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Akamai Introduces New Cloud Defense Solutions

Akamai Introduces New Cloud Defense Solutions

Akamai Technologies, Inc. unveiled new cloud defense architecture aimed at protecting customers from increasing number of sophisticated Web attacks. Enhancements include improved protection from distributed denial
of service (DdoS) attacks as well as improved cloud firewall featuring advanced vulnerability scanning and custom rules for additional protection against application layer attacks, the company said in a press release.

Companies worldwide incur estimated losses of one trillion dollars a year, according to antivirus company McAfee, and Akamai unveils a new cloud security solution to help global business reduce financial damages from the growing number cyber attacks. “The Akamai network saw more distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against our customers’ Web sites in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the first three quarters of the year combined,” Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder of Akamai, said in the press release.

The company claims that its new solution is aimed at enterprises and cloud computing service providers to further solidify the perimeter defense around their network infrastructure for dynamic web sites and mission-critical business applications. “Companies understand the benefits of the Cloud and continue to push business-critical data and operations there; however, the need to protect these assets from the growing frequency and sophistication of Web attacks increases dramatically as a result,” Leihton added.

Increasing number of botnets and other malicious clients and sources and 74 percent of companies recently surveyed by Forester experienced DdoS attacks in 2010. The survey shows that 31 percent of all attacks led to service disruption. For that reason, Akamai offers a new DDoS defense architecture to customers to prepare for, monitor, manage and mitigate the impacts of malicious DDoS attacks.

The company’s cloud-based solutions feature ability to cloak web infrastructure from the public Internet while providing IP blocking and rate limiting capabilities at the network layer. The cloud-based solution also includes web application firewalling at Layer 7 (application layer) and scalable protection from Domain Name System (DNS) attacks and DNSSEC.

Customers are provided with tools to block traffic by geographic region and identify suspected BOTs from real users, allowing DDoS specialists to assess infrastructure and develop a run-time attack playbook. The solution also includes capped exposure to bursting fees related to an attack.

The company also introduced enhancement of its Web Application Firewall service, which helps customers comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and provides on-demand scalability for the detection and blocking of malicious Web application attacks such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL injection style attacks. IP blocking and IP rate limiting are available in the new version of Web Application Firewall, which allows to further offload unwanted requests and bandwidth outside the data-center.

The new cloud defense solutions are Akamai’s response to the increasing number of coordinated attacks against top Internet retailers which occurred in November – December 2010. Possible loses of retailers caused by the attacks were estimated by Akamai at over USD 15 million but the company’s network managed to block the attacks, Akamai said.

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