Web-Application and API Security (WAAS)
WAAS (Web-Application and API Security, formerly known as CNAF, Cloud Native Application Firewall) is a web application firewall (WAF) designed for HTTP-based web applications deployed directly on hosts, as containers, application embedded or serverless functions. WAFs secure web applications by inspecting and filtering layer 7 traffic to and from the application.
WAAS enhances the traditional WAF protection model by deploying closer to the application, easily scaling up or down and allowing for inspection of "internal" traffic (east-to-west) from other micro-services as well as inbound traffic (north-to-south).
For containerized web applications, WAAS binds to the application’s running containers, regardless of the cloud, orchestrator, node, or IP address where it runs, and without the need to configure any complicated routing. For non-containerized web applications, WAAS simply binds to the host where the application runs.
Highlights of WAAS’s capabilities:
- Access Control- WAAS controls access to protected applications using Geo-based, IP-based or HTTP Header-based user defined restrictions.
- File Upload Control- WAAS secures application file uploads by enforcing file extension rules.
- Detection of Unprotected Web Applications- WAAS detects unprotected web applications and flags them in the radar view.
- Penalty Box for Attackers- WAAS supports a 5 minutes ban of IPs triggering one of it’s protections to slow down vulnerability scanners and other attackers probing the application.
WAAS is deployed via Prisma Compute Defenders which operate as a transparent HTTP proxy, evaluating client requests against security policies before relaying the requests to your application. Defenders are deployed into the environment in which the web applications run. WAAS’s management console is independent of the Defenders and can be self-hosted or provided as a service (SaaS):
When a firewall is deployed, Defender reroutes traffic bound for your web application to WAAS for inspection. If a connection is secured with TLS, Defender decrypts the traffic, examines the content, and then re-encrypts it.
Legitimate requests are passed to the target container or host. Requests triggering one or more WAAS protections generate a WAAS "event audit" and an action is taken based on the preconfigured action (see "WAAS Actions" below).
WAAS’s event audits can be further explored in the "Monitor" section of Prisma Compute’s management console (
Monitor > Events). In addition, event audits are registered in the Defender’s syslog thus allowing for integration with third-party analytics engines or SIEM platforms of choice.
Requests that trigger a WAAS protection are subject to one of the following actions:
- Alert- The request is passed to the protected application and an audit is generated for visibility.
- Prevent- The request is denied from reaching the protected application, an audit is generated and WAAS responds with an HTML page indicating the request was blocked.
- Ban- Can be applied on either IP or Prisma Session IDs. All requests originating from the same IP/Prisma Session to the protected application are denied for the configured time period (default is 5 minutes) following the last detected attack.
WAAS implements state, which is required for banning user sessions by IP address. Because Defenders do not share state, any application that is replicated across multiple nodes must enable IP stickiness on the load balancer.
WAAS is enabled by adding a new WAAS rule. Whenever new policies are created, or existing policies are updated, Prisma Cloud immediately pushes them to all the resources to which they apply.
To deploy WAAS, create a new WAAS rule, select the resources on which to apply the rule, define your web application and select the protections to enable. For containerized web applications, Prisma Cloud creates a firewall instance for each container instance. For legacy (non-containerized web applications), Prisma Cloud creates a firewall for each host specified in the configuration.
Supported Protocols, Message Parsers and Decoders
- HTTP 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 - full support of all HTTP methods
- TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
- WebSockets Passthrough
Supported Message Parsers and Decoders
- GZip, deflate content encoding
- HTTP Multipart content type
- URL Query, x-www-form-urlencoded, JSON and XML parameter parsing
- URL, HTML Entity, JS, BASE64 decoding
- Overlong UTF-8
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