In today's digital age, securing websites and web applications from cyber-attacks has become a top priority for organizations of all sizes. One way to enhance security is by using a Web Application Firewall (WAF). Many WAF options are available, each offering unique features and capabilities.
In this article, we will be comparing three popular WAFs: Imperva, Cloudflare, and open-appsec. By examining these solutions' differences, you will better understand which WAF is best suited for your specific security needs.
open-appsec WAF vs. Imperva WAF vs. Cloudflare WAF
Protection against OWASP Top 10
Machine Learning based approach
Yes (no signatures required)
Zero-day Pre-emptive protection
Dynamic Application Profiling and Correlated Attack Validation
Collective Intelligence to identify new threats.
ThreatCloud blocks malicious IPs, anonymizers, and Tor.
Declarative configuration and deployment (DevOps style)
SIEM integration options are available.
Log storage in the cloud is available
10K events per month for community users, 1M monthly for premium users, and 10M for enterprise users.
Rich, friendly graphical interface.
Yes (but it needs improving).
SaaS web-based event management and dashboards.
Small to medium to large
Free trial available
Free plan available
Yes (community version for unlimited HTTP requests).
$59 per month for Pro users. Starting from $6000 (based on bandwidth and the number of applicants) for Large Enterprise. Starting from $10,000 (customizable) for On-premises.
$20 per month for Pro users.
$200 per month for Business users.
Custom (as per business needs) for Enterprise users.
Premium edition (pay-as-you-go per 1M HTTP requests). Enterprise edition (Annual payment per 100M HTTP requests).
Integrations and APIs
NGINX Ingress Envoy add-on Kubernetes Ingress Gateway VM for AWS
Prometheus/ Grafana integration
Imperva WAF Review
The Imperva WAF includes a security reverse proxy, which is deployed across the global content delivery network (CDN). It is PCI-certified and is a key component of Imperva's WAAP stack which complements the secure proxy to monitor HTTP(S) requests. You can use it for any hybrid environment – SaaS WAF and WAF Gateway/ Cloud WAF. Moreover, Imperva WAF ensures the protection of its users against advanced bots and API threats, irrespective of whether they deploy WAF as a service or as a self-managed option.
Its patented dynamic application profiling can learn all aspects of your web applications (such as URLs and directories) and evaluate them across a set of rules, thus accurately detecting threats and blocking malicious traffic. Imperva professionals continuously monitor traffic, analyze it, and update rules accordingly to keep your security relevant and up-to-date.
Imperva WAF’s automatic policy creation and fast rule propagation allow your employees to use third-party code without worrying about its security.
Pros and Cons of Imperva WAF
Secures from edge to database.
No zero-day pre-emptive protection as it uses signatures
Need to provide your private keys
It can be deployed on-premises and in the cloud.
It uses centralized configuration, a single-stack approach that simplifies provisioning (IT infrastructure set-up process), security, and performance.
Performs with near zero false positives.
Out-of-the-box rules ensure protection against evolving threats.
Cloudflare WAF Review
Cloudflare WAF is a web application firewall that protects your applications from web attacks. It allows you to customize your ruleset to block threats. Its machine learning also results in a smarter detection of bypasses and attack variations of RCE, XSS, and SQLi attacks.
Cloudflare's global WAF protection is easy to set up and implement without training. It provides an uptime (meaning, for how long your systems would be available to your customers in the case of an incident) service level agreement (SLA) for its Business and Enterprise users. Its powerful bot mitigation ensures protection against advanced and sophisticated bots and provides bot analytics to its users.
Besides securing your web applications, Cloudflare WAF also provides lossless image optimization for your websites, a feature available for Pro, Business, and Enterprise users. Cloudflare’s unmetered (172 Tbps network, blocking around 126 billion threats regularly) DDOS protection is an excellent feature for your web applications.
Pros and Cons of Cloudflare WAF
It effectively detects and mitigates requests which are unusually large in number and are suspected to be from a malicious domain.
No zero-day pre-emptive protection as it uses signatures
They offer flexible response options which allow you to block, log, limit rate, and challenge (CAPTCHA to check whether it was a request from a bot) the HTTP requests received.
Need to provide your private keys
It has a machine-learning model that is continuously trained to tackle evolving threats.
Too many false negative alerts make it slightly confusing in terms of accuracy.
Its managed ruleset enables protection against advanced zero-day vulnerabilities.
In case of traffic congestion, Cloudflare optimizes traffic coming in from IP address ranges for Enterprise users.
open-appsec Web Application Review
Are you looking for a way to block attacks on your web application before they happen? open-appsec uses machine learning to continuously detect and preemptively block threats before they can do any damage. Our code has also been published on GitHub, and the effectiveness of our WAF has been successfully proven in numerous tests by third parties. Try open-appsec in the Playground today.
open-appsec WAF takes preemptive measures against OWASP 10 and zero-day threats. It uses machine learning to protect your web applications and APIs and does not require signature updates. For example, it offers protection against zero-day attacks like Log4j without requiring software updates.
The open-appsec WAF uses an ML-based approach to ensure a minimal need for tuning and no false positives. Thanks to continuous learning, it can find new threats, so you are protected against well-known as well as new, advanced forms of attacks.
It uses two forms of machine learning models: unsupervised and supervised. The unsupervised model works in the protected environment in real-time and is built using web traffic patterns specific to that environment. On the other hand, the supervised model is trained offline with data from millions of malicious and benign requests.
Meanwhile, you can deploy open-appsec as a Docker container, Agent for Linux, and Kubernetes Ingress Controller. The open-appsec WAF incorporates the same basic agent technology for all these deployment vehicles, and the master SaaS component, Fog, can centrally manage these agents. Fog provides registration, policy update, configuration update, software updates, logging, and learning data synchronization. Its automation methods, GraphQL API, and Terraform (for Infrastructure-as-code) allow you to create, read, update or delete any object in the system.
Following is a list of some key features of open-appsec:
Key features of open-appsec
● ML-based malicious content blocking and OpenAPI schema validation allow you to monitor your API usage and keep it within safe limits to narrow your attack surface.
● Botnet management- stops automated attacks using its behavioral-based anti-bot.
● Intrusion Prevention System with custom Snort 3.0 support- get real-time metrics of your traffic patterns.
● Deploy and manage using Helm Charts, Kubernetes annotations, Terraform, or extensive GraphQL API
● Intrusion Prevention System protection is available against 2800+ web CVEs based on Check Point award-winning NSS-certified IPS.
● It allows integration into modern environments and workloads for the public cloud and Kubernetes and CI/CD workflows supporting Kubernetes Ingress, Docker, and Linux servers.
● HTTPS traffic monitoring- storage facility available for your SSL certificates and private keys on a local basis or a public cloud (AWS/ Azure)
Pros and cons of open-appsec
ML-based WAF for attack mitigation.
It is a new security solution.
A small community of users.
Automatic IPS security updates for Premium and Enterprise edition users.
Not a lot of information is available on the internet.
Snort 3.0 Support is available for the IPS engine.
ThreatCloud to block malicious IPs, anonymizers, and Tor for Enterprise users.
Log storage in a Cloud facility is available for all users (10K events per month for community users, 1M events per month for Premium users, and 100M events per month for Enterprise users).
Automatic upgrades (Premium and Enterprise editions).
Support is available for all users.
Enterprise users can request integration advisors.
Imperva WAF has high customer satisfaction because it has scope for innovation. However, it lags behind Cloudflare WAF in terms of cloud security. But if you need a strong on-premises WAF, then Imperva will suit you better. Cloudflare WAF is a powerful solution for brilliant cloud web application security, but users often suggest reporting and user interface improvements.
On the other hand, Imperva’s global SOC team, customer support, and easy-to-use interface contribute to its high user reviews. However, if you want to test your security environment with a new security service, open-appsec’s community version allows you to do so. It can also be deployed for unlimited HTTP requests. The ML-based approach requires no signatures and delivers protection against OWASP 10 and zero-day threats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Cloudflare have a CDN?
Yes, it has a global CDN, which benefits large websites as its security features and caching allow users to save time.
What advantage does Imperva have over Cloudflare?
Imperva’s global server network provides a CDN, load balancing services, failover, web application firewall, and DDOS protection. It not only secures websites but also ensures faster loading of websites.