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 integrates F5’s 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 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.
“Today’s applications and business models are adapting faster than ever, and that means app security and infrastructure need to be much more agile and effective,” said Haiyan Song, EVP and GM of the Security & Distributed Cloud Product Group, F5. “We are rapidly integrating our portfolio of services onto a distributed cloud services platform, and continually innovating new services, so our customers can have the capabilities they need at the pace they require to achieve their ongoing business transformation.”
“We have been bringing our applications and IT services in-house over the last year and selected F5 as a key partner to help us secure and accelerate them,” said Ryan Burgess, Director, Technology Infrastructure, BlueShore Financial. “F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP provides the exact combination we need—high efficacy to protect web properties and online banking applications, coupled with the agility and ease of operation of a SaaS-based offering.”
“Modern applications have evolved rapidly,” said Bob Laliberte, Principal Analyst, ESG. “They are more complex, leverage APIs extensively, and are far more distributed. As a result, application security solutions need to be more flexible and deployable wherever those application workloads reside. To ensure flexibility, a SaaS-based model capable of distributing cloud services anywhere with consistent visibility and control is required. F5 has created its innovative Distributed Cloud Services to provide organizations the ability to easily deploy services where and when they are required.”
“As F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP expands the company’s industry-leading security solutions to the network edge, Ping Identity is excited to continue our longstanding partnership and joint commitment to strengthening access and security capabilities for enterprise users,” said Bernard Harguindeguy, Senior Vice President, Special Projects, Ping Identity. “Ping Identity continually strives to ensure organizations can achieve stronger security, and our partnership with F5 is one important way we deliver powerful identity access management and security for global enterprise customers.”
“The successful launch of F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP is yet another impactful milestone for F5 with much-anticipated benefits for our joint customers,” said Gustaf Sahlman, CEO, Promon. “Overcoming automated attacks, including bot attacks, requires an ecosystem approach and close collaboration between technology vendors like F5 and Promon. By delivering improved security at the network edge, F5 displays the same responsiveness to changing dynamics that has helped it earn a place among technology leaders for the past 25 years.”
“Stellar Cyber is excited to see F5 launch Distributed Cloud WAAP, and we believe that our joint customers will be excited as well,” said Jim O’Hara, Chief Revenue Officer, Stellar Cyber. “Stellar and F5 have worked together closely to help users achieve the goal of operating a single security platform for extended visibility and remediation across hybrid environments—including, now, the increasingly important network edge. Our focus is on enabling IT teams to respond to threats in seconds rather than days or weeks utilizing Open XDR, and F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP only strengthens these capabilities.”