Cloudflare vs. Azure WAF

Posted DateSeptember 29, 2023
Posted Time 6   min Read

What is Cloudflare WAF? 

Cloudflare WAF protects against web-based attacks and malicious traffic using customizable rule sets. Cloudflare’s network extends across numerous data centers worldwide, ensuring efficient content delivery and robust DDoS protection. Moreover, Cloudflare provides supplementary functionalities such as CDN caching, SSL/TLS encryption, and DNS management to enhance overall web performance and security. 

Key Benefits of Cloudflare vs. Azure WAF 


When it comes to monitoring, Microsoft’s options are limited, mainly comprising built-in metrics and Azure Log Analytics integration for connection logs.  

On the other hand, Cloudflare delivers a more robust monitoring solution that provides a comprehensive view of network operations. This encompasses detailed information on traffic, requests, cached content, geographic connections, blocked connections, and various other aspects. 

API Security 

In the Cloudflare vs. Azure WAF comparison, one vital element to weigh is API security because modern software heavily relies on APIs. 

Azure WAF’s API security features are relatively limited and lack API discovery functionality. This limitation in API security could leave your applications inadequately protected.  

Like AppTrana, Cloudflare offers a more robust API protection solution and API discovery capabilities. Furthermore, Cloudflare provides broader support for API protocols, including REST, SOAP, JSON, and more. 

DDoS Mitigation 

Azure DDoS Protection offers two tiers—DDoS IP Protection and DDoS Network Protection—which can be configured within the Azure portal during setup. 

While DDoS solutions from WAAP providers are generally robust, Cloudflare’s track record includes successfully mitigating some of the world’s largest-scale attacks ever recorded.  

Their extensive 51 Tbps network consistently thwarts an impressive average of 72 billion threats daily, including some of the most massive DDoS attacks on record. 

This testimony highlights the resilience of Cloudflare’s infrastructure, capable of effectively managing massive DDoS threats across a global landscape of applications.  

Why AppTrana WAF is the best Cloudflare alternative

What is Azure WAF? 

Azure WAF is offered by Microsoft Azure, tailored to protect web applications hosted on the Azure platform. This cloud-based security solution seamlessly integrates with various Azure services, offering centralized management and monitoring via the Azure portal. 

Key Benefits of Azure vs. Cloudflare WAF 

Rulesets from Marketplace  

When configuring the Azure WAF policy, you have two primary types of security rules: 

  • Custom Rules: These are rules you create to tailor the protection to your requirements. 
  • Managed Rule Sets: These rule sets are pre-configured and managed by Azure, offering a convenient way to bolster your security. 

Additionally, you can leverage WAF rule sets from leading providers like Barracudaand Fortinet through the Azure Marketplace. 

These external rule sets may align better with your unique security needs. What sets them apart is their frequent updates, ensuring that you stay protected against evolving threats.  

However, it’s important to note that subscribing to these rule sets comes with a fixed subscription charge and incurs bandwidth costs for the traffic that these rules inspect. 

Achieve Compliance   

In conjunction with Azure Policy, Azure WAF offers a powerful solution to enforce and evaluate organizational standards and compliance across WAF resources.  

Take advantage of a vast array of compliance certifications, exceeding 100 in number, with more than 50 tailored to specific global regions and countries.  

This diverse range ensures that your WAF resources can meet the unique compliance needs of your target markets. 

Native Security Offering 

When cost considerations are at the forefront, Azure proves to be a prime choice for combining security tools.  

Azure WAF seamlessly fits into Azure’s network infrastructure, ensuring traffic is routed directly without the complexities of DNS adjustments.  

Meanwhile, Microsoft Sentinel offers a sophisticated SIEM solution. It empowers you to detect complex threats proactively, conduct thorough investigations, and respond rapidly, reinforcing your security stance. 

Pay-as-you-go Model 

Cloudflare provides pricing options that cater to distinct feature sets and service levels, whereas Azure WAF’s billing is primarily based on data processing volume.  

However, organizations with a substantial online presence may face elevated costs. This is primarily due to the necessity of implementing a more extensive set of web Access Control Lists (ACLs) and rules to achieve their desired security level. 

To access a complete compilation of the leading WAAP solutions, explore our in-depth blog highlighting the top 17 Cloud WAAP & WAF Software for 2023. 

An Alternative to Both Cloudflare and Azure 

Security experts are often burdened with a flood of alerts, and a significant part of this involves sifting through false positives. The core purpose of a WAF is to protect against cyber threats while allowing legitimate traffic to pass. However, false positives not only mess up alerts but can also disrupt legitimate traffic. 

This problem is widespread among WAAP products, with approximately 50% deployed in log-only mode to avoid mistakenly blocking legitimate requests. Unfortunately, this mode means they can’t provide real-time protection. 

Managed services are critical in addressing false positives, making them particularly valuable in this context.  

Cloudflare offers its managed services only for enterprise-level plans, while Azure WAF offers managed services only for the DDoS plan those costs almost $3000 a month. 

AppTrana stands out by offering comprehensive managed services. The security research team monitor applications for 14 days, conduct thorough testing to minimize false positives, and ensure that the WAF consistently operates in block mode.  

Notably, AppTrana boasts a remarkable achievement as the only WAAP platform with a perfect record—100% of its applications are deployed in block mode. 

Here are the other notable features of AppTrana WAF: 

All in One Bundle with Zero Add-ons 

AppTrana WAAP simplifies your security budget by providing a bundled solution that includes all these critical protections.  

It comes equipped with features such as API security, bot mitigation, asset discovery, risk detection, and DDoS mitigation, eliminating the need for managing multiple add-ons or concerns about hidden expenses. 

Cloudflare often requires you to purchase additional add-ons for essential features like bot protection, managed services, and DDoS monitoring. 

In-built VAPT 

According to AppTrana’s data, an analysis of more than 1,400 websites has revealed a total of 34,000 vulnerabilities.  

In-build DAST scanner with AppTrana WAF provides a prompt and cost-effective solution for identifying and addressing these vulnerabilities before potential attackers exploit them. 

AppTrana is the only WAAP that bundles a DAST scanner and penetration testing services conducted by certified security researchers. 

Unmetered Behavioural DDoS Protection 

AppTrana offers unmetered DDoS protection across all its plans, eliminating the need for additional charges. The other benefit is that you don’t have to set static rate-limits with AppTrana as the system tracks user behaviour and recommends rate limits at an IP, geography, URL level. This minimizes the chances of false positives that could be a problem when you set host based rate-limiting policies. 

It ensures you can protect your online assets comprehensively without worrying about escalating costs or coverage limitations. 

Cloudflare offers unmetered DDoS protection as an add-on, with a nominal charge of $.05 per 10,000 requests. On the other hand, Azure provides unmetered DDoS mitigation starting at a fixed cost of $2944 per month. 

Request Inspection Size 

In its default configuration, AppTrana allows the inspection of incoming requests up to a size of 134MB, and there’s no response timeout enforced until five minutes. 

However, in the free, pro, and business plans, Cloudflare restricts the maximum request size for inspection to 128 KB. This limitation may pose challenges, considering the ease with which larger payloads can be transmitted.  

In the Azure environment, the request inspection size is also limited to 128KB.  

Asset Discovery  

To maintain a consistently accurate view of your dynamic IT environment, you should implement active attack surface mapping and continuous monitoring. 

With AppTrana, you gain access to asset discovery, a feature that provides an in-depth overview of your publicly accessible web assets. This includes domains, subdomains, IPs, mobile apps, data centers, and APIs. Asset discovery empowers you to assess the resilience of these assets against potential threats and evaluate their vulnerability exposure. 

What’s noteworthy is that asset discovery is integrated into all AppTrana plans, ensuring that users across all subscription levels can fully leverage this powerful capability. 

Feature Comparison Table: Azure WAF vs. Cloudflare WAF 

Here is a detailed feature comparison table for Cloudflare, AppTrana, and Imperva WAF 

WAF Feature  Cloudflare  AppTrana  Azure 
Gartner Peer Insights Rating  4.5  4.9  4.5 
Gartner Peer Insights Customer Recommendation Rating  93%  100%  89% 
DDoS Monitoring  Enterprise Only  Starts at $399  $2900 per month
Virtual Patching  Self-Service  Managed rules with Zero false positive guarantee start at $99  Self-Service 
Payload Inspection Size  128KB  134MB  128KB 
NTLM Support  No  Yes  Unknown 
Bot Protection  Yes  Yes  Basic protection 
Response Timeout  Default: 100 seconds
Enterprise: 6000 seconds 
Default: 300 seconds 


Max: 300 seconds 

Managed Services  Enterprise only  Starts at $399  Not Available 
DAST Scanner  Not Available  Bundled in all plans  Not Available 
Asset Discovery  Not Available  Bundled in all plans  Not Available 
Penetration Testing  Not Available  Bundled in the $399 plan  Not Available 
API discovery  Available  Available   Not Available 
API Security  Available  Available  Basic 
API Scanning  Not Available  Bundled in the $399 plan  Not Available 
API Pen Testing  Not Available  Bundled in the $399 plan  Not Available 
Workflow based bot mitigation  Enterprise only  Starts at $399  Not Available 
Full Support of  

HTML5 , AJAX and  


Not Available  Available  Not Available 
Authenticated Scans  Not Available  Available  Not Available 
False Positive Monitoring  Not Available  Available  Not Available 
API Definition Support  Not Available  Available  Not Available 
Bypass Mode  Not Available  Available  Not Available 
Origin Protection  Limited  Available  Not Available 

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