Akamai has acquired Guardicore to extend its Zero Trust solutions and help stop ransomware. Read more

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Akamai Is Now a Cybersecurity Powerhouse

Tom Leighton

Written by

Tom Leighton

November 09, 2021

Dr. Tom Leighton co-founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 and served as Akamai’s Chief Scientist until he became CEO in 2013. Under Dr. Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences. 

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Over the past five years, we’ve grown Akamai’s security portfolio from point solutions into a comprehensive platform that provides defense in depth to address our customers’ biggest threats. The unique breadth of our defenses is important to our customers who want the most effective security capabilities, and more of them from fewer vendors. 

Our security solutions are highly differentiated and recognized as best in class by our customers, who see us as a leading provider of services that protect their most critical assets, including enterprise web sites, applications, data, and access. Akamai routinely earns top rankings in multiple categories from major industry analysts.

For example, Akamai disrupted the web application security market when we launched our cloud-based WAF in 2012. Since then, we’ve continued to evolve to meet our customers’ needs and lead the market with our web app and API protection solutions. Gartner recently named Akamai a market leader in this category for the fifth year in a row. 

Akamai has been the market leader in DDoS protection since we acquired Prolexic in 2014. Forrester recently said, “Large enterprise clients that want an experienced, trusted vendor to make their DDoS problem go away should look to Akamai.”

As new threat vectors have emerged, we’ve extended our platform to defend against them. For example, we created the first comprehensive bot management solution to protect our customers from sophisticated bot operators who try to steal content, disrupt operations, or penetrate user accounts. According to Forrester, “Akamai is best for companies wanting to thwart bots at the edge.” Bloomberg Businessweek even quoted a hacker who called Akamai’s bot defense the hardest to crack.

More recently, we released a new solution to identify malicious code in third-party scripts and websites that are designed to steal end-user data. This innovative technology helps to address a major threat that’s been costing businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in fines while causing serious damage to reputations. 

We plan to extend our web app protections further in the coming months with the release of two new fraud prevention innovations. The first is designed to reduce fraud by making sure that an entity logging into an account is the true owner of that account. The second can help businesses protect sales by thwarting malware that diverts a customer just before the completion of a transaction.

Since founding Akamai more than 20 years ago, our vision has always been to help our customers solve their toughest internet challenges. Staying true to that approach, we’ve built our security business into one of the leading cloud security businesses in the world: a $1.3 billion business on an annualized basis that grew 26% year over year in the most recent quarter. Research published this month by WSJ Pro Cybersecurity shows that few companies have achieved Akamai’s scale in security.

What comes next: stopping the spread of ransomware

Ransomware is now a huge problem for enterprises around the world, with a new attack striking every 11 seconds. The damage resulting from ransomware is expected to cost organizations more than $20 billion this year alone.

Akamai’s Zero Trust Network Access solution helps to prevent attackers from gaining access to enterprise infrastructure and applications. But to be secure in today’s world, you also need a second layer of defense — to block the spread of malware that has gained a foothold in the enterprise. And that’s why Akamai acquired Guardicore last month.

Guardicore is critical to stopping the spread of ransomware. It helps detect when a breach has occurred by identifying anomalous data flows within enterprise networks. It also helps prevent the malware from spreading, through a capability known as microsegmentation.

Guardicore’s microsegmentation solution limits access within the enterprise to only those applications that are authorized to communicate with one another. Denying communication as the default greatly limits the spread of malware and protects the flow of enterprise data across the network. And that’s the key to stopping ransomware.

We believe Guardicore’s best-in-class microsegmentation solution is the perfect addition to our Zero Trust portfolio, enabling Akamai to offer customers a comprehensive solution to stop the damage being caused by ransomware and malware.

We see parallels between our acquisition of Guardicore with our acquisition of Prolexic in 2014. Just as the acquisition of Prolexic propelled us to a leadership position in helping to stop DDoS attacks, we believe that our acquisition of Guardicore will establish Akamai as a leader in helping to stop the damage caused by ransomware as well as other forms of malware.

Akamai: strategic partner in security

Customers see Akamai as a strategic partner in security not only because of the strength and breadth of our solutions, but also because of the depth of our security expertise and threat intelligence, and the scale of our platform — the same platform that underpins our world-leading CDN.

Akamai’s CDN handles more than 5 trillion requests every day. In addition, we resolve more than 3 trillion DNS queries each day. This gives us unmatched, real-time insight into the world’s internet traffic, which we analyze to provide best-in-class threat intelligence, protection, and support.

We also have one of the industry’s largest and most experienced teams of security professionals, with thousands of engineers and consultants working on security for our customers.

Our security solutions are tightly integrated into the world’s largest and most distributed edge platform, and that provides unmatched global scale to help defend customers against not only the largest DDoS attacks but also against the vast bot armies that are waging attacks from the edge.

The integration of our security solutions with our CDN solutions also provides benefits to our customers in terms of improved performance and ease of use. With Akamai, security and performance go hand in hand. You can buy them together as a single “Protect and Perform” package, which makes purchasing and integration easy. 

And when you buy security from Akamai, your performance is automatically improved. That’s because we apply the security layer as we are delivering the content from the world’s true edge platform. This means that the processing needed for security stays close to the end user, which makes for much better performance. 

Akamai’s unique combination of security and delivery provides a powerful offering in the market, which is one reason why we are market leaders in both security and CDN.

Why leading brands want our help

From delivery and performance to compute and security, the world’s leading brands want Akamai’s help. That’s because the internet is getting more complicated, with more traffic, higher user expectations, and more cyberthreats every day. And the world’s leading enterprises know that Akamai can help keep their digital experiences closer to their end users and the threats farther away.

They know that what we do makes life better for billions of people, billions of times a day.  

And that nobody powers and protects life online like Akamai.



Tom Leighton

Written by

Tom Leighton

November 09, 2021

Dr. Tom Leighton co-founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 and served as Akamai’s Chief Scientist until he became CEO in 2013. Under Dr. Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences.