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F5 launches new SaaS-based security solution

F5 has announced a major expansion of its application security and delivery portfolio with F5 Distributed Cloud Services, a new platform that provides SaaS-based security, multi-cloud networking and edge-based computing solutions.

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Thu, 17 Feb 2022
F5 launches new SaaS-based security solution
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The company is also launching the first new service on the platform, F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP (Web Application and API Protection), which integrates multiple security capabilities from across F5 solutions into a unified software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.

According to F5, nearly all organisations today find themselves at the epicentre of two significant trends: the evolution of applications as the centre of their customers' digital lives and the escalation of threats against them.

This presents a tremendous challenge as many companies now manage complex application portfolios comprised of older legacy and newer modern technologies and infrastructure. In F5’s upcoming 2022 State of Application Strategy Report, 88 per cent of organisations say they operate both legacy and modern application architectures, while 70 per cent operate in multiple clouds. This expands the threat surface area as companies are forced to deploy inconsistent security controls across different environments.

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To satisfy growing customer demands across Australia and New Zealand, F5 expanded its global footprint in 2019 by deploying a regional point of presence in Sydney, and over the past several years, F5 has transformed its business and significantly expanded its software and cloud offerings to deliver a broad portfolio of solutions to help customers address this complexity and risk.

Through the BIG-IP, NGINX and now F5 Distributed Cloud Services, F5 offers a range of integrated, machine learning-driven solutions that protect legacy and modern applications and APIs across data centre, cloud and edge locations.

The world's largest organisations, including banks, retailers, service providers and government agencies, rely on F5 to maintain application availability, protect APIs powering their digital supply chains, address threats like malware and bots, and fight rampant fraud.

According to François Locoh-Donou, president and CEO of F5, applications and the digital experiences they power have become a foundation for human connection and achievement and a platform for significant business innovation and market creation.

"We have made it our mission at F5 to help organisations protect these applications from the now constant barrage of cyber attacks.

"The launch of F5 Distributed Cloud Services is significant because it provides a simpler way for customers to manage the complex challenge of modern application security," Locoh-Donou said.

Introducing F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP

F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP simplifies security and automates process, allowing application teams to focus on delivering features and functionality designed to enhance customers' experience and propel their business forward.

The new SaaS-based service consolidates F5's industry-leading web application firewall, bot mitigation, DDoS and API protection capabilities into a single, easy-to-deploy solution that enables SecOps and DevOps teams to enforce consistent security policy wherever they need to deploy their applications.

The new solution brings together the best of F5 application security technologies, including:

  • Application protection from F5 Advanced WAF, which more effectively and efficiently protects against the most prevalent application attacks.
  • API security from Volterra’s machine learning-based auto-discovery and anomaly detection, which automates the entire process of finding, securing and monitoring APIs.
  • Bot defence based on F5 Shape AI technology.
  • Global distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection.

Virtual workforces, digital-first selling, service and customer experience are driving the need for security services to be closer to the users, according to Erin Chapple, Microsoft Corporate vice-president, Azure Core product and design.

"The launch of F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP support in Azure gives customers more choice in how they address complex cyber security risks for applications running in the cloud," Chapple added.

F5 Distributed Cloud Services bring a new approach to app security and delivery

The F5 Distributed Cloud platform provides cloud-native SaaS-based app security and delivery services.

These services are centrally managed but can be deployed anywhere the app needs to be to maximise business impact and deliver a superior customer experience. Built on a combination of the platform and services acquired from Volterra and F5 and Shape security services, F5 Distributed Cloud Services are unique because these:

  • Deploy natively in multi-cloud, data centre and edge environments.
  • Provide end-to-end visibility and policy control across all apps in a single dashboard.
  • Unify app security, multi-cloud networking and app platform services on a single SaaS platform.
  • Provide an integrated global private network in 22 major metropolitan areas.

There are several additional F5 Distributed Cloud Services currently available to customers. F5 Distributed Cloud Transit enables multi-cloud networking functionality with secure and high-performance connectivity between clouds and a network firewall.

F5 Distributed Cloud Secure Kubernetes Gateway provides an integrated load balancer, Kubernetes and API gateways to easily deploy modern workloads and micro-services across distributed clusters, locations and cloud providers. The platform also has cloud-native computing capabilities at the edge of the network, known as an app delivery network, that improve end user experience by distributing applications to the edge of F5’s global private network.

In addition, F5 has taken steps to integrate the customer experience across its growing portfolio by simplifying product naming. Many F5, Shape and Volterra services have been renamed as F5 Distributed Cloud Services, including F5 Distributed Cloud Bot Defence, F5 Distributed Cloud DDoS Mitigation, F5 Distributed Cloud WAF, and F5 Distributed Cloud API Security.

F5's expansion and transformation has dramatically increased its offerings to help its customers navigate complex security concerns across many different environments, according to Jason Baden, regional vice-president, F5 Networks.

"Security needs to be addressed at the application layer, and if we look at – for example – Visa using Australia as an anti-bot testing ground, it’s clear modern organisations need to adapt modern technologies at that layer to balance security with the user experience."

[Related: Global threat report exposes evolution of e-crime ecosystem]

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