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Imperva vs. Cloudflare WAF

Posted DateSeptember 12, 2023
Posted Time 5   min Read

What is Cloudflare WAF?

Cloudflare’s web application firewall (WAF) serves as the central pillar of its advanced application security suite, ensuring the safety and efficiency of applications. Cloudflare’s free plan presents notable benefits for SMEs managing limited traffic and smaller-scale applications.

Key Benefits of Cloudflare Vs. Imperva WAF

API Security

Cloudflare offers comprehensive API protection with integrated API management, robust analytics, and multiple layers of API defenses. It extensively supports API protocols, such as REST, SOAP, JSON, and more.

Like AppTrana, Cloudflare includes API discovery and a positive security model to enhance API protection.

To enhance API security with API discovery in Imperva WAF, you need to have a subscription for their API security add-on.

DDoS Protection

While both Cloudflare and Imperva offer DDoS protection, Imperva is generally considered a premium solution, which may come with a corresponding pricing structure reflecting its advanced capabilities.

Cloudflare has a remarkable history of successfully mitigating some of the largest-scale DDoS attacks ever documented, showcasing its effectiveness in handling massive threats. Like AppTrana, Cloudflare’s DDoS protection adapts to your unique traffic patterns, offering an enhanced defense against sophisticated DDoS attacks.

Cloudflare’s extensive network, which spans 209 Tbps and reaches 300 cities in 100 countries, empowers them to counter major threats effectively. In contrast, while possessing a substantial network presence, Imperva generally operates on a smaller scale than Cloudflare, potentially having fewer data centers.

Cloudflare for SaaS

Cloudflare’s comprehensive suite of SSL certificate management, vanity domain support, advanced Bot Mitigation, WAF rules, analytics, DDoS mitigation, and API security products makes it an ideal choice for SaaS companies of all sizes.

With Cloudflare for SaaS, you can choose from Free, Pro, and Business plans, and their adaptable pricing in the $0-$200 range caters to the needs of startups and scale-ups, allowing them to align their plan with their evolving business requirements.

For a comprehensive list of the top web application firewall solutions, don’t miss our detailed blog on the 17 Best Cloud WAAP & WAF Software in 2023.

What is Imperva WAF?

Imperva’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) is an all-encompassing security solution designed to protect web applications and APIs. It monitors and filters incoming and outgoing traffic, proactively preventing potential threats and attacks.

Medium to large enterprises rely on Imperva WAF as a robust tool to proactively prevent security breaches. The WAF’s hybrid web security testing approach assures all clients of a zero false-positive SLA. Result? 90% of applications onboarded in block mode.

Key Benefits of Imperva vs. Cloudflare WAF


Imperva stands out as one of the few providers of WAAP solutions that incorporate RASP (Runtime Application Self-Protection). RASP empowers SOC teams to make quicker, more informed decisions and significantly reduces the time required for investigations.

Although RASP can be challenging to manage, it can be valuable in mitigating false positives, particularly in environments where the application landscape remains relatively static and standardized across the organization.

While Cloudflare boasts world-class threat intelligence, it faces the complexity of creating generic rules to protect its vast network of hundreds and thousands of applications. This can lead to instances of false positives.

Hybrid Deployment

One key aspect to consider in the Imperva vs. Cloudflare WAF debate is the flexibility of hybrid deployment, where Imperva excels.

Whether you’re managing a mix of legacy on-premises applications and modern cloud-based services or dealing with a diverse portfolio of web applications with varying security requirements, Imperva’s hybrid WAF deployment offers significant advantages.

By seamlessly combining on-premises and cloud-based security measures, this approach provides a tailored solution for businesses with a hybrid infrastructure. It ensures consistent and effective application security across your entire ecosystem, regardless of the diverse technology stacks and deployment models you may have in place.

Cost-Effective For Larger Deployments

Among the top WAAP providers in the industry, Imperva shines as a cost-effective option for large-scale implementations, particularly for those who opt out of managed services.

AppTrana - the best Imperva WAF alternative

An Alternative to Both Imperva and Cloudflare WAF

When considering DDoS protection, Cloudflare is renowned for its mitigation capabilities, but their free and pro plans lack support during attacks, with business plans offering chat support. Robust support capabilities are primarily accessible through the enterprise plan, a critical factor in dealing with sophisticated DDoS attacks, where the guidance of security experts becomes indispensable. Imperva WAF, on the other hand, provides managed services as an optional add-on.

AppTrana takes a comprehensive approach by bundling DDoS monitoring, virtual patches, and thorough false-positive testing into a single $399 plan, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a managed WAF solution that goes the extra mile.

AppTrana distinguishes itself in the WAAP landscape by highlighting three key features:

  • ZERO false positive guarantee
  • 100% applications deployed in block mode
  • 24-Hour SLA for virtually patching critical vulnerabilities

Other Benefits of AppTrana WAF

All in One Bundle with Zero Add-ons

AppTrana WAAP bundles all the essential protection for web applications and APIs in one package. With features like API security, bot mitigation, asset discovery, risk detection, and DDoS mitigation all built-in, there’s no need to juggle add-ons or worry about hidden costs.

Imperva often insists on filling up essential features like advanced bot mitigation, Tor IP-Based detection, API discovery, and API-specific WAF policies as separate add-ons, adding complexity and cost.

Cloudflare also follows a similar path where bot protection, managed service, and DDoS monitoring are additional add-ons, adding twists to your security budget.

Unmetered DDoS Protection

AppTrana provides unmetered DDoS protection across all its plans, ensuring you are only charged for legitimate, clean traffic, irrespective of the scale of DDoS attacks mitigated.

In contrast, Cloudflare offers unmetered DDoS protection as an additional service, costing $.05 for every 10,000 requests.

Embedded DAST and Pen-Testing

AppTrana brings a unique strategy to the table by integrating the DAST scanner with its WAF, streamlining the process of identifying and resolving vulnerabilities. The dashboard delivers a transparent overview of protected vulnerabilities managed by core rules, highlighting areas where custom rules or virtual patches are required.

AppTrana’s Premium plan further enhances security by including manual penetration testing for applications, aiding in discovering business logic errors and critical vulnerabilities.

Virtual Patching as a Service

Rapid response to zero-day vulnerabilities is vital in today’s dynamic IT security landscape. Virtual patching is the strategy of immediate vulnerability mitigation, allowing code fixes to a later time.

AppTrana empowers administrators to proactively stop the exploitation of known vulnerabilities by compressing the patching timeline from months to just 24 hours. Moreover, the managed services team automatically patches all zero-day vulnerabilities, enhancing the organization’s security posture.

Asset Discovery

Asset discovery is an integrated aspect of all plans, ensuring that users can fully utilize this potent feature, irrespective of their subscription level.

This feature comprehensively overviews your publicly accessible web assets, including domains, subdomains, IPs, mobile apps, data centers, and APIs. It allows you to evaluate their resilience against potential threats and gauge their exposure. Furthermore, it provides real-time options for users to maintain an up-to-date asset inventory by adding, modifying, or removing asset information as needed.

Feature Comparison Table: Imperva vs. Cloudflare WAF

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

WAF Feature Cloudflare AppTrana Imperva
Gartner Peer Insights Rating 4.5 4.9 4.7
Gartner Peer Insights Customer Recommendation Rating 93% 100% 92%
DDoS Monitoring Enterprise Only Starts at $399 Add-On
Virtual Patching Self service Starts at $99 Add-On
Payload Inspection Size 128KB 134MB Unknown
NTLM Support No Yes Unknown
Bot Protection Yes Yes Not available in essentials

Add-on in Professional

Bundled in Enterprise Plan

Response Timeout Default: 100 seconds
Enterprise: 6000 seconds
Default: 300 seconds


Max: 300 seconds

Default: 360 seconds

Max: Unknown

Managed Services Enterprise only Starts at $399 Add-On
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 Available as an Add-On
API Security Available Available Available
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 Add-On
Origin Protection Limited Bundled in all plans Not Available

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