A profile is a collection of security settings that are used to protect specific types of web content or specific parts of your website. In a profile, you determine how the Web App Firewall applies each of its filters (or checks) to requests to your websites, and responses from them. The Web App Firewall supports two types of profile: four built-in (default) profiles that do not require further configuration, and user-defined profiles that do require further configuration.

Built-in profiles

The four Web App Firewall built-in profiles provide simple protection for applications and websites that either do not require protection, or that must not be directly accessed by users at all. These profile types are:

  • APPFW_BYPASS. Skips all Web App Firewall filtering and sends the unmodified traffic to the protected application or website, or to the client.
  • APPFW_RESET. Resets the connection, requiring that the client re-establish his or her session by visiting a designated start page.
  • APPFW_DROP. Drops all traffic to or from the protected application or website, and sends no response of any kind to the client.
  • APPFW_BLOCK. Blocks traffic to or from the protected application or website.

You use the built-in profiles exactly as you do user-defined profiles, by configuring a policy that selects the traffic to which you want to apply the profile and then associating the profile with your policy. Since you do not have to configure a built-in policy, it provides a quick way to allow or block specified types of traffic or traffic that is sent to specific applications or websites.

User-defined profiles

User-defined profiles are profiles that are build and configured by users. Unlike the default profiles, you must configure a user-defined profile before it will be of use filtering traffic to and from your protected applications.

There are three types of user-defined profile:

  • HTML. Protects HTML-based web pages.
  • XML. Protects XML-based web services and websites.
  • Web 2.0. Protects Web 2.0 content that combines HTML and XML content, such as ATOM feeds, blogs, and RSS feeds.

The Web App Firewall has a number of security checks, all of which can be enabled or disabled, and configured in a number of ways in each profile. Each profile also has a number of settings that control how it handles different types of content. Finally, rather than manually configuring all of the security checks, you can enable and configure the learning feature. This feature observes normal traffic to your protected websites for a period of time, and uses those observations to provide you with a tailored list of recommended exceptions (relaxations) to some security checks, and additional rules for other security checks.

During initial configuration, whether by using the Web App Firewall Wizard or manually, you normally create one general purpose profile to protect all content on your websites that is not covered by a more specific profile. After that, you can create as many specific profiles as you want to protect more specialized content.

The Profiles pane consists of a table that contains the following elements:

Name. Displays all the Web App Firewall profiles configured in the appliance.

Bound signature. Displays the signatures object that is bound to the profile in the previous column, if any.

Policies. Displays the Web App Firewall policy that invokes the profile in the leftmost column of that row, if any.

Comments. Displays the comment associated with the profile in the leftmost column of that row, if any.

Profile Type. Displays the type of profile. Types are Built-In, HTML, XML, and Web 2.0.

Above the table is a row of buttons and a drop-down list that allow you to create, configure, delete, and view information about your profiles:

  • Add. Add a new profile to the list.
  • Edit. Edit the selected profile.
  • Delete. Delete the selected profile from the list.
  • Statistics. View the statistics for the selected profile.
  • Action. Drop-down list that contains additional commands. Currently allows you to import a profile that was exported from another Web App Firewall configuration.