F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) introduced new offerings that provide advanced access controls and dedicated SSL visibility with orchestration capabilities to help thwart today’s most sophisticated cyber attacks. In addition, F5 Labs has published its 2018 Application Protection report, exploring the many different types of application-based threats that modern organizations face.
“Applications are everywhere, and increasingly interrelated, with many added capabilities inadvertently yielding new opportunities for attack,” said Ram Krishnan, SVP and General Manager, Security at F5. “Our value proposition is simple: we give you the ability to deploy standalone or integrated security for all types of applications, environments, and use cases. Customers enjoy the versatility of world-class products, cloud-based solutions, support services, and F5’s broad security capabilities that can protect applications better than anyone else in the industry.”
F5 SSL Orchestrator: Unified Management of Encrypted Application Traffic
While most traffic and data handled by applications is now encrypted, many security stack service offerings (e.g., firewalls and IPS) are unable to efficiently process SSL encrypted traffic at the scale and speed businesses demand. Beyond mere SSL awareness and offload, F5 SSL Orchestrator provides policy-based orchestration capabilities across the full security service chain for any network topology, device, or application.
Orchestration on this level groups devices into services to intelligently decrypt and steer traffic, allowing for independent monitoring, load balancing, and scaling to adapt to changing network conditions and increasing traffic demands. This marks a vast improvement over the industry’s legacy security model, where piecemeal inspection devices perform decryption independently, frequently leaving gaps for attackers.
As a dedicated security appliance delivering insight to mitigate threats traversing the network, SSL Orchestrator provides:
- Operational Efficiency – Dynamic service chaining and policy-based traffic steering help organizations intelligently manage encrypted traffic flows across the entire app security infrastructure.
- Full Visibility – High-performance decryption and encryption of inbound and outbound SSL/TLS traffic enable quicker threat detection and attack remediation.
- Improved Risk Management – SSL orchestration lets organizations maximize their investments around malware, DLP, ransomware, and firewall protections, safeguarding user privacy through hardened security with robust cipher management.
“App security is the definition of a moving target,” said Clint Huffaker, Technical Solutions Architect at World Wide Technology. “Visibility is one of the biggest challenges organizations are facing today, and F5’s SSL Orchestrator gives customers the ability to dynamically control and customize the flow of encrypted traffic through security service chains. We have demos in our Advanced Technology Center to give customers a hands-on experience where they can see the level of visibility it brings to security tools in a service chain. Our customers want to work with industry leaders like F5 that understand the evolving threat landscape, provide a balance between application performance and risk mitigation, and offer effective ways to increase visibility and protect apps from malicious activity.”
F5 Access Manager: New Identity-Aware Access Proxy
Applications remain the principal gateways to organizations’ and individuals’ valuable information. F5 Access Manager protects sensitive data with a Zero Trust model while providing access for authorized users, devices, and APIs, guarding against pervasive threats such as man-in-the-middle attacks. Product features enable organizations to think outside of traditional security boundaries, empowering them to unlock additional business models and operational efficiencies without compromising protections around apps, users, and data.
As a secure, flexible, high-performance proxy solution delivering unified global access management, F5 Access Manager provides:
- Streamlined Access Controls – Context-sensitive policies with guided configuration deliver trusted access to users, devices, and APIs for increased business efficiency, while real-time web form encryption safeguards user credentials and prevents fraud.
- Accelerated Business Innovation – As IT transforms to support continuous deployment methodologies, Access Manager provides a centralized solution for access control, including API authorization. This means DevOps teams can hand off apps to NetOps personnel more quickly, and NetOps can better deliver a consistent user experience without sacrificing manageability.
- Scalability into the Cloud – While SaaS and cloud applications provide numerous advantages, many organizations are choosing not to move all apps off-premises. With advanced F5 virtual edition support and high-capacity licensing, Access Manager provides the scale necessary to bridge on-prem app functionality to the cloud, effectively integrating with IDaaS solutions and capabilities to support evolving heterogenous environments.
The 2018 Application Protection Report: New Research from F5 Labs
A formidable defense requires not only an in-depth understanding of apps, but also a holistic view of their vulnerabilities, threats, and the variable levels of acceptable risks for users, data, and the surrounding infrastructure. F5 experts spent a year researching the increasingly essential role of applications with one question in mind: If organizations don’t understand all the ways attackers can compromise their applications and exploit their data, how can they possibly defend their most critical assets?
F5 Labs conducted extensive research including a survey of thousands of security professionals worldwide with the Ponemon Institute, global web attack data from tens of thousands of Loryka sensors, security vulnerability data from WhiteHat Security, and a deep review of thousands of published exploits and hundreds of documented U.S. breach cases in partnership with Whatcom Community College Cybersecurity Center faculty. External research was then combined with F5 internal data sets on DDoS attacks and major incidents, and analyzed by dozens of F5 security experts.
Findings uncovered that web application attacks were the largest cause of security breaches (30 percent), with the average loss from a serious web application security incident estimated at nearly $8 Million. It was also revealed that a typical organization runs 765 web applications, with 34 percent considered mission-critical.
Featuring the most comprehensive analysis of its kind, F5’s 2018 Application Protection report:
- Explores core threat areas and their impact on apps in developing application protection strategies that work for individual organizations and their particular priorities.
- Highlights the differences between Opportunists and Targeted Attackers, along with an overview of their differing motivations, methods, and entry points.
- Provides five simple steps with a high impact on improving application security by addressing each of the primary tiers of typical web applications.
Many more details, attack illustrations, and prescriptive guidance are available by downloading the full report.
F5’s SSL Orchestrator and Access Manager products as described above will be generally available in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2018. F5 Labs’ 2018 Application Protection report is available now. Please contact a local F5 sales office for additional details and product availability information pertaining to specific countries.
- SSL Orchestrator – F5 Solution Overview
- Access Manager – F5 Solution Overview
- SSL/TLS: Visibility Isn’t Enough, You Need Orchestration – F5 Blog Post
- SSL Orchestrator Further Benefits Customers Thanks to Strong Partnerships – F5 Blog Post
- Protecting the Identity Perimeter – F5 Blog Post
F5 (NASDAQ: FFIV) makes apps go faster, smarter, and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments, and consumer brands. F5 delivers cloud and security solutions that enable organizations to embrace the application infrastructure they choose without sacrificing speed and control. For more information, go to f5.com. You can also follow @f5networks on Twitter or visit us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information about F5, its partners, and technologies.
F5, SSL Orchestrator, Access Manager, and F5 Labs are trademarks or service marks of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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