Today at its annual Agility conference, F5 announced a major expansion of its application security and delivery portfolio with F5 Distributed Cloud Services that provide security, multi-cloud networking, and edge-based computing solutions on a unified software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. The company is also launching the first new solution on this platform, F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP (Web Application and API Protection), which augments multiple security capabilities across F5 technologies in one SaaS offering.
Nearly all organizations today find themselves at the convergence of two significant trends: the evolution of applications as the center of their customers’ digital lives and the escalation of threats against those applications. This presents a tremendous challenge as many companies now manage complex application portfolios comprising older legacy and newer modern technologies and infrastructures. In F5’s upcoming 2022 State of Application Strategy Report, 88 percent of organizations say they operate both legacy and modern application architectures, while 70 percent operate in multiple clouds. This expands the threat surface area as companies are forced to deploy separate, and often inconsistent, security controls across different environments.
Over the past several years, F5 has transformed its business and significantly expanded its software and cloud offerings to deliver a broad portfolio of solutions to help customers address this complexity and risk. Through BIG-IP, NGINX, and now F5 Distributed Cloud Services, F5 offers a range of integrated, machine learning-driven solutions that protect legacy and modern applications and APIs across data center, cloud, and edge locations. The world’s largest organizations, including banks, retailers, service providers, and government agencies, rely on F5 to maintain application availability, protect APIs powering their digital supply chains, address threats like malware and bots, and fight rampant fraud.
“Applications and the digital experiences they power have become a foundation for human connection and achievement, as well as a platform for significant business innovation and market creation,” said François Locoh-Donou, President and CEO, F5. “We have made it our mission at F5 to help organizations protect these applications from the now-constant barrage of cyberattacks. The launch of F5 Distributed Cloud Services is significant because it provides a simpler way for customers to manage the complex challenge of modern application security.”
Introducing F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP
F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP simplifies security and automates process, allowing application teams to focus on delivering features and functionality that will enhance their customers’ experience and propel their business forward. The new SaaS-based offering consolidates F5’s industry-leading web application firewall, bot mitigation, DDoS, and API protection capabilities into a single, easy-to-deploy solution that enables SecOps and DevOps teams to enforce consistent security policy wherever they need to deploy applications.
The new solution brings together the best of F5 application security technologies, including:
- Application protection from F5 Advanced WAF, which more effectively and efficiently guards against the most prevalent application attacks
- API security from Volterra’s machine learning-based auto-discovery and anomaly detection, which automates the entire process of finding, securing, and monitoring APIs
- Bot defense based on F5 Shape AI technology
- Global distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection
“We selected F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP against alternative SaaS and CDN-based solutions because of the customizability and simplicity of the solution and how it can enable our aggressive move to the cloud,” said Ian Young, Sr. Manager of Global Networks and Unified Communications, Vertafore. “The ability to easily turn on additional security services through a single platform that we can deploy anywhere is also very compelling.”
F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP is globally available from F5 now and will launch in the Azure Marketplace by the end of February.
“Virtual workforces, digital-first selling, service, and customer experience are driving the need for security services to be closer to the users,” said Erin Chapple, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Azure Core Product and Design. “The launch of F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP support in Azure gives customers more choice in how they address complex cybersecurity risks for applications running in the cloud.”
F5 Distributed Cloud Services Bring a New Approach to App Security and Delivery
The F5 Distributed Cloud Platform provides cloud-native SaaS-based app security and delivery services. These services are centrally managed but can be deployed anywhere the app needs to be to maximize business impact and deliver a superior customer experience. Built on a combination of the platform and services acquired from Volterra and industry-leading F5 and Shape security services, F5 Distributed Cloud Services are unique because they:
- Deploy natively in multi-cloud, data center, and edge environments
- Provide end-to-end visibility and policy control across all apps in a single dashboard
- Provide an integrated global private network in more than 20 major metropolitan areas
There are several additional F5 Distributed Cloud Services currently available to customers. F5 Distributed Cloud Multi-Cloud Transit enables multi-cloud networking (MCN) functionality with secure and high-performance connectivity between clouds and a network firewall. F5 Distributed Cloud Load Balancer and Kubernetes Gateway provides an integrated load balancer with Kubernetes and API gateways to easily deploy modern workloads and microservices across distributed clusters, locations, and cloud providers. The platform also has cloud-native computing capabilities at the edge of the network, known as an app delivery network (ADN), that improve end-user experience by distributing applications to the edge of the F5 Global Network.
In addition, F5 has taken steps to integrate the customer experience across its growing portfolio by simplifying product naming. Many F5, Shape, and Volterra services have been renamed as F5 Distributed Cloud Services, including F5 Distributed Cloud Bot Defense, F5 Distributed Cloud DDoS Mitigation, F5 Distributed Cloud WAF, and F5 Distributed Cloud API Security.
Upcoming Regional Points of Presence (PoP) Launch in India
“Business models and applications are constantly evolving in the new reality of this containerized world, thus demanding app security and infrastructure to be increasingly agile and effective,” said Dhananjay Ganjoo, Managing Director for India and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at F5. “With F5 Distributed Cloud Services and the upcoming regional Points of Presence (PoP) launch in India this year, we can help businesses safely migrate to multi-cloud environments by supporting them with a suite of application services that enable them to deliver and secure extraordinary digital experiences at scale.”