What is AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) WAF, or Web Application Firewall, is a managed security service provided by AWS to help protect web applications from common web exploits that could affect application availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. AWS WAF enables you to create and manage custom rules that control the traffic to your web applications.

Key features of AWS WAF include:

  1. Web Application Firewall Rules: You can create rules to allow, block, or monitor (count) web requests based on conditions that you define. These conditions can include IP addresses, HTTP headers, URI strings, and more.
  2. Managed Rulesets: AWS WAF offers managed rulesets that are designed to address specific types of web application vulnerabilities. These rulesets are created and maintained by AWS or trusted third-party security experts, providing an additional layer of protection.
  3. Integration with AWS Services: AWS WAF can be integrated with other AWS services, such as Amazon CloudFront (Content Delivery Network), Application Load Balancer, and API Gateway. This allows you to protect your applications at the edge locations, closer to your users.
  4. Logging and Monitoring: AWS WAF provides detailed logging of web requests and the actions taken based on the configured rules. You can use AWS CloudWatch to monitor these logs and set up alarms for specific events.
  5. Rate Limiting: You can use AWS WAF to implement rate limiting on requests from a specific client or IP address. This helps protect your application from automated attacks, such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
  6. Customization: AWS WAF allows you to create custom rules tailored to the specific needs of your web application. This enables you to address unique security requirements.

By implementing AWS WAF, organizations can enhance the security of their web applications, protect against common web exploits, and have greater control over incoming traffic. It's a crucial component of a comprehensive security strategy for web applications hosted on AWS.