One of the most worrying trends that internet users have experienced is the unprecedented rise of cybercrime. Massive data breaches have made headlines regularly, as companies, organizations and governments alike are struggling to keep hackers at bay. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to get their hands on users’ personal data and launch sophisticated attacks daily. It might seem that this is the price to pay in the information age, but fortunately, the cybersecurity industry is striking back, developing tailored solutions that can significantly enhance our digital defenses.
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As Cybercrime Rises, Web Applications Receive Optimal Protection Through Customized Firewall
Cybersecurity spending set to rise to $124 billion
In the face of such a steep rise in a hacking incident, it is no wonder that cybersecurity spending is set to grow. According to a report conducted by Gartner, the global market for information security is set to grow to $124 billion in 2019. That figure is up 8.7% from the estimated $114 billion spent in 2018 – which was already a rise of 12.4% compared to 2017. Over $3.5 billion of that amount are going to be spent in data security in 2019 since data is the preferred target of hackers looking for financial gain. After having acquired unauthorized access to a user’s data, the cybercriminal can decrypt it in the context of a ransomware attack and extort the victim for a ransom in order to unlock it, or use it to commit identity theft and steal money. A whopping $64.24 billion is going to be invested in security services, reaffirming that cybersecurity is the profession of the future. A considerable amount is also set to fund fundamental security operations, like infrastructure security, which will claim over $15 billion in 2019 or equipment to protect networks, which will see more than $13 billion invested. Finally, $459 million are going to be spent in cloud security and almost $6.7 billion in consumer security software solutions.
Web application security a top priority
The fact that they are so widely used renders web applications an ideal entry point for hackers – especially when it comes to web applications that store and process critical information like payment details. In terms of security, a web application firewall is widely considered a crucial tool when it comes to protecting web apps from malicious intruders and preventing them from stealing sensitive data. It works by filtering all incoming requests to spot suspicious or unusual behavior to identify hacker attacks. By preventing these malicious requests, a WAF is a valuable tool to have when it comes to protecting against OWASP Top 10 threats like cross-site scripting, SQL injection and illegal resource access.
How can a web application firewall benefit mobile users?
A WAF is also useful for users who are mostly working from their smartphones – a market which is constantly growing. As research indicates, roughly 1.56 billion smartphones were sold all over the globe, while 2.71 billion people out of the planet’s entire population, which is estimated to be about 7.7 billion, are using smartphones in 2019. In fact, mobile devices have become so popular that a whopping 52.2% of all online traffic globally was generated through smartphones in 2018. With roughly 10 billion smartphones and tablets in use today, daily tasks are routinely performed on our smartphones – and a big part of those tasks rely on a web application to be carried out. From accessing your webmail to web banking, web apps are essential and function in the background. While mobile app adoption rates are also climbing, many mobile users – especially those who prefer tablets – still make use of browser-based web applications. This is more often than not the case when businesses opt to provide their services via mobile-friendly browser-based versions of their website. In those instances, a WAF installed by the company behind the web app can work wonders towards protecting the end user. A WAF is typically deployed on a server level, sometimes even as a server plug-in, so it is not the decision of the web application users on whether they want this added layer of protection – even though they might try to influence things by preferring companies that insist on implementing a WAF as part of their consumer safety suite.
Even though it might sound simple, WAFs are incredibly powerful and complicated cybersecurity solutions that can protect against some of the most elaborate hacker attacks out there – whether you are using a desktop computer or a mobile device.