F5 Networks: Ensuring Flexibility and Scalability in Secure Cloud Deployments
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington in USA, F5 Networks is a leading provider of innovative solutions that help global organizations meet business demands and respond quickly to changes. Over a span of 19 years, the company has served clients from various segments such as finance, telecommunications, technology, manufacturing and retail, with solutions that help enterprises deliver secure, fast and reliable applications anywhere, on any device and at any time.
Enterprise applications need to be highly available, secure and reliable while meeting operational expectations. F5 understands the behavior of applications at the deepest levels and uses that very knowledge to optimize its clients’ networks to help clients accelerate application performance. Mohan Veloo, Vice President, Technology, Asia Pacific adds, “With so much momentum behind cloud, security has now inevitably become a top priority. Of all the application services, security was by far the most popular in our State of the Application survey, outranking even availability.”
The movement of applications to the cloud, while offering flexibility, agility and on-demand scalability, also brings along security issues, which can pose serious threat to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of any organization’s information. With a growing shift towards cloud deployments and mobile apps, cyber attacks have increasingly grown complex in nature and are targeting organizations with greater impunity than ever before. Organizations cannot afford to adopt a reactionary approach to security, and a balanced security posture is crucial to managing modern-day sophisticated cyber threats.
Strong and Unique – The F5 Unified Platform
Moving applications to the cloud also calls for compliance with regulatory requirements which differ widely from country to country. F5’s unified platform is the only platform that helps in moving apps to the cloud irrespective of geography, and facilitates replicated services, minimizes risk and saves time and money while transitioning to cloud. F5 hardware and software also provides the advantage of application fluency. The company’s systems work with apps from the leading application developers such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco. F5 provides a unified platform that standardizes network services so that the policies that govern an application service stay with it. Mohan adds, “Your apps will work consistently across any environment. That means you can simplify your network, saving time and money while meeting the requirements your business depends on.”
The Core Areas of Security Operations
Secure applications: F5 helps organizations minimize risk and safeguard their networks, applications, intellectual property, and users from security threats on all fronts. The company protects enterprises from malicious attackers outside of the network, unwitting users on the inside, and mobile workers using unsecured public networks.
One of the security challenges that arise from the movement of apps to the cloud is the issue of identity and access management.
Secure data centers: The increasing sophistication, frequency, and diversity of today’s network attacks are overwhelming conventional security devices at the edge of the data center. The F5 Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) is a modern threat mitigation platform that provides complete protection from the bottom to the top of the network stack.
Web Fraud Protection: Availability of Web Fraud Protection solution is the company’s latest offering in APAC, aimed at protecting customers from a broad range of web-based malware and fraudulent activities that target web and mobile application users. The new solution defends against a full range of threats—including man-in-the-browser attacks and man-in-the-phone attacks, as well as evolving threats—to help financial organizations reduce loss and exposure. And because attacks are always evolving, the solution includes both technological and services components to ensure real-time response to emerging threats.
F5 Silverline cloud-based application services enable organizations to rapidly deploy enterprise-grade app services across hybrid environments. Highly programmable, its services include DDoS Protection and Web Application Firewall (WAF). F5 Silverline DDoS Protection detects and mitigates the largest of volumetric DDoS attacks before they reach the network. F5 Silverline WAF is a cloud-based service built on F5’s BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) to protect web apps and data as well as ensure compliance with industry-wide security standards such as PCI DSS. Silverline services also guarantees anytime access to experts from F5’s Security Operations Center.
Evolution and Growth
F5 Networks started as F5 Labs just prior to the internet boom. Around the 2000s, F5 was able to benefit from the height of the Internet boom and achieved its 2nd milestone growth. Today, F5 is celebrating its third phase of growth, driven by cloud, mobility, apps and the pervasiveness of devices. Growth of Internet traffic and mobile services, demand for mobile device support and BYOD initiatives, escalating security threats, adoption of cloud computing and SDN architecture and data center consolidation are the key business drivers fueling F5 business globally. F5 enjoys 49 percent of market share in the worldwide Application Delivery Controller (ADC) market.
F5 helps organizations minimize risk and safeguard their networks, applications, intellectual property, and users from security threats on all fronts
Dedicated services have won F5 several prestigious awards such as the Frost & Sullivan APAC ICT Award for ADC Vendor of the Year. The company has also been positioned as a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for ADC for nine consecutive years, recognised as Best ADC and DDoS protection by Networks Asia Information Management Awards and recognised by Tech Target as the Readers’ Choice for Identity and Access Management for BIG-IP APM. In 19 years, F5 has grown to become an almost two billion dollar company, and continues to expand its portfolio to include security solutions such as Web Application Firewall, MobileSafe and WebSafe. Today, the company has operations in 32 countries with over 4,100 employees. With Asia Pacific being a huge and a growing market, the company sees continuous growth potential in this region.