Akamai Majors on Security With Edge Platform Enhancements

Akamai, the world’s largest vendor of CDN (Content Delivery Network) services, has enhanced its edge platform to help customers migrate to cloud based platforms.

The main focus is security and tackling CDN or cloud related threats, although also with features to help automate operations and improve time to market. The overall theme is that these security and performance services are being integrated under the Akamai Identity Cloud following the acquisition of Janrain, a provider of customer identity access management technology. Akamai argues this streamlines the protection and performance of consumer login pages and is poised to deliver incremental value to customers in combating additional fraud use cases during 2019.

Security is top of the bill with enhancements that address major threats facing large organizations, including techniques that bypass geoblocking controls, such as use of

integrated Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Domain Name System (DNS) proxies to fool the host system over the user’s location. So Akamai has included a VPN and DNS proxy detection service in its enhancements.

It has also tackled content redistribution by adding intelligence to its Akamai’s Token Authentication capabilities, extending coverage for browsers and devices that do not support cookies, making it more difficult to play back stolen content. Then to combat the rising threat of increasingly sophisticated bots, the company has improved visibility into malicious botnet activities on customer sites, as well as those targeting other businesses. In addition to enhanced detection in the company’s bot management package, it also improved self-serviceability, enabling customers to fine tune their own settings for advanced bot detection and deploy defenses against fast-evolving automated threats.

Not surprisingly, Akamai is including protection against DDoS (Distributed denial of Service) attacks, through improved traffic profiling and attack reporting. There is also the ability for security teams to better configure app-layer DDoS protection. The company contends that customers benefit from the value of an edge platform, with edge servers positioned to automatically block network-layer DDoS attacks and respond to application-layer DDoS attacks within seconds.

Finally on the security front, Akamai has addressed the relatively new threat posed to APIs as enterprises undergoing digital transformation are using these more to extend their service range and create new revenue streams. This calls for purpose-built governance, management, and security that  supports automated protection of API traffic, with new attack groups across its web application firewalls, and advanced throttling capabilities in its API Gateway package.

On the operations front, the service provider has launched automated adaptive acceleration capabilities, including HTTP/2 performance optimizations and loading font libraries. It has also expanded its image management solution to include support for short-form video. It says it has completely re-engineered its Control Center to simplify operations with detailed reporting across security, acceleration and delivery from a single pane of glass. Customers now have improved navigation, optimized alerting, made it easier to take appropriate actions, and it has added real-time support capabilities that include a live chat function.

The underlying message is that many enterprises need help with cloud migration, according to Rick McConnell, President and General Manager of Akamai’s Web Division. “Eighty-five percent of companies today have a hybrid cloud strategy, but many have begun to realize that the cloud brings significant challenges to security, operations, and cost management,” said McConnell. “Cloud migration introduces complexity that can slow app deployments, cause cost overruns, and expose businesses to previously unknown security risks. With enhancements to our platform, Akamai surrounds and extends client infrastructures, leveraging the edge and advanced security to alleviate cloud challenges.”

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