WAF is a firewall specialized for websites and web applications, protecting them from external malicious requests to the webserver. Meanwhile, network firewalls are supposed to secure the data flowing between two or more web servers.
Q #3) What are the DDoS attacks? Is WAF effective against them?
Answer: DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks is a type of cyberattack that congests applications and overloads the server or application by overwhelming traffic. WAF can detect and block kinds of DDoS attacks by preventing a high volume of malicious traffic.
List of Best Application Firewalls
- Prophaze WAF
- Cloudflare WAF
- Sucuri Website Firewall
- AWS WAF
- Akamai WAF
- Imperva WAF
- Citrix WAF
- F5 Advanced WAF
- Barracuda WAF
- Fortinet FortiWeb
Comparison Table of Top Website Firewalls
|Web Application Firewalls||Price||Features||Best For||Attacks|
|AppTrana||Basic: Free |
Advanced: 14-day free trial, 99 per month,
Premium: $399 per month
|Uncover Vulnerabilities, Non-Stop|
Patch Vulnerabilities Immediately,
Checks for False Positives,
|Small to large enterprises.||Cross-Site Scripting (XSS),
Hidden field manipulation,
Layer 7 DDoS attacks,
Blocks OWASP Top 10.
|Prophaze WAF||Free Trial, |
Custom WAF Pricing.
|ML Based Threat Intelligence,|
WAF on Kubernetes,
Real Time Dashboard.
|Midmarket and Enterprise Customers on Public Cloud (AWS/Azure/GCP), Private Cloud, Multi and Hybrid Cloud|
Docker Users. API Security requirements.
|OWASP Top 10 API. Bot Protection. DDoS Mitigation. Behavioural based threat detection and blocking.|
|Cloudflare WAF ||Free: $0 per month, |
Pro: $20 per month,
Business: $200 per month,
Enterprise: Ask for Quote.
|Logging and Reporting,|
Reporting and Analytics,
|Personal usage, small to mid-sized businesses, as well as high-level enterprises.||Blocks OWASP Top 10,
Limits comment spam,
Protects key ports (SSH, telnet, FTP),
Blocks threats based on reputation, blacklists,
HTTP headers, and more.
|Sucuri Website Firewall ||Basic: $9.99 per month,|
Pro: $19.98 per month,
Business: $499.99 per year.
|Layer 7 DDoS Mitigation,|
Block Known Attacks,
Block Zero-Day Attacks,
Smart Caching Options,
Free SSL on Firewall Server.
|Personal usage |
Small to mid-sized businesses.
|Block zero day attacks,
Block SQL injections,
Layer 7 DDoS Mitigation,
Blocks OWASP Top 10,
Block brute-force Attacks.
|AWS WAF ||Web ACL: $5.00 per month (prorated hourly),|
Rule: $1.00 per month (prorated hourly),
Request: $0.60 per 1 million requests.
|Agile protection against web attacks,|
Improved web traffic visibility,
Ease of deployment and maintenance,
Cost-effective web application protection,
Security integrated with how you develop applications.
|Scalable use fot businesses of all sizes as long as they are AWS clients.||Cross-Site Scripting (XSS),
|Akamai WAF ||Free Trial,|
|Customizable and Automated Protection,|
Advanced API Security,
Zero-Second DDoS ,
Granular Attack, Visibility and Reporting,
Managed Security Services.
|Mid to large-sized businesses.||Advanced Application and Network Layer, Control
Malicious file execution,
Best for Small to large enterprises.
- Basic | Free
- Advanced |14-day free trial | $99 per month
- Premium| $399 per month
AppTrana is a fully managed cloud-based Website Security solution from Indusface. The solution includes various features like Web Application Firewall, managed custom rules, virtual patching and CDN for website acceleration.
- Uncover Vulnerabilities Non-Stop.
- Manual Pen-Testing
- Patch Vulnerabilities Immediately.
- Checks for False Positives
- DDoS Protection
Verdict: AppTrana combines WAF with risk detection, risk monitoring, risk protection, and website acceleration to ensure the security and integrity of web applications.
#2) Prophaze WAF
Prophaze WAF is an all-in-one web security platform. It’s more than a web application firewall solution, it’s a combination of WAF + RASP + CDN + DDOS + Bot Mitigation + API Security Solution.
Prophaze uses its ML Profiling Capability to do Behavioral learning of users on the web application which is being secured, hence Prophaze is more of an Application-Aware Firewall.
Prophaze Kubernetes WAF version is built natively for Microservices-based Architecture. It can secure workloads or docker containers deployed inside a Kubernetes Cluster against OWASP Top 10 Attacks and Layer 7 DDoS attacks.
Prophaze WAF is deployed as an Ingress controller inside a cluster which will dynamically secure all the traffic passing through it.
Prophaze offers unlimited rule sets, custom integrations with SIEM Solutions. Supports all public clouds like AWS, Azure, GCP, etc. Prophaze WAF can be installed in the same zone where the customer cloud resides. Prophaze gives 24x 7 Support via Zoom / Teams / Google meet along with email /phone and chat support.
#3) Cloudflare WAF
Best For Personal users, small to large-sized businesses.
- Free | $0 per month | Add-ons Billed Monthly
- Pro | $20 per month | Billed Monthly
- Business | $200 per month | Billed Monthly
- Enterprise | Ask for Quote | Billed Annually
Cloudflare web app firewall service that combines a reverse proxy with a content delivery network while giving a range of bonus security and optimization features. The software will block various cyber threats such as SQL injections and DDoS attacks.
It will block security threats based on blacklists, website reputation, HTTP headers, and many other parameters.
- Logging and Reporting
- Issue Tracking
- Security Monitoring
- Reporting and Analytics
- Application-Layer Controls
Verdict: Cloudflare is a highly powerful firewall with excellent security features, effective website optimizations, fast global network, and intuitive application design.
#4) Sucuri Website Firewall
Best For Personal users to small & mid-sized businesses.
- Basic | $9.99per month
- Pro | $19.98per month
- Business | $499.99 per year
Sucuri is a cloud-based solution specialized for detecting and mitigating zero-day exploits DDoS attacks, and all OWASP top 10 attacks. At the same time, it protects website login pages from brute force attacks.
- Layer 7 DDoS Mitigation
- Block Known Attacks
- Block Zero-Day Attacks
- Smart Caching Options
- Free SSL on Firewall Server
Verdict: Sucuri WAF is a website security solution capable of protecting websites from a range of different cyberattacks, but also offers several other exciting features such as rules for virtual patching and hardening, smart caching options, and resource optimization.
#5) AWS WAF
Best For Scalable use for businesses of all sizes as long as they are AWS clients.
- Web ACL | $5.00 per month (prorated hourly)
- Rule | $1.00 per month (prorated hourly)
- Request | $0.60 per 1 million requests
The Amazon AWS web application firewall is a robust website security solution. However, AWS WAF is only available to customers who just use the company’s Web Services.
The solution is just an add-on to an existing subscription to cloud services such as the Amazon content delivery network and Application Load Balancer.
- Agile protection against web attacks
- Improved web traffic visibility
- Ease of deployment and maintenance
- Cost-effective web application protection
- Security integrated with how you develop applications.
Verdict: AWS Amazon Web App Firewall is a highly robust and scalable solution facilitated with countless useful security features that ensures that your website remains safe against different types of cyberattacks.
Best For Mid to large-sized businesses.
- Free trial
- Quote-based pricing
Akamai Kona Web Application Firewall is a reliable solution against all known web attacks. It continues to inspect HTTP and HTTPs requests using the Akamai Intelligent Platform.
The robust virus detection solution automatically detects and stops threats before they reach the data center network and prevents all types of massive application attacks.
- Customizable and Automated Protection.
- Advanced API Security
- Zero-Second DDoS Mitigation SLA
- Granular Attack Visibility and Reporting
- Managed Security Services
Verdict: Despite being handled by a small team, Akamai provides excellent protections against advanced web application attacks.
Best For Small to large-sized enterprises.
- Free tools for Data Classification and Database Vulnerability Testing.
- Plus | Quote-based
- Premium | Quote-based
Imperva is an all-round website security solution decorated with all required features to ensure website security and integrity. Unsurprisingly, Forrester Wave ranks the solution as a Leader. Similarly, Gartner puts the Web Application Firewall solution in its leader quadrant for advanced solutions.
- Secure cloud and on-prem apps.
- Stop OWASP Top 10 and Automated Top 20.
- Attack detection
- SIEM integration
- Extensive reporting
Verdict: With a clear strategy for innovation, Imperva offers high customer satisfaction for all WAF appliance capabilities, but faces difficulty in matching other solutions in the cloud category.
Further Reading => List of the BEST Firewall Auditing Tools
#8) Citrix WAF
Best For Mid to large-sized businesses – the best WAF tool for existing Citrix clients.
- Free Demo
- Quote-based pricing
Formerly, known as NetScaler, Citrix AppFirewall provides features to analyze all the bi-directional traffic, including SSL-encrypted communication.
Using the features offered by the Web Application Firewall, enterprises can perform a deep-packet inspection of web protocols such as HTTPS, HTTP, and XML.
Similarly, the solution also protects against various cyberattacks such as form validation and protection, cookie tampering, cross-site scripting attacks, JSON payload inspection, SQL injection attacks, as well as signature and behavior-based protection.
- Ensures PCI DSS compliance.
- Protects web apps from known and emerging threats.
- Offers infrastructure-layer security, load balancing, DDoS defense, and content inspection.
Verdict: For existing Citrix, NetScaler AppFireWall is a good choice for the existing Citrix clients, or when high-performance WAF appliances are needed.
However, it competes lesser where application security is the highest-weighted requirement. Those evaluating it beyond a Citrix platform are urged to test it in their environments.
#9) F5 Advanced
Best For Mid to large-sized enterprises.
- Cloud-based Service Subscriptions| Contact vendor
- On-Premise Software| Contact vendor
F5 Advanced WAF is an intelligent website security solution that leverages advanced data analysis and machine learning technologies to detect and prevent cyberattacks.
F5‘s advanced features allow it to thwart a range of different cyberattacks such as layer 7 DoS attacks, brute-force attacks, SQL injections, and all OWASP Top 10 attacks. However, at the same time, it also protects websites from web scraping by encrypting all confidential information in the browser.
- Advanced application protection
- Proactive bot defense
- Behavioral DoS
- Defenses for the OWASP Top 10
- Stolen Credential Protection
Verdict: With plenty of advanced website protection features, F5 Advanced WAF is one of the most premium web app firewalls in the market.
Website: F5 Advanced
Best For Small to mid-sized enterprises.
- Free trial
- Quote based pricing
Barracuda WAF is a robust web application firewall that has plenty of advanced features such as API security, bot mitigation, alerting, and reporting. Compared to the other options, Barracuda is cost-efficient and works well as a virtual appliance on Microsoft Azure IaaS.
- Complete OWASP Protection
- Advanced Bot Protection
- Application Learning (Adaptive Profiling)
- Virtual Patching and Vulnerability Scanner Integration
- Malware Protection and Anti-Virus
Verdict: Barracuda offers plenty of web app protection features, including malware protection. Considering its relatively low-cost, the solution is perfect for small to mid-sized enterprises.
#11) Fortinet FortiWeb
Best For Mid to large-sized businesses.
- Free Demo
- Quote-based pricing
Fortinet FortiWeb uses machine-learning and AI-driven features to identify application request anomalies and discover threats within your incoming traffic. Using WAF, you can protect hosted web apps from zero-day threats, OWASP top 10 app attacks, and all known vulnerabilities.
- Detailed analysis of attack sources through visual reporting tools.
- False Positive Mitigation Tools
- Correlated threat detection with Al-based behavioral scanning.
- Fortinet Security Fabric integration
- Visual analytics tools for advanced threat insights.
Verdict: Using AI-driven multi-layer and correlated threat identification techniques, FortiWeb defends your web applications from various kinds of cyberattacks and known vulnerabilities.
Website: Fortinet FortiWeb
Best For Small to mid-sized businesses.
- SecureAlert | $149.99 per site per year
- SecureStarter | $299.99 per site per year
- SecureSpeed | $499.99 per site per year
- Custom Solutions | Contact vendor for quotes
SiteLock TrueShield WAF gives advanced protection against malicious traffic and requests. Using its security features, you can evaluate incoming traffic based on IP reputation, behavior, location and type of information, protecting your website from bots and attacks.
- Protection Against Top Ten Online Threats
- Data Protection
- Prevent Common Hacks
- Block Backdoor Access
- Protect Published Content
Verdict: SiteLock TrueShield is a cost-efficient Web App Firewall designed to countertop ten online threats and block access to attackers and spammers.
Regardless of whether you are a personal user, a startup, small/medium or large enterprise, a web application firewall is a top priority. No business or website owner can afford to lose confidential data, website assets, and data about financial transactions.
Depending on your need or web infrastructure provider, you can choose either of these solutions for your website or web app. Solutions such as Cloudflare and Sucuri WAF are highly versatile and are ideal for personal users, as well as small to large-sized businesses.
Similarly, AppTrana is a Web App Firewall more suited for small to large enterprises.
However, the decision to select the best Web Application Firewall is not as straightforward as it seems and it is advisable to each solution yourself. We encourage you to evaluate each solution’s features in detail and utilize the free trials before buying any particular solution.
- Time Taken to Research and Write this Article: 8 hours
- Total Tools Researched Online: 16
- Top Tools Shortlisted for Review: 11