Testing and tuning your AWS WAF protections - AWS WAF, AWS Firewall Manager, and AWS Shield Advanced

Testing and tuning your AWS WAF protections

We recommend that you test and tune any changes to your AWS WAF web ACL before applying them to your website or web application traffic.

Production traffic risk

Before you deploy your web ACL implementation for production traffic, test and tune it in a staging or testing environment until you are comfortable with the potential impact to your traffic. Then test and tune the rules in count mode with your production traffic before enabling them.

This section provides guidance for testing and tuning your AWS WAF web ACLs, rules, rule groups, IP sets, and regex pattern sets.

This section also provides general guidance for testing your use of rule groups that are managed by someone else. These include AWS Managed Rules rule groups, AWS Marketplace managed rule groups, and rule groups that are shared with you by another account. For these rule groups, also follow any guidance that you get from the rule group provider.

Temporary inconsistencies during updates

When you change a web ACL or any of its components, like rules and rule groups, AWS WAF propagates the changes everywhere that the web ACL and its components are stored and used. Your changes are applied within seconds, but there might be a brief period of inconsistency when the changes have arrived in some places and not in others. So, for example, if you change a rule action setting, the action might be the old action in one area and the new action in another area. Or if you add an IP address to an IP set used in a blocking rule, the new address might briefly be blocked in one area while still allowed in another. This temporary inconsistency can occur when you first associate a web ACL with an AWS resource and when you change a web ACL that is already associated with a resource. Generally, any inconsistencies of this type last only a few seconds.