Among the numerous updates is the ability to intelligently serve or block content with a fully integrated virtual private network (VPN) and domain name system (DNS) proxy detection service. There is also a new token authentication that serves browsers and devices not supporting cookies. And, the company’s platform can now block the playback of stolen content.
Akamai also added support for automated protection of API traffic, added attack groups across its web application firewalls, and installed advanced throttling capabilities in its API gateways.
Further security enhancements include the addition of traffic profiling and attack reporting to its managed distributed denial of service (DDoS) platform. That platform is now optimized to how security teams configure application-layer DDoS protection. The company’s edge platform also includes edge servers capable of responding to network- and application-layer DDoS attacks within seconds, the company says.
Ari Weil, global vice president of product and industry at Akamai, pointed to a study that found that 85 percent of companies have a hybrid cloud strategy and that almost all – 97 percent – have trouble deploying and managing public clouds.
“Cloud migration introduces complexity that can slow app deployments, cause cost overruns, and expose businesses to previously unknown security risks,” he wrote. “With these enhancements we are able to surround and extend business infrastructures, leveraging the edge and advanced security to alleviate common cloud challenges.”
Akamai’s Market Position
Ted Chamberlin, vice president and analyst at Gartner, told SDxCentral that Akamai tends to release its updates twice per year. This batch, he said, is “solid and very good directionally.”
That doesn’t mean that Akamai doesn’t face challenges. “It’s no secret that Akamai needs to adapt and compete with more DevOps, edge, and security driven agile competitors, many of which can provide lower cost and more responsive support,” Chamberlin said. “They need to be able to show customers and prospects the full force of their expertise, bench strength, and geographic footprint. Gartner believes that they are taking the painful steps to be leaner and more focused on customer responsiveness.”
Despite the challenges, Chamberlin did note that Akamai is in a good market position. “We continually see organizations looking at cloud and CDN providers as the preferred provider of perimeter security offerings (WAF, DDoS, IAM, bot mitigation) in an ‘as-a-service’ delivery framework,” he wrote. “They do not want to invest and manage security devices or appliances and gravitate toward these features that can be turned on and off at the edge of the network. Akamai is doing a very good job at providing users with security and web performance bundles and consulting to those who need varying levels of performance and support.”