AWS WAF Review

Stable and scalable with a free-to-use version

What is our primary use case?

A primary use case example is when a customer from the cloud wants to expose his applications to the internet. We make sure that the clients, the applications, whatever they're trying to export, are public but that it's not going directly public. We make a backup, for instance, to protect the sellers and applications from security checks, etc. 

What is most valuable?

There are two models. One is, you can use the free services which you can download from the AWS website. There is also a paid version, where you can go for individual vendors, like Impala, Fortinet, and different vendors, which helps you to attain the top end web application security. It helps them to update the security patches, etc.

AWS has flexibility in terms of WAF rules. Users can choose from using a free service, which you can do from your own end, or a third-party vendor if you want to as well by choosing a paid version. WAF rules can be managed either by your own self or you can go for a third party.

The best thing with the solution is there is no hard and fast route and when I go for AWS. It's not a monopoly environment.

What needs improvement?

There isn't room for improvement per se. the cloud is constantly evolving and changing however, so we'll see what the future brings.

When users choose the free service, there isn't great support available to them. This is because, when it comes to any issues, due to the fact that it says that when the rules are defined by the users, it becomes their responsibility. When there are any problems or threats, which don't get mitigated or the threat is not being properly managed, since the rules are owned by the user, they take responsibility for everything. It would be helpful if AWS could take a bit of responsibility here and help users understand where things went wrong.

Support wise, I don't think they are that good compared to individual vendors. When it comes to vendors, it becomes their product, and being a product owner, they take more responsibility and ownership of issues. AWS doesn't do that at all.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. We haven't run into bugs or glitches. It's reliable. You don't see any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since we're talking more about the cloud version of the web application firewall, it's highly scalable. When I say scaling, there is a concept called auto-scaling wherein which you can scale up and scale down according to your amount of traffic load. It's automated, so it's highly scalable, actually.

While any company can use AWS, we see a lot of medium-sized firms using this particular solution, as opposed to larger companies, as those have already their own vendors which are already in the on-premises data centers environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would say from the support point of view, there should be more flexibility when it comes to when users have issues to be able to ask for their help. They need to try to go the extra mile and right now they just aren't doing that.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've only used AWS for a few customers. Usually, we recommend a different solution. However, it depends on the client and the type of budget that they have. As one version of AWS is free, sometimes that is the only option.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not difficult. It's very straightforward.

Deployment is pretty quick and might take up to one and a half hours at most.

You don't need too many people for maintenance. If they are knowledgable enough, a single person can handle it with no problems. They're even able to do some scripting language to handle the deployment and can set up some automation protocols as well.

When it comes to maintenance, the real challenge comes into play for mitigation. You might need maybe we need four to five people, at a large organization.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are two versions of the solution available, one of which is free, which is the version we use, so we don't pay for anything.

What other advice do I have?

We're using the latest version of the solution.

When customers tend to use multi-cloud vendors and multi-cloud environments, they want solid security protection. That's where the third party comes into the purchase. If any customer is specific to some cloud like AWS or Azure, we won't recommend third party. We'll try to use AWS's own specific services so that it's smarter cost-wise and flexibility wise, so it adds value to the customer.

However, when things go to a multi-cloud environment or a hybrid cloud architecture, that's when the third party comes into the picture. 

I would recommend this solution to companies who are looking for cloud solutions with firewall flexibility. AWS is very user-friendly and largely inexpensive, however, if an organization has the budget, there are lots of great products out there that do largely the same thing.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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