F5 Delivers Application Security For The Digital Economy

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Feb 09, 2017 11:15 pm PST

New solutions give customers the protection and intelligence required to keep applications and user data secure

SEATTLE – F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) introduced security solutions that provide visibility, context, and control to overcome today’s evolving threats. In a digital-driven economy, applications deliver business services for a variety of access points and locations, opening up new risks and attack vectors—particularly as IT teams extend security and encryption capabilities across cloud, data center, and hybrid environments.

“Applications and data are among the most valuable assets of any organization,” said Ryan Kearny, CTO at F5. “Without reliable applications, you essentially halt customer discovery, transactions, and revenue. To safeguard the customer experience, F5 advocates an application-centric approach where security, access, and identity management are treated as intrinsic parts of application development and deployment. Our new solutions have been designed to holistically address the impact of emerging threats and shifts within the broader IT industry.”

The majority of web traffic is now encrypted, meaning attempts to address application security via traditional methods alone are severely limited. As a result of widespread encryption—including its nefarious use as part of complex, targeted attacks—protecting customers and data now requires deep insight into application traffic and user behavior, sophisticated threat intelligence and response strategies, and practical access controls for applications and data. With these elements in mind, F5 is adding to the company’s comprehensive security solutions.

  • Dedicated protection with F5’s new Herculon security product line

Combining the strength of F5’s standalone security offerings with purpose-built hardware and a simplified user experience, the new Herculon product family lets security administrators quickly deploy solutions that overcome specific application security obstacles and threats. Herculon products are designed to provide heightened visibility and control around application behavior to solve difficult industry challenges in a straightforward, easy to deploy manner. The first two entries in the Herculon portfolio are being introduced today.

– Herculon SSL Orchestrator provides improved insight for the visibility gaps created by the growing use of encryption for application data. With purpose-built hardware for SSL/TLS, this product provides leading cryptographic capabilities, context-aware dynamic service chaining, and native integrations. Herculon SSL Orchestrator can significantly increase performance—and decrease infrastructure costs—across the security stack by eliminating the need for redundant encryption and decryption capabilities. A ‘defense in-depth’ strategy is employed to enhance detection, enforcement, and orchestration with support from a rich ecosystem of security vendors.

– Herculon DDoS Hybrid Defender gives customers a multilayered defense against volumetric and pervasive DDoS attacks by integrating high-performance hardware with the intelligence of offsite cloud scrubbing via F5 Silverline. This hybrid approach improves time to mitigation in scenarios where website and application availability are crucial to customer interactions and profitability. The product can be deployed in-line or in out-of-band mode, and provides comprehensive DDoS coverage through behavioral analytics, sub-second attack mitigation, and visibility into sophisticated application layer attacks.

  • Cloud-based application security as a service with Silverline® WAF Express

While web application firewall (WAF) capabilities are fundamental to an enterprise organization’s digital presence, the industry is short on experts that possess the skills required to effectively initiate, provision, and scale app protection services. In addition, developers rolling out apps across cloud environments show increasing interest in an ‘application security as a service’ approach to attack mitigation. F5 is introducing a pre-configured, self-service offering that takes advantage of its cloud-based Silverline platform. Customers can easily select which applications WAF services are applied to, while F5 manages security policies behind the scenes to protect apps from a wide range of threats including OWASP attacks, parameter tampering, and bots. In this model, F5’s Security Operations Center experts engage and maintain policies, including monitoring, app attack mitigation, and analytics for applications hosted in the public or private cloud, as well as the data center. A companion blog post provides more information about Silverline WAF Express.

  • Additional threat monitoring and remediation for better security decisions

Along with its easy to deploy solutions, F5 is adding Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) services that provide additional support and visibility if an issue arises, and throughout the security product lifecycle. Available to all F5 security customers, these professional service capabilities help organizations quickly respond to application and website attacks and anomalies. SIRT has been designed to identify threats and deliver an immediate response to mitigate or neutralize potentially harmful activities and protect business operations. The services team augments F5’s solution portfolio with added monitoring, analysis, post-incident reports, and recommended best practices to effectively respond to cybercrime attempts, and to help make sure that websites, applications, and users stay secure and connected.

  • Valuable analysis of the security threat landscape from F5 Labs

To complement its products and services, F5 has assembled a team of security industry experts and researchers to gather global threat intelligence, analyze application threats, and publish related findings. For enhanced awareness, visibility, and context, F5 augments the knowledge of its experts with independently gathered security data to provide actionable guidance and commentary on current cyberattacks and emerging trends. This focus area within F5 gives the company a more visible platform to weigh in on security topics affecting the broader IT industry, with specific insights from F5’s Mike Convertino, as well as other industry CISOs and partners. F5 Labs also provides opportunities for threat-related intelligence and learnings to be incorporated into the company’s development roadmap, along with customized innovations via F5’s programmable technologies and DevCentral community.

Supporting Quotes

“In today’s digital-driven marketplace, our applications are our lifeblood,” said Kausar Mukeri, CISO at Invest Bank – UAE. “F5’s deep experience in application delivery and security services puts them in a strategic place in our network, helping us protect our critical applications and ensuring they are safe, secure, and available.”

“Vendors will do well to offer visibility and application protection services in a variety of deployment scenarios, from traditional data center environments to software, services, and cloud-based models,” said Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. “Beyond products and services, customers should also consider industry presence and partnership ecosystems when making security purchasing decisions and building out their digital capabilities. Complete IT security—in as much as it’s feasible—is a multi-vendor proposition. Today’s announcement from F5 is a good example of a vendor approaching security topics from multiple angles to better suit individual customers and their specific pain points.”

Additional quotes from F5’s partner ecosystem supporting today’s news can be found in a dedicated section at the close of this press release.


F5’s Herculon products, Silverline WAF Express, Security Operations Center offerings, and Security Incident Response Team services are available now. Please contact a local F5 sales office for additional product and service availability information pertaining to specific countries. For details on F5 Labs threat research and analysis, visit f5.com/labs.

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