Network Firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF) Major Differences

In this article you will get complete idea regarding network firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF).You can also know what are mail differences between Network Firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Network Firewall

Network Firewall is to control the access, to monitor the web traffic across the network. It also authorizes the outbound sessions. As it only located with the Network Layer attribute in OSI layer, its comes up with low access control limits. Network Firewalls (ordinary) does not have the mechanism to detect/prevent threats. It only offers the limited security from malware, attacks and other unauthorized activities.

Web application firewall (WAF)

A Web Application Firewall is an advanced Firewall system whose main task is to protect web portals and web application by inspecting the XML/SOAP semantics of the flowing traffic and also inspecting HTTP/HTTPS for typical attacks at layer 7 such as SQL Injections, Buffer Overflow, Cross Site Scripting (XSS), File Inclusion, Cookie Poisoning, Schema Poisoning, Defacements, etc. Web application firewalls also provide protection against DDoS but do not enforce access control in the traditional meaning of the term. They only protect the server form behind them, adopting signature based or anomaly detection algorithms but, unlike a network IPS they focus on HTTP/HTTPS. They act like proxy because of their ability to inspect HTTPS traffic by importing the original certificate of the target server. They may perform also other functions such as SSL offloading and server load balancing. A web application firewall do not inspect and don’t allow other traffic than HTTP/HTTPS.

Difference between Network Firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF)

  • Network Firewall offers the DDoS protection on Network Layer, whereas, WAF offers it on Application layer
  • A Network Firewall offers the minimal Web application protection, whereas, WAF offers Extensive, including full application layer coverage web application protection.
  • Both Network Firewall and WAF carries the same Access control granularity as Port, Protocol, and IP address.
  • There is lack of Threat detection/prevention techniques in Network Firewall, whereas, WAF comes up with Signatures, Protocol anomaly detection, app-specific anomaly detection techniques.
  • A Network firewall can coverage any protocol type, whereas, WAF can coverage Web-centric: HTTP(s), XML, SOAP, SPDY.
  • Network Firewall works at 3rd and 4th layer of OSI Layer architecture, whereas, WAF works at 3rd to 7th layer of OSI Layer architecture.
  • Network firewall comes up with Layer 3 gateway deployment architecture, whereas, WAF comes up with Reverse proxy deployment architecture.
  • Network firewall does not offer the SSL/encrypted traffic inspection, whereas, WAF offers it.
Conclusion

As you can see there are many benefits for having a web application firewall as part of your business compared to network Firewall. Network Firewall offers the minimal web application protection, whereas, WAF offers Extensive, including full application layer coverage web application protection.

If you’d like to talk about using or installing a Web Application Firewall (WAF) on your network, and how it can benefit your business, get in touch with the Fgrade expert team today to see how web application firewalls can strengthen your site!

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