Google Cloud Platform Armor Fundamentals (WAF)

gcp cloud armor fundamentals gcp cloud security google cloud platform armor fundamentals (waf) Feb 03, 2022

Google Cloud Armor Fundamentals (WAF)

Getting to know Google Cloud Armor and when to use it.

Google Cloud Armor was introduced in 2018 as a preventive application of distributed denial of service and app defensive mechanism.

Google has smart protection for its web interface where there are chances of DDoS attacks like YouTube and Google Search. 

The same technology is deployed with Google Cloud Armor.

With such a technology, the security research on Google Cloud is made available for general customers and they can use the benefits as part of Google Cloud Platform.

What is WAF

WAF is a Web Application Firewall. IT helps to filter out basic HTTP traffic running between Web application and the Internet.

A WAF helps in protecting against cybersecurity attacks like cross-site-scripting (XSS), cross-site forgery, malicious file inclusion, and SQL injection etc.

From the OSI Layer model point of view, WAF works with Layer 7 protocol. 

A Web Application Firewall, can however, do not defend against the attacks. It is just a detection mechanism.

Why Use a WAF?

API exploits and Web based attacks are gaining popularity with every passing day.

Nowadays, hacktivists are deploying sophisticated techniques like bots to carry out cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity threats can cause many damages which includes blackouts, leakage of sensitive data of a company, exposure of national security records, breaches in personal information such as medical records, banking details etc. Such acts are usually taken by hackers, crime groups, terrorists etc. 

The most common types of cybersecurity threats are Phishing, Spear phishing, Trojans, Man in the middle (Met) attacks, Ransomware, Denial of Service Attack (DDoS), Attacks on IoT devices, Malware on mobiles, data breaches etc. All these threats can occur in any device such as personal computer, laptops, mobiles, ATMs, telephone lines etc.

Steps must be rigorously taken to avoid cybersecurity threats such as having anti-virus software’s, setting strong passwords, being careful before opening an email or downloading a software etc.




Leaders around the world are mostly concerned about cybersecurity, as the protection of everyone’s data is the basic right of every human.

Cybersecurity threats can occur in different forms which can deceive every person. Sometimes it occurs in the form of updated software, at times it occurs in spam email, also it can befall in malicious websites etc.

In the realm of cybersecurity concerns, there is a dire need of implementing a WAF which protects organizations from outside attacks.

Understanding and taking proactive measures against Cybersecurity threats is the need of the hour.

Gone are the days when society was considered a no-functional requirement. 

With more and more devices being connected to the internet, security had become a prime requirement.

Built-in security mechanisms are necessary to transform business risks into a more refined and defense in depth security strategy.

What is GCP Cloud Armor

Google Cloud Platform is well protected by a platform for prevention of DDoS attacks: Google Cloud Armor.

Key features and benefits of Google Cloud Armor

Google Cloud Armor supplies defense in depth mechanism on preventing and mitigating DDoS attacks. The core concept of prevention and mitigation of such attacks is Load balancing. An ML based approach is also in-line to help detect and prevent Layer 7 DDoS attack.

Google Cloud Armor also minimizes OWASP top 10 risks and protect network infrastructure workloads in on-premises and cloud-based setups.

  • Adaptive Protection:

This is a very robust feature of Google Cloud Armor. With adaptive Protection, Machine learning based trained models are deployed to mitigate high volume OSI Model Layer 7 DDoS attacks

  • Logging:

Google Cloud Armor help protect all of the information of an event and logs it. It also generates alerts in a sophisticated manner.

Cloud Logging and Monitoring capabilities are implemented with Google Cloud Armor.

  • Multi-cloud deployments:

One core feature of Google Cloud Armor is that it helps protects Cloud Servers in a multi-cloud environment, this includes hybrid deployments in a multi-cloud architecture as well.

  • Pre-configured WAF rules:

The platform supplies preconfigured WAF rules that are based on industry standards and leading standards against cyber-attacks and common web application vulnerabilities. This also helps supply protection against 10 major risks outlined by OWASP.

Preconfigured rules are defined for SQL injections, Remote File inclusion, Cross-site scripting, Scanner detection, PHP injection attack.

  • Rate Limiting:

The protection that Googles Cloud Armor supplies is for attacks between Layer 3 and Layer 7 of the OSI reference model. Most of these attacks are the ones in which instances are flooded so that the servers are blocked for legitimate users.

Rate limiting prevents clients from exhausting resources and also protects against unpredictable spikes in the rate of client requests. By default, rate limit threshold is defined to be 10,000.

  • Visibility and monitoring:

Google Cloud Armor supplies a way to configure security policies.  So, suspicious application traffic patterns can be monitored.  The security and command center dashboard supplies these traffic patterns.  With this, you can also look out for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities within the Google Cloud.  The core assets of Google cloud can also be protected within the Security Command Center



Security implementation is not a one-way process.

Good defense in depth mechanism shall be deployed which include validating inputs and sanitizing data before any complex procedures or subsystems are provoked. It is also important to expect threats that the application is exposed to.

Given the number of attacks these days, a frequent security audit is necessary along with logging each event that occurs during the application execution with platform like Google Armor.  

One way to keep cyber-attacks at a bay is to minimize the access privileges and follow the principle of least privileges.

Processes need to be executed with the least number of privileges. With that said it is also important to elevate access privileges only when it is needed and for the least amount of time. In this way, the attack surface is drastically reduced and any attacker who wishes to execute arbitrary code will eventually face a failed attempt.

It is in the hands of security officials and developers to keep the overall security posture of the web application intact.

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