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How to Secure Your E-Commerce Store With WAF

November 10, 2022

The increasing use of modern technologies in the business world has revolutionized user expectations and habits. The flow of this digital wind has triggered an internet-oriented transformation in all sectors. 

As digital solutions gained popularity worldwide, the number of cybercriminals increased, and their strategy repertoire expanded. Therefore, protecting online assets has become a top priority in almost every sector.

Online stores are a vital necessity for many users today. Therefore, it has become almost mandatory for retailers who want to offer products or services to modern consumers to set up an e-commerce store.

In this article, we will talk about how Web Application Firewalls (WAFs), a modern cybersecurity solution, strengthen the security posture of online retailers.

Why Is E-Commerce Security Important?

While cyber ​​attacks cause irreversible financial losses in all industries that use digital channels for their business processes, the unique dynamics of online shopping differentiate it. The data repository of e-commerce stores often includes data collected from large numbers of users

Since e-commerce organizations are responsible for protecting people’s personal data, cyber crimes significantly threaten the organization’s credibility and reputation.

In the past years, there have been many major data breaches in which many users and organizations have been victimized. This has changed user habits and priorities over time. According to Gartner, 56% of customers now see a company’s cybersecurity posture as an evaluation criterion

Of course, consumers are not the only group that makes cybersecurity a top priority. Investors also think that a company’s cyber vulnerabilities directly impact its credibility. According to Comparitech’s research, companies that experience a breach underperform the market by more than 15% even after three years.

Today, e-commerce services are spread across many channels, and most businesses also have mobile apps. There are various cyber attack strategies for each channel reached. Therefore, organizations are forced to increase their investments in modern security technologies day by day.

What is WAF?

WAFs or web application firewalls are cyber security solutions responsible for monitoring and filtering network traffic between a web application or an API and external HTTP connections following specific rulesets. 

Just like security guards at a gate, WAFs observe those who want to enter, and if there is suspicious behavior, they do not allow passage and inform certain authorities.

There are three main ways to implement a WAF: hardware- (network) based, host-based and cloud-based. 

In a network- or hardware-based application, WAF is physically installed on the technology infrastructure. Although it minimizes the latency problem, it is an expensive method.

In the host-based application, WAF is integrated into an application’s software. When this method is used, the server cost increases while the hardware cost decreases. 

The cloud-based application is the most modern method. By paying a monthly service fee to a provider, organizations get WAF service with much less upfront investment.

It works in contrast to proxy servers, which a client computer uses as a tool to protect its identity. Using WAF forces clients to interact with the WAF before entering the server. Thus, it acts as a reverse proxy protecting the identity of the server.

How Can WAF Improve E-Commerce Security?

WAFs effectively support your cybersecurity posture, both individually and as a complement to different solutions. In protecting an e-commerce store against cyber threats, they stand out with the following features:

Malicious Bot Blocking

Security against bots is vital for e-commerce. Bots like scrapers, scanners, and crawlers harm your SEO strategy, sales, and overall business operations. An effective firewall web application can differentiate and block malicious bots.

Geo-Blocking

Network traffic from different geographies can be suspicious, especially for organizations that cater to specific markets. WAFs can block malicious traffic at the geo-level.

DDoS Protection

In a DDoS attack, the attacker’s goal is to send an excessive number of requests to the server, making the server unresponsive. The rulesets that WAFs follow can be effectively adjusted against DDoS attacks. A robust WAF solution can help you increase your DDoS security by limiting traffic from certain sources.

Request Filtering

Controlling every incoming and outgoing HTTP request is one of the most basic tasks of WAFs. An effective WAF solution filters requests that it considers suspicious in line with rule sets and reports the situation to the relevant units.

Protection Against Sophisticated Attacks

OWASP or the Open Web Application Security Project, publishes a list of the top 10 most dangerous and sophisticated web application attack threats, including Cross-Site-Scripting (XSS) and SQL Injections. Effective protection against the items on this list is very important because these attack types are responsible for the majority of attacks on web applications and APIs. A properly selected WAF solution will help you effectively protect your e-commerce store from these threats.

Combining CDN and WAF

CDNs, or content delivery networks, ensure that digital content is delivered to end users not directly but through geographically distributed data points. The geographical distribution of data points ensures that users consistently access content from the closest source, with very low latency.

When you use WAF solutions combined with CDNs, malicious traffic is detected and blocked at a much further point from your main server. Secure CDNs that offer an advanced WAF solution, both strengthen your security posture and reduce the load on the source server.

Secure Your E-Commerce Store Without Compromising Performance

An effective WAF solution should offer a strong pool of defence strategies against potential threats, integrate with a wide variety of services, have deep customization capabilities, and be flexible enough to appeal to any user. 

If you need an advanced solution to strengthen your web application and API security without sacrificing performance, you can discover Medianova‘s robust WAF security solution that protects you against the most dangerous cyber threats, including those on OWASP’s Top 10 Security Risks list.

Medianova’s WAF solution is supported by a secure and fast CDN infrastructure that offers far more comprehensive performance and security features and much more responsive customer service than standard image CDN or video CDNs

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