The global Web application firewall (WAF) market was once primarily driven by regulatory requirements to protect Web applications and the sensitive customer data they collect. High-profile data breaches are driving organizations to now also proactively evaluate WAF solutions as a means to minimize business risk from unprotected Web applications.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $431.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $777.3 million in 2018. The study encompasses WAF products as well as services.
“Hackers and nation states are increasingly targeting websites in an attempt to gain illicit access to enterprise networks and highly valuable digital assets,” said Frost & Sullivan Network Security Senior Industry Analyst Chris Rodriguez. “Since Web applications present a number of unique security challenges that require purpose-built security solutions, such high profile data breaches have piqued the demand for WAF systems.”
While the market is poised for growth, large-scale adoption remains slow due to the technology’s reputation as an enterprise-only solution requiring a high level of technical expertise. The recollection of technical challenges and costs associated with early WAF solutions has limited WAF adoption to date. Potential customers are hesitant to deploy WAF fearing that they lack the time, expertise and budgets necessary.
WAF vendors are working to dispel these perceptions by simplifying usability, improving detection accuracy, and offering WAF services. As interest in WAF solutions resurges, companies will consider the Web experience from a holistic perspective that incorporates elements of security, performance and availability.
“WAF has convergence benefits with related Web technologies such as distributed denial of service mitigation, as well as non-security Web technologies such as load balancing and content distribution network services,” observed Rodriguez. “Hence, WAF vendors must collaborate with associated Web technology solution providers, spanning multiple areas of expertise, to stay competitive in the global WAF market.”