Feb 16, 2022
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F5 Delivers Security Services via the Cloud

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During its Agility conference today, F5 launched F5 Distributed Cloud Services through which it will deliver a range of security services via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. The first of those services is an integrated offering for protecting web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs), dubbed F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP.
That offering integrates a web application firewall, bot mitigation, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) defense capabilities and API protection within a single cloud service.
Mark Weiner, vice president of product marketing for the security and distributed cloud business group at F5, said the F5 Distributed Cloud Services platform also uses machine learning algorithms to secure APIs using technology the company gained late year with the acquisition of Volterra, a platform for building and deploying applications on Kubernetes clusters. Those machine learning algorithms automatically detect APIs and any associated anomalous behavior, Weiner noted. Previously, F5 infused machine learning algorithms into its bot mitigation platform.

The shift toward consuming security as a service began well before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with more IT and cybersecurity teams working from home it became more practical for organizations to subscribe to a cloud service that allows them to remotely manage security. In addition, many of the point security products that organizations previously needed to integrate themselves are now becoming features of a larger integrated cloud service that are now easier to consume. The amount of integration effort required to attain and maintain cybersecurity is substantially less than it was prior to the onslaught of the pandemic.
Since then, more organizations have also launched a variety of digital business initiatives that require security capabilities that more easily can scale up and down as required across what has become an extended enterprise. A forthcoming 2022 State of Application Strategy report from F5 Networks found 88% of organizations said they operated both legacy and modern application architectures, with 70% planning to deploy those applications across multiple clouds.
The issue organizations face is that as IT environments become more complex, the need to rely more on artificial intelligence (AI) to augment the chronically short-staffed IT and cybersecurity teams becomes a necessity. The challenge is the building of AI models requires access to a large amount of data to analyze; few IT organizations have access to that much data. As a result, the desire to take advantage of AI capabilities, in many cases, also becomes an additional impetus for shifting to a cloud security platform.
No one is quite certain how quickly that shift is occurring, but cloud platforms infused with machine learning algorithms should, theoretically, lead to more secure application environments. In some cases, those security services will be consumed via a user interface much like traditional security technologies while in other cases they will be programmatically incorporated into a DevSecOps workflow.
Regardless of approach, the way cybersecurity is achieved is changing rapidly. Less clear is whether that shift is occurring fast enough to thwart cybercriminals that are launching increasingly sophisticated and frequent attacks.
Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.
mike-vizard has 372 posts and counting.See all posts by mike-vizard

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