Explore how F5 BIG-IP Advanced WAF protects against attacks on GraphQL API


GraphQL is an expressive and intuitive web API used to retrieve data. It enables overcoming significant challenges that exist in REST APIs, and as a result, organizations are turning to GraphQL to develop APIs, as opposed to REST or SOAP. We are now seeing howGraphQL APIs have increased in the last few years; it has a ~40% adoption rate (5 GraphQL Trends to Watch in 2023). GraphQL is easy to use, expressive, and intuitive; requires a Single Endpoint, reduces network roundtrips, and eliminates the transmission of unneeded data. 

The flexibility of GraphQL makes it vulnerable to various attacks and exposes security risks. Inexperienced users or malicious actors can submit expensive, nested queries, retrieving astonishing amounts of data, leveraging the GraphQL specification to reveal data about the API, and quickly draining computing resources. Other attack techniques on APIs using GraphQL include good old SQL injections, as well as newly formed attacks that leverage the GraphQL specification to reveal data about the API and use it to the attacker’s advantage.

F5 BIG-IP Advanced WAF's GraphQL protection delivers a complete solution that automatically detects and mitigates GraphQL-related attacks on GraphQL and JSON formats.  









Figure 1: F5 BIG-IP Advanced WAF provides an easy and quick solution



Protection Overview

In three easy steps, you will gain complete GraphQL API Security. 

  1. GraphQL Security Policy - Use the GraphQL Policy predefined template that includes relevant protection configuration, such as the GraphQL violations turned on.  
  2. GraphQL Endpoint - Configure your GraphQL URL.  
  3. GraphQL Profile - Use the predefined GraphQL profile to provide GraphQL protection.  
    The profile is already configured to protect against various attacks, such as Information Disclosure attacks by blocking Introspection queries and performing data masking, DoS attacks by limiting the query and parameters length, query nesting depth and limiting batched queries, Code execution and Injection attacks by providing dedicated GraphQL signatures set, and more. You can also fine-tune the profile configuration for your application's unique needs. 


Figure 2: GraphQL profile protection 



The following video shows how to configure BIG-IP Advanced WAF to protect GraphQL APIs in a quick and straightforward method.  



GraphQL is expected to become one of the leading standards for APIs in the years to come, and the growth and acceptance has also attracted the attention of cyber adversaries. Don’t get caught off guard. Deploy BIG-IP Advanced WAF to protect and secure your GraphQL APIs.  


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Updated Dec 28, 2023
Version 2.0

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