The Associated Press

Venerable U.S.-based news network The Associated Press called upon Akamai’s managed security service and expertise to ensure uninterrupted news coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

I had no room for failure. Akamai understood this and provided the solution and expert resources we needed to secure all our customer-facing platforms and assure full operational support during the November 8 news marathon.

Gianluca D’Aniello , Chief Technology Officer , The Associated Press

Taking advantage of managed security services empowers AP to deliver on election night.

Akamai’s cloud-based managed service and world-class security experts help AP ensure reliable, consistent experiences worldwide.

A Complex Content Value Chain Under Stress

When the world is watching, you don’t want to fail. That thought was top of mind for Gianluca D’Aniello, chief technology officer (CTO) for The Associated Press, as the U.S. presidential election approached. Knowing that high-profile events like these put AP’s complex content value chain — across over 150 host names — under significant stress, Gianluca needed to take steps to ensure a flawless experience on election night.

No Room for Failure

Thousands of news outlets around the world rely on AP to tally the votes and call the races.

Gianluca knew he needed to deliver without fail in the face of unpredictable volumes of traffic that were sure to hit the site. This meant he needed to determine in real time whether traffic was legitimate or a threat. As high - profile organizations and websites are increasingly targeted during major events, Gianluca knew AP would be in the unenviable position of facing a steady stream of potentially malicious attacks.

Compounding matters was AP’s introduction of new data-intensive services, like interactive maps, which required it to scale its content delivery and security capabilities.

In his former position as vice president of information technology at News Corp, Gianluca had relied on Akamai to ensure uninterrupted content delivery. He once again turned to this partner.

Achieving the Best Possible Level of Readiness

Akamai was already part of AP’s vendor portfolio for site acceleration. Gianluca’s experience at News Corp, where Akamai’s cloud-based Managed Kona service was successfully deployed, also triggered the decision to introduce the service at AP.

Gianluca appreciated that, as a managed service, Kona would provide AP with expert security resources to prepare for, analyze, and mitigate any attacks.

This experienced CTO needed extra skills and eyes to add cybersecurity monitoring and management capabilities to his team, traditionally focused on service availability. Working with Akamai, he was able to remove all weak links in the perimeter. Akamai’s Premium Support team provided remote and on-site support during election night. AP also took advantage of Client Reputation, which uses advanced algorithms to compute a risk score, empowering Akamai’s Professional Services experts to reject requests from risky IP addresses. Throughout the event, Akamai’s Live Event Support team monitored for unusual traffic activity, advised Gianluca on best response, and implemented recommendations in real time.

Facilitating Uninterrupted News

Gianluca’s main reason for adopting Kona was its ability to absorb potentially malicious attacks. It turned out that it helped enormously in absorbing unanticipated traffic peaks. On November 8, AP seamlessly handled 13 terabytes of data — an exponentially higher amount than the 17 GB it served for the 2012 election. With Akamai’s help, Gianluca was able to deliver more than 300,000 vote updates and served more than 100 million page views of AP’s hosted maps and results widgets between 8 p.m. ET on November 8 and 3 a.m. ET the next day.

About The Associated Press

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

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