Limitations of WAF


AWS Shield
11m 20s
Start course
1h 17m

Explore the 3 AWS services, designed to help protect your web applications from external malicious activity, with this course. Once getting started, this course will delve into depth on all three services, comprised of AWS Web Application Firewall Service (WAF), AWS Firewall Manager and AWS Shield. By learning how all three services can be used together for enhanced protection of web applications you enterprise will wholly benefit from all the advantages that these services have to offer.

Study the core principles, understand the importance and discuss how protecting web apps with AWS can elevate your business to the next level with this cohesive course made up of 14 lectures, including demos.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a core foundation of what AWS WAF is and what it does
  • Knowledge of how to configure and implement a WAF solution
  • Analyze how AWS WAF works closely with AWS CloudFront
  • An understanding of how AWS Firewall Manager can be used to help you control AWS WAF across multiple accounts
  • How AWS Shield is protecting Distributed Denial of Service attacks
  • An awareness of different types of DDoS attacks
  • An awareness of the step involved in configuring AWS Shield Advanced

Intended Audience

  • Security architects
  • Technical engineers
  • Website administrators
  • Anyone requiring a deeper understanding of WAF, Shield, and Firewall Manager


Cloud Academy would recommend having a basic understanding of the following, before starting this course:

  • Amazon CloudFront Distributions
  • AWS Application Load Balancer
  • AWS Organizations
  • The 7 layers of the OSI model

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Hello and welcome to this short lecture where I shall explain the limitations of the WAF service. Most AWS services have default service limits that can vary over time and from region to region. For AWS WAF, some of the default service limits can be increased by logging a request via the AWS Support Center, these conditions are as follows. You can have 100 conditions of each type, such as Geo Match or size constraints, however Regex is the exception to this rule where only 10 Regex conditions are allowed but this limit is possible to increase. You are able to have 100 rules and 50 Web ACLs per AWS account. You are limited to 5 rate-based-rules per account. Finally you can have 10,000 requests per second when using WAF within your application load balancer. For more limitations regarding specific WAF entries and to get the latest limitations please visit the following link. For small to medium solutions these limits will more than likely be more than adequate, especially as you can assign the same Web ACL to different CloudFront distributions without affecting these limits.

If however you are a large enterprise and find you are reaching these limitations then do be aware you can request an increase. Unfortunately not all the limits can be increased, and the following are static limitations that currently cannot be changed. These limitations also make a good reasons to implement a reactive rule policy to ensure you are only configuring rules and conditions that need to be configured. That brings me to the end of this lecture. Although it was short, it is important for you to understand the AWS WAF service limitations. Knowing these limitations can influence how you architect and design your Web ACLs.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.