Top Web Application Firewall Tools for 2023

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As businesses increasingly move their operations online, they are at constant risk of emerging cybersecurity threats. A good cybersecurity strategy comprises many components. One of them, a Web Application Firewall (WAF) solution, can help protect businesses from potential threats and vulnerabilities by consistently intercepting and monitoring website traffic.

With so many WAF tools on the market, finding the best-performing solutions for your business can be challenging. Even so, organizations must ensure they are investing in comprehensive solutions to effectively mitigate security risks. With that in mind, we have put together a list of the top WAF tools available to help you choose a practical solution for your business needs.

Here are our top picks:

  • Fortinet FortiWeb: Best for comprehensive threat protection
  • AWS WAF: Best for AWS clients
  • MS Azure Web Application Firewall: Best for Azure ecosystem
  • Citrix Web App Firewall: Best for flexible deployment
  • CloudFlare WAF: Best for API protection

Top Web Application Firewall Tools Comparison

  Real-time Threat Detection  API Protection  Customization Deployment Options  Pricing
Fortinet FortiWeb Advanced ML-powered features Yes Yes On-premise (hardware/software) and cloud-based Free demo and quote-based pricing
AWS WAF Optional JavaScript and iOS/Android SDKs  Yes Yes Cloud-based Customized pricing options
Microsoft Azure Web Application Firewall SIEM (Security Information Event Management) tools Yes Yes Cloud-based Quote-based
Citrix Web App Firewall Integration with scanning tools like Qualys, White Hat, IBM, Rapid7 Yes Yes Hardware, software, and hybrid Customized plans
CloudFlare WAF Exposed credential checks Yes Yes Cloud-based  Starts at $20/month

Jump to:

Top Web Application Firewall Tools for Your Business

Fortinet icon

Fortinet FortiWeb: Best for comprehensive threat protection

Fortinet Fortiweb is a top WAF solution that efficiently identifies threats and vulnerabilities across business-critical web applications. It uses machine learning algorithms and AI-driven features for improved security and advanced analytics.

Available in different form factors such as hardware appliances or VM options, Fortiweb can seamlessly integrate across the latest cloud environments. This makes it a comprehensive solution that helps businesses with web application security, bot defense, API discovery and protection, anomaly detection, and advanced threat analytics.


Fortinet Fortiweb offers a free product demo to try out its features and capabilities. Request a quote for pricing details.


  • Security fabric integration with FortiGate NGFWs and FortiSandBox
  • False positive mitigation for unwanted traffic blocking
  • Hardware-based acceleration for rapid traffic encryption/decryption
  • Threat intelligence feed for identifying hackers’ behavior patterns


  • Advanced ML-powered features
  • Incorporated automatic updates
  • Wide deployment options: Cloud, on-premise, and hybrid
  • Visual reporting tools for detailed attack analysis


  • Complex management console
  • Requires improved logging and configuration features

For more information, read the full Fortinet FortiWeb review.

Amazon Web Services icon

Amazon Web Services (AWS) WAF: Best for AWS clients 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) WAF can be deployed as a SaaS (Software as a Service), cloud, or web-based solution for protecting web applications against malicious cyberattacks.

It is a robust website security solution that can be easily integrated with other AWS services and is ideally best for clients using the AWS management console.

AWS WAF improves web traffic visibility with real-time metrics and allows businesses to create a centralized set of rules that can be deployed across multiple websites and applications.


Pricing for AWS WAF is calculated according to the web Access Control Lists (ACLs) created. The free-tier account allows access to features including Bot Control and Fraud Control. For detailed pricing plans, request a quote.


  • AWS WAF Bot Control for handling pervasive bot traffic
  • Fraud Control for monitoring unauthorized access and compromised credentials
  • Full feature APIs for secured development and design processes
  • Optional JavaScript and iOS/Android SDKs for fraud monitoring
  • Integration with Amazon CouldWatch for customized alarms


  • Easy deployment and maintenance
  • AWS Cloud integration and support
  • Sample template for describing security rules
  • Automatic audits with Firewall Manager


  • Needs improvement in technical support
  • Expensive for single applications
Microsoft icon

Microsoft Azure Web Application Firewall: Best for Azure ecosystem

Microsoft Azure Web Application Firewall has premium security features that offer powerful protection against malicious attacks. This cloud-native solution works best in the Azure platform and can be easily integrated with other tools and services. Businesses using the Azure App Service for hosting web applications can directly enable the WAF.


Microsoft Azure offers customized pricing options for its Web Application Firewall solution. Set the filters according to requirements and use the pricing calculator for an overall cost estimate. For detailed pricing plans, request a quote


  • Azure Sentinel integration for security information event management
  • SIEM (Security Information Event Management) tools for improved visibility
  • Full REST API support
  • Highly scalable infrastructure


  • Latest managed and preconfigured rulesets
  • Fast organizational compliance
  • Detailed monitoring with security alerts and logs
  • Agentless deployment


  • Expensive for small and medium-scale businesses
  • Complex configuration
NetScaler icon

Citrix Web App Firewall: Best for flexible deployment

Citrix Web App Firewall is also known as the NetScaler Web App Firewall. Based on an advanced security model, this solution fends off cyber threats with constantly-evolving protection techniques.

It efficiently monitors user interactions using artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) algorithms to detect behavior-based attacks and prevent data loss and security breaches. Available as a standalone appliance (physical or virtual) or as a cloud-based service, Citrix Web App Firewall can be deployed across different environments and infrastructures.

Businesses using Citrix ADC (Application Delivery Controller) can take advantage of a single license approach.


Different subscription options exist: Hardware ADCs, Software ADCs, and Software plus hardware ADCs. Get details and request a demo by contacting sales.


  • Single-pass architecture for processing traffic
  • Dynamic profiling for automated learning
  • Pre-configured and customized signature rules
  • Security recommendations
  • Integration with scanning tools like Qualys, White Hat, IBM, Rapid7


  • Prioritized remediation based on security risks level
  • Massive-scale application protection
  • Strategic initiatives for threat mitigation
  • Positive security checks for unwanted traffic


  • Connection issues
  • Frequent downtime 
Cloudflare icon

CloudFlare WAF: Best for API protection

CloudFlare’s WAF solution is a leading product packed with high-end features for web application security. Gartner and Forrester Wave have recognized it as a top solution. The CloudFlare WAF constantly updates its security mechanisms with insights from its global network to handle emerging threats efficiently.

It also helps businesses add powerful rulesets using advanced machine learning to bypass and neutralize zero-day threats.


Four plans are available: Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise

The minimum charges for paid plans start at $20 per month. The features included vary by plan. Talk to CloudFlare’s experts for a customized plan.


  • Deep packet inspection
  • Full-stack protection against DDoS
  • URL-specific custom rulesets for tailored protection
  • Customizable block pages
  • Layered defenses for improved security posture


  • A single control pane for easier management
  • No hardware/software tuning
  • Reduced web latency
  • Exposed credential checks
  • Flexible response options


  • Requires higher-tier membership to access advanced features
  • Limitations with third-party integrations
  • Complex analytics

Key Features of Web Application Firewall Tools

Web Application Firewalls are primarily designed to filter and monitor the traffic between the internet and web applications, creating a holistic defense system. Here are some of their key features:

Real-time threat detection

In order to minimize potential damage, WAF solutions must identify attacks as they happen. This capability reduces vulnerabilities and ensures proactive protection by leveraging up-to-date information. With enhanced threat detection capabilities, WAFs help businesses develop robust security mechanisms.


Business requirements vary extensively. As such, Web Application Firewalls must offer application-specific protection through customization features. They must help address specific security requirements and configure rulesets according to organizational requirements.

Applications can also have specific business logic vulnerabilities. Customization allows for the design of security measures that address these application-specific flaws.

API protection

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are vulnerable to unauthorized access, parameter manipulation, SQL injection, and other forms of intrusion. These gateways must be protected with strong authentication and authorization mechanisms to block malicious activity, which is why WAF solutions must have API protection capabilities.


There are primarily two types of Web Application Firewall: on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise WAF solutions can be integrated physically and virtually into the system within the business environment. They offer complete authority and control.

Cloud-based solutions operate in the cloud domain and are primarily managed by the providers. They can be easily set up and are cost-effective. The choice comes down to an organization’s requirements and security policies.

Virtual patching

Virtual patching offers an additional layer of security that offers immediate protection against known and unknown threats. This safety measure implements protective rules and policies, safeguarding the system from potential exploitation until a permanent patch is developed. WAF solutions with virtual patching abilities can reduce the attack surface and intercept exploits from vulnerabilities.

How to Choose the Best Web Application Firewall Tool for a Business

Although businesses tend to choose solutions based on their budget, there are a number of important factors to bear in mind when investing in Web Application Firewall solutions. Here are some key considerations:

Detection and prevention systems

With more sophisticated cyberattacks invading business networks, implementing robust defense mechanisms is more crucial than ever.

WAFs have different built-in features like threat intelligence, real-time monitoring and analysis, IP reputation checks, signature-based detection and more to prevent diverse web attacks.

When choosing a Web Application Firewall, it is essential to assess its detection and prevention capabilities and whether these suit your requirements.

Bot mitigation

Cybercriminals often set up automated attacks using bots that can mimic human behavior. These bots can steal sensitive information, infect systems, and overwhelm websites with traffic, causing significant business damage.

WAFs equipped with bot mitigation capabilities can identify and block these malicious activities, securing organizational integrity.

These firewalls use advanced ML algorithms to track user sessions and identify suspicious patterns to detect bot attacks.

Centralized administration

A unified management console makes deploying multiple WAF instances across different environments easier. It also reduces configuration errors with real-time monitoring and reporting.

With centralized administration, you get comprehensive visibility through a consolidated view of all security incidents.

Automated updates

WAF providers release frequent vulnerability updates, bug fixes, and security patches. With continuously emerging vulnerabilities, WAF solutions must stay relevant and on top of the latest threats.

Automated updates streamline the update process by eliminating the need for manual intervention. This proactive approach improves overall security posture and mitigates potential risks by helping to maintain a consistently updated system.


When implementing Web Application Firewall solutions, businesses must protect their sensitive information. Unauthorized access and data breaches can have severe legal and financial consequences. Checking the vendor’s security compliance practices and data protection regulations is paramount.

Bottom Line: Choosing the Right Web Application Firewall Tool

Web Application Firewalls are an integral component of the network security posture. They act as a shield between business-critical applications and the online world to defend the system against various attacks.

Organizations looking to implement WAF solutions must consider several factors to ensure they have access to all the necessary security features to protect their sensitive business data.

Assessing existing capabilities, infrastructural details, and integration requirements can lead to a smoother WAF deployment, keeping organizations safe and secure from threat actors.

Learn more about web application firewalls.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are Web Application Firewall tools necessary for businesses?

In today’s digital landscape, businesses heavily rely on online tools and applications to facilitate day-to-day operations. However, this increased reliance also exposes them to a heightened risk of cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access.

WAFs help organizations implement security measures that act as a barrier between cyber threats and business applications. They help businesses with:

  • Threat detection and filtering
  • Malicious HTTP/S traffic blocking
  • Communication analysis
  • DDoS attack prevention
  • Improved web security

How do WAFs prevent DDoS attacks?

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are common cyberattacks that overload web applications with high volumes of malicious traffic. WAFs can mitigate such attacks by setting thresholds with rate-limiting policies, analyzing incoming traffic patterns, filtering IP addresses, traffic shaping, deploying CAPTCHA challenges, and other techniques.

Are WAFs different from firewalls?

Traditional network firewalls and Web Application Firewalls are designed for different purposes, and have different scopes of protection. While conventional firewalls are responsible for securing network infrastructure, WAFs specifically protect web applications. In addition, network firewalls operate at Layer 3 and Layer 4 of the OSI model, whereas WAFs operate at Layer 7.


We followed a strategic approach to analyze different WAF solutions and identify the most valuable features for businesses of all sizes. For deeper insights, we referred to user reviews and ratings to evaluate customer satisfaction levels and real-world performance. We thoroughly analyzed different Web Application Firewalls to determine  essential features and built our list of the best WAFs available to businesses in 2023 accordingly.

Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas is a contributing writer to Enterprise Storage Forum. He covers a range of technical topics, including managed services, cloud computing, security, storage, business management, and product design and development. Kashyap holds a Master's Degree in Engineering and finds joy in traveling, exploring new cultures, and immersing himself in Indian classical and Sufi music. uns a consulting agency.

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