App Firewall Settings

WAAS Firewall settings control the application firewall’s protections, actions and exceptions.
The following protections are available for Container, Host and App-Embedded rules. Serverless rules have a limited set of protections focusing mostly on OWASP Top-10 attacks.

OWASP Top 10 Protection

WAAS offers protection for the critical security risks described in the OWASP Top Ten list.

SQL injection

An SQL injection (SQLi) attack occurs when an attacker inserts an SQL query into the input fields of a web application. A successful attack can read sensitive data from the database, modify data in the database, or run arbitrary commands.
WAAS parses and tokenizes input streams (request data) and then detects malicious attempts to inject unauthorized SQL queries.

Cross Site Scripting

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a type of injection attack, in which malicious JavaScript snippets are injected into otherwise benign and trusted web sites. Attackers try to trick the browser into switching to a Javascript context, and executing arbitrary code.
WAAS parses and tokenizes input streams (request data) and then searches for matching fingerprints of known malicious attack patterns.

Command & Code Injection

Command injection is a form of attack in which attackers attempt to run arbitrary commands on the web application’s host. Code injection is a form of attack in which code is injected and interpreted by the application or other runtimes. Command and code payloads are either injected as part of HTTP requests or included from local or remote files (also known as File Inclusion).
WAAS inspects all HTTP requests sent to the application and protects against all types of injection attacks as well as local file inclusions.
Prisma Cloud architecture facilitates defense in-depth via multiple protection layers. Enabling Runtime Protection in addition to WAAS would allow profiling of the application and identifying any anomalies resulting from command or code injections (e.g. unexpected new processes or DNS queries)

Local File Inclusion

Local File Inclusion is a form of attack in which attackers attempt to gain unauthorized access to locally stored sensitive files on the web application host. Such access attempts are often made using directory traversal attacks or exploiting file inclusion vulnerabilities in the application.
WAAS inspects all HTTP requests sent to the application for local file inclusion attacks aiming at sensitive system files as well as other various traversal attempts.

Attack Tool & Vulnerability Scanners

Vulnerability scanners are automated tools that scan web applications for known security vulnerabilities and misconfiguration.
Web crawlers are automated tools designed to systematically access and enumerate the content of web applications. Crawling can lead to data breaches by exposing resources that should not be publicly available, or revealing opportunities for hacking by exposing software versions, environment data, and so on.
WAAS is continuously updated with new signatures of widely used web attack arsenal, crawlers and penetration testing tools.

API Protection

WAAS is able to enforce API security based on specifications provided in the form of Swagger or OpenAPI files. WAAS also allows for manual API definition. E.g. paths, allowed HTTP methods, parameter names, input types, value ranges, etc. Once defined, users can choose WAAS actions to apply for requests which do not comply with the API’s expected behavior.
For further detail on configuring API protection please refer to the API Protection help page.

Security Misconfigurations


Shellshock is a unique privilege escalation vulnerability that permits remote code execution. In unpatched versions of the bash shell interpreter, the Shellshock vulnerability lets attackers create environment variables with specially crafted values that contain code. As soon as the shell is invoked, the attacker’s code is executed.
WAAS checks for requests that are crafted to exploit the Shellshock vulnerability.
For more information about Shellshock, see CVE-2014-6271.

Malformed Request Protection

WAAS validates the structure of HTTP requests, automatically blocking those that are malformed.
Examples of malformed requests include:
  • HTTP GET requests with a body.
  • HTTP POST requests without a Content-Length header.

Cross-site Request Forgery

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks trick the victim’s browser into executing unwanted actions on a web application in which the victim is currently authenticated. WAAS mitigates CSRF attacks by intercepting responses and setting the 'SameSite' cookie attribute value to 'strict'. The 'SameSite' attribute prevents browsers from sending the cookie along with cross-site requests. It only permits the cookie to be sent along with same-site requests.
There are several techniques for mitigating CSRF, including synchronizer (anti-CSRF) tokens, which developers must implement as part of your web application. The synchronizer token pattern generates random challenge tokens associated with a user’s session. These tokens are inserted into forms as a hidden field, to be submitted along with your forms. If the server cannot validate the token, the server rejects the requested action.
The SameSite cookie attribute works as a complementary defense against CSRF, and helps mitigate against things such as faulty implementation of the synchronizer token pattern.
  • When the SameSite attribute is not set, the cookie is always sent.
  • With SameSite attribute set to strict, the cookie is never sent in cross-site requests.
  • With SameSite attribute set to lax, the cookie is only sent on same-site requests or top-level navigation with a safe HTTP method, such as GET.
It is not sent with cross-domain POST requests or when loading the site in a cross-origin frame. It is sent when you navigate to a site by clicking on a <a href=…​> link that changes the URL in your browser’s address bar.
  • Chrome 61 or later.
  • Firefox 58 or later.
For more information about the SameSite attribute, see


Web applications that permit their content to be embedded in a frame are at risk of clickjacking attacks. Attackers can exploit permissive settings to invisibly load the target website into their own site and trick users into clicking on links which they never intended to click.
WAAS modifies all response headers, setting the X-Frame-Options response header value to SAMEORIGIN. The SAMEORIGIN directive only permits a page to be displayed in a frame on the same origin as the page itself.

Intelligence Gathering

Error messages give attackers insight into the inner workings of your application. It is therefore important to prevent information leakage.
The following controls limit the exposure of sensitive information.

Remove Server Fingerprints

By gathering information about the software type and version used by the web application, attackers may learn about potentially known weaknesses and bugs and exploit them.
Eliminating unnecessary headers makes it more difficult for attackers to identify the frameworks that underpin your application.
Response headers that advertise your application’s web server and other server details should be scrubbed. WAAS automatically removes unnecessary headers, such as X-Powered-By, Server, X-AspNet-Version, and X-AspNetMvc-Version.

Detect Information Leakage

WAAS detects situations where the contents of critical files, such as /etc/shadow, /etc/passwd, and private keys, are contained in responses. WAAS will also detect when responses contain directory listings, output from php_info() function calls, and other similar data leakage cases of potentially risky information.

Prisma Cloud Advanced Threat Protection

Prisma Cloud Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is a collection of malware signatures and IP reputation lists aggregated from commercial threat feeds, open source threat feeds, and Prisma Cloud Labs. It is delivered to your installation via the Prisma Cloud Intelligence Stream. The data in ATP is used by WAAS to detect suspicious communication with attacker controlled clients such as a botnet herders or C2 servers. For more details please click here.
Prisma Cloud Advanced Threat Protection is not available when protecting Windows-based hosts.

Firewall Actions

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.
A message at the top of the page indicates the entity by which the ban will be applied (IP or Prisma Session ID). When the X-Forwarded-For HTTP header is included in the request headers, ban will apply based on the first IP listed in the header value (true client IP).
To enable ban by Prisma Session ID, Prisma Session Cookies has to be enabled in the Advanced Settings tab. for more information please refer to the Advanced Settings help page.
WAAS implements state, which is required for banning user sessions by IP address or Prisma Sessions. Because Defenders do not share state, any application that is replicated across multiple nodes must enable IP stickiness on the load balancer.

Firewall Exceptions

WAAS allows for fin