What is Web Application & API Protection (WAAP)?

WAAP (Web Application & API Protection), a term coined by Gartner to describe cloud-based services that act as a security shield against cybercriminals, DDoS attacks, malicious bots, and other emerging cyber threats. Given the growing cybercrime rates, the need to protect vulnerable web applications and APIs has become indispensable.

In this article, we delve further into “WAAP” and how it protects web applications and APIs.

What is Web Application & API Protection?

Web applications are programs, which are made accessible to its users via web browsers. These applications are a part of any organization’s web presence. API or Application Programming Interface enables programmatic access to these web applications.

WAAP or Web Application & API Protection is a dedicated security solution designed exclusively to safeguard APIs and web applications. It is more effective and powerful than any traditional firewall or security solution. The WAAP is located right on the outer edge of the network, monitoring traffic flow and filtering requests made to the web apps and APIs.

Offered typically through the cloud, web application and API protection solutions offer multi-layered, comprehensive, and highly scalable protection.

Key Capabilities of WAAP Solutions


It monitors and protects web applications from different types of malicious attacks even if they are encrypted and are coming from legitimate traffic.

Allowing Good Bots to Access Application

Locates and blocks the attacks from the malicious bots and allows the good bots to access web applications and APIs.

A Complete DDoS Protection

DDoS attacks (Denial of Distribution Service attacks) occur against APIs, microservices, and apps, both at the application layers and network level. WAAP solutions provide continuous and effective protection against DDoS attacks of all kinds and levels of sophistication.

Minimize API Attack Surface

By automatically identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities, including those outlined in the OWASP Top 10 API threats, protects APIs.

Protection Against Any Malicious Behavior

It protects against any sort of abusive behavior at the web application layers which can affect APIs and websites adversely.

Both APIs and web apps are easily accessible through the public Internet connectivity. Hence sensitive data is easily accessible, and this is the reason why cybercrime is rising rapidly. Conventionally used methodologies like firewalls are not enough to secure the sensitive application and hence WAAP is a must.

Why Traditional WAFs and Other Traditionally Used Protection Systems Are Not Sufficient? 

Signature-based Attack Detection Is No Longer Effective

Cybercriminals find new ways of attacking web applications and hence protecting these applications with signature-based detection solutions like malware blockers and traditional WAF for APIs is no longer effective. WAAP is a sure-shot way for full protection against any type of cyber threat.

Firewalls Cannot Protect Threat from Legitimate Traffic

Traditionally used firewalls filter the internet traffic based on the ports and protocols. But, if attackers use the same protocols or ports as users (like HTTP (s)), then malicious activities cannot be protected through firewalls. For this, a more specifically designed system like WAAP is required which can control attacks from the legitimate traffic too.

IDS and IPS Security is Insufficient to Secure Web Applications

Cyber attackers conceal their malicious content. The kind of security inspection offered by the conventional Intrusion Detection and Prevention System or IPS and IDS is not sufficient for protecting threats against APIs and Web Applications.

TLS Encryption Cannot Detect Malware

A large portion of internet traffic today makes use of TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption that works well for privacy but cannot detect malware. On the other hand, WAAP solutions can analyze TLS connections and hence it can locate malicious content coming from the encrypted traffic.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right WAAP 

WAAP is a sure-shot way to protect against increasingly sophisticated and lethal cyber-attack vectors. Not only this, WAAP offers total account takeover protection and prevents unauthorized access to the accounts of customers. Given how these solutions have become a necessity for businesses and individuals to secure their web apps and APIs, you need to choose a WAAP solution now!

The necessary factors to choose the right WAAP solution are:

  • It should offer you full WAF functionality with a complete set of advanced levels of security services and solutions.
  • It should offer you protection in all cases (whether applications are deployed on the premises or hybrid or in the cloud).
  • It should be simple to deploy, easy to use, manage, configure. Additionally, it could have the features like (ML) Machine Learning-based auto-configuration engine.

AppTrana is one of the best choices for WAAP solutions. Here’s why you should choose this next-gen WAF:

  • Uses advanced behavior, pattern, and signature analysis to prevent a broad range of cyber-attacks.
  • Blocks traffic from TOR IPs (traffic from this network can be extremely malicious)
  •  Monitors the traffic and provides real-time insights to prevent cybersecurity incidents.
  • Provides timey e-mail alerts

With AppTrana, you can be rest assured that your web application and APIs are continuously secure and focused on what matters the most – your core business activities!