In The News
Healthcare IT News
Sep 8, 2021
Steve Winterfeld, advisory chief information security officer at security and content delivery network vendor Akamai, makes it his job to study ransomware in great detail. As a result of his research, he has assembled a list of dos and don'ts for healthcare provider organizations fighting ransomware. Healthcare IT News sat down with Winterfeld, who believes using the cyber-kill-chain model to disrupt ransomware attacks is the best way to stop them, to discuss his dos and don'ts for the benefit of provider CISOs and CIOs and other health IT and cybersecurity leaders.
Sep 7, 2021
Dr. Blumofe gives his view of what some of the major cybersecurity challenges organizations are facing today and tomorrow, and how Akamai is preparing for it.
Sep 6, 2021
In my last blog, we focused on the initial phases of the account-takeover (ATO) kill chain – recon, weaponization and delivery – and how attackers leverage various tools and techniques to obfuscate bot activity as they acquire and test credentials via automation. After weaponization, threat actors will either decide to sell validated combo-lists for another criminal gang to leverage, or they will continue down the ATO kill chain, moving into the exploitation and action phases.
The Wall Street Journal
Aug 31, 2021
Akamai Technologies Inc. CIO Mani Sundaram said the Cambridge, Mass., networking services company isn’t seeing any noticeable delays on its orders. Mr. Sundaram has heard of companies waiting for the delivery of PCs and said one of the reasons Akamai may be experiencing fewer difficulties is that the company works with a variety of vendors. The 9,000-employee company places orders for about 1,000 units every six months or so, well in advance of its needs, he said.
Aug 31, 2021
"The way I describe it is: You have the business world that we all know. The criminals have a parallel one that's like the Upside Down from Stranger Things. It's the exact same world, only darker and twisted," Steve Ragan, security researcher at Akamai, tells CSO.
Aug 30, 2021
With account takeover (ATO) attacks on the rise, stopping threat actors in the early phases of the kill chain will help today’s defenders gain an upper hand against direct fraud campaigns. Understanding how and where these attacks are carried out and the underlying support structure enabling ATO are key to informing what types of defenses should be deployed to help reduce an organization’s risk – and associated pain – for customer account compromise. Let’s take a closer look at early stages of the kill chain – reconnaissance, weaponization and delivery – to examine how criminals gather leaked credentials, then validate this data to ultimately extract value from accounts they’ve gained access to for monetization.
Aug 26, 2021
A big shift in operations last year compounded the problem, as remote work took away the in-person components of company culture.>/p>
"When people started working from home all the time they struggled to identify the boundaries between work life and personal life," said Bobby Blumofe, CTO at Akamai. "They found themselves working at all different hours, and unable to draw that line."
Aug 23, 2021
Although Akamai sounds a lot like it could be a Japanese games developer company, the organisation is in fact a cloud-services focused Content Delivery Network (CDN) business with a focus on cyber and software application development technologies.
Akamai’s areas of special focus include the ‘edge’ compute space, populated by devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT) as it does.
The company’s Akamai edge platform enhancements this year included a free usage tier, rapid data access and API traffic acceleration.
Aug 16, 2021
"In the streaming battle between the two biggest sporting events of the summer of 2021, the UEFA European Championships can claim gold for peak streaming traffic and the number of hours streamed, according to Akamai.
Peak streaming traffic for the UEFA Euro matches hit 35 Tbps on July 11 during the match between Italy and England, more than three times the peak traffic of 10 Tbps on August 7th for the Olympics, according to a blog post by Cory Sakakeeny, the principal lead technical project manager at Akamai."
Aug 18, 2021
"Akamai has released some streaming numbers related to the Tokyo Olympics that ended on August 8, finding that the latest games far outpaced the interest seen in 2016 with the Rio Olympics.
Cory Sakakeeny, principal lead technical project manager at Akamai, wrote in a blog post that the last full day of competition in Tokyo -- featuring 35 different medal events -- had the highest video streaming traffic for more than 30 customers on the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform."
July 20, 2021
"Dr. Bobby Blumofe, Chief Technology Officer of Akamai, discusses zero-trust security models and how they impact employee morale.
Security: What is your background and current role?
Dr. Blumofe: I became Akamai’s Chief Technology Officer this past March. With almost 22 years at Akamai, I was most recently General Manager of our Enterprise Division and Executive Vice President of our Platform Division, which included responsibility for the Akamai platform, Information Security, and internal Information Technology. Before Akamai, I earned the Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT and was Assistant Professor at the University of Texas."
July 14, 2021
"The CD Projekt Group has had a bad six months.
In December, the video game company launched its much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 with significant bugs, especially on non-PC systems, leading to viral memes and some scathing reviews. In February, as it struggled to fix extensive flaws in the game, hackers stole source code and encrypted data, demanding that the company ""come to an agreement."" And last month, CD Projekt revealed its internal data — including details on current and former employees and contractors — is now circulating on the Internet."
July 12, 2021
"Two new reports highlight cybercriminals on-going attacks on the digital space. From credential stuffing to phishing, these criminals continue to target not only consumers but businesses and developers.
For instance, Armorblox researchers found cybernasties exploiting legitimate services from hosting site GoDaddy in a credential phishing attack. Fraudsters used a loophole to sneak their attack past Google Workspace security, telling consumers that their Paypal profile was incomplete and offering a spoofed link to gain their financial information.
The attack used brand impersonation and social engineering to sneak past existing workflows in their attempt to fool people."
June 14, 2021
"Edge security and content delivery giant Akamai Technologies has tapped Boaz Gelbord to lead its cybersecurity program.
Gelbord, a veteran Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who previously managed cybersecurity at Dunn & Bradstreet and Bloomberg LP, replaces longtime Akamai executive Andy Ellis, who departed in the midst of a major restructuring earlier this year.
Akamai said Gelbord will assume direct responsibility for cybersecurity, information security compliance, and the protection of Akamai’s systems, data, and employees."
June 2, 2021
"Cybercriminals in underground forums have been soliciting techniques for compromising cryptocurrency services.
Capture the Flag competitions, conference calls for papers, and gamification in cybersecurity courses designed to equip learners with hands-on skills are all common in the white hat realm, but in opposition, contests are also being launched by cybercriminals to create new offensive techniques.
Over the past month, according to Intel 471, operators of Russian underground forums have been running a competition asking for papers that examine ""how to target cryptocurrency-related technology."""
May 28, 2021
"It's clear the United States is a prime target for bad actors. The notorious SolarWinds hackers are back, this time targeting about 3,000 email accounts at more than 150 different organizations.
That’s according to Microsoft. Organizations in the United States are victims of the largest share of attacks, but the malfeasance spans at least 24 countries."
May 21, 2021
"In early May, fitness company Peloton announced that it had exposed customer account data on the internet. Anyone could access users’ account data from Peloton’s servers, even if the users set their account profiles as private. The cause: a faulty API that permitted unauthenticated requests.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow for easy machine-to-machine communication. API use has seen explosive growth lately. According to Akamai, API communications now account for more than 83% of all internet traffic.
They're also the cause of a lot of security issues. In addition to Peloton, other companies in the news recently for API-related cybersecurity problems include Equifax, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon and Paypal."
April 14, 2021
"Starting with the pandemic in 2020, many fraudsters began focusing on American's taxes. According to Akamai nearly half of web attacks were observed between the dates of June 17 to July 29, when American's taxes came due. Tax deadlines were extended because of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deadline has been extended this year, as well, leading security experts to warn consumers to be extra careful about phishing and malware attacks.
Why the focus on the tax deadline?"
The Wall Street Journal
April 8, 2021
At cybersecurity and network services provider Akamai Technologies Inc., this year’s IT budget includes spending on technologies that support enhanced security, mobility and collaboration, while “continuing our commitment to cloud migration and other key projects,” Mani Sundaram, CIO executive vice president, said.
April 8, 2021
Salesforce is updating its Vaccine Cloud to enable people to pre-register to receive a vaccine and then be notified when an appointment is available. The Vaccine Cloud's free upgrade is designed to eliminate the constant page refreshing required to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment and create a more scalable system as vaccinations are open to all as of April 19. Salesforce's effort is a different twist on what Akamai is doing with waiting rooms for registration and vaccine appointments. Akamai's approach improves synchronous registration where Salesforce's asynchronous registration and scheduling approach aims to time shift the process. However, the goals are the same: Make the queue for vaccines more orderly and scalable.
April 1, 2021
"Akamai claims to have stopped the biggest-ever DDoS attack to date, which peaked at 800Gbps against one of its clients. The attackers were said to have used a new Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP) technique, which made the attacks effective and strong. Also, Akamai warns the ransom-based DDoS attacks are increasing rapidly.
Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) is one the best-attacking vectors for hackers for so long. This method leverages the connected devices (called a botnet) to direct all the unwanted traffic against the targeted website (IP address) and eventually make it unserviceable by setting excessive load."
March 31, 2021
DDoS attacks are not a new phenomenon by any means. The first recorded one occurred nearly 25 years ago. Over the years entities ranging from Sprint to E-Trade to Wikipedia have been targeted by these coordinated, disruptive attacks.
More recently, however, threat actors have been leveraging DDoS as a way to extort payments from victims. Knocking a business’ website offline or preventing users from accessing a service can be extremely costly.
Akamai has been tracking DDoS incidents for more than a decade. 2016 saw more than 10,000 but that number had fallen by half just three years later. Now the numbers are trending up again.
Healthcare IT News
March 31, 2021
Web performance and cybersecurity vendor Akamai Technologies announced this week that it has developed a tool, built using Salesforce technology, to help scale online distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine Edge is built on Salesforce's Vaccine Cloud to help enhance the registration and signup process when websites are strained from high demand.
"Citizens need accurate, up-to-the-minute information about vaccination eligibility and the logistics of booking an appointment,” said Mani Sundaram, Akamai's chief information officer, in a statement.
March 30, 2021
A discussion of insights on the effect of the pandemic on the internet was the primary topic at Thursday's Akamai Edge Council Round Table. "Users' experiences have changed online," said Dan Rayburn, a content delivery network and streaming media expert, but it is an incorporation of the application of digital technologies with human experiences that cannot be changed and done in person that is critical. "We will get together again," at conferences, sporting events, live shows and more.
"It's been pretty incredible just all the different changes that we've seen," Rayburn said. "And I don't need to tell you that." Companies, he said, learned to "really leverage what they're doing at the edge."
The pandemic introduced "whole new calls of consumers" to online transactions, said Lelah Manz, senior vice president edge product and business strategy at Akamai, who added that prior to 2020, Amazon's reach in North America was growing and it dominated commerce. However, while Amazon did experience continued growth, "We saw a larger share of commerce going to other brands, which means that they actually took advantage of the fact that these new consumers were coming online. You can see that a number of niche brands have popped up and been successful."
Akamai aims to improve COVID-19 registrations, integrates Vaccine Edge with Salesforce's Vaccine Cloud
March 30, 2021
Akamai Technologies is launching Akamai Vaccine Edge, a system that will keep online COVID-19 vaccine registration systems running.
The company said it has developed Akamai Vaccine Edge for Salesforce's Vaccine Cloud. As anyone who has registered for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment knows, the registration systems frequently fail due to demand and multiple hits at once.
Like Akamai does for media delivery and security, the company is using its network to keep websites operating under high demand.
Vaccine Edge manages registration workloads by passing users to a waiting room when loads are too high. The user maintains their location in the queue. Vaccine Edge is built with denial-of-service protection.
March 24, 2021
Akamai – a content delivery network, cybersecurity and cloud service provider – claimed a massive new 200 Tbps web traffic peak across its network last week.
“Here's another way to look at it: If one cup of coffee is equal to 1 megabyte, then 200 Tbps would give everyone in New York City more than 180 cups of coffee per minute,” wrote Adam Karon, general manager of the edge technology group at Akamai, in a blog post. He added that his company’s new traffic peak is likely “more than the entire (reported) network capacities of multiple Akamai competitors combined.”
It’s significantly higher than the 181 Tbps peak traffic record that Akamai claimed during the fourth quarter of 2020.
As demand for streaming video has skyrocketed along with the need for widescale downloads and security, traffic on Akamai’s CDN has spiked. The company said it first hit 1 Tbps in June 2008, then 10 Tbps in September 2012 and 100 Tbps in October 2019.
March 23, 2021
Internet infrastructure company Akamai said today it observed threat actors abusing a relatively unknown networking protocol to crash internet servers.
The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which hit some of the company’s customers, abused the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP), an internet standard approved in 2007.
The protocol was designed as an improvement for the more widely used UDP, complete with a data congestion mechanisms that allows applications to verify that packets are received correctly in time-sensitive communications, such as real-time applications, games, and streaming operations.
March 22, 2021
Akamai Technologies, a cybersecurity solutions provider, today announced the launch of Akamai MFA, a cloud-based solution to close the security gaps that exist in the multi-factor authentication technique, which has now become an industry norm. Akamai MFA is a phish-proof solution designed for enterprises to quickly deploy FIDO2 multi-factor authentication without the need to deploy and manage hardware security keys. The solution does so by using a smartphone application that turns the existing smartphones of users into a hardware security key, delivering a frictionless user experience.
March 18, 2021
To solve this problem, experts increasingly recommend “virtual waiting rooms” to make things more fair and orderly.
“Everyone who arrives before [a block of appointments opens] will get a random place in line,” says Niels Henrik Sodemann, CEO of Queue-it, which specializes in reducing online ticket-sales fraud. “After that, it’s first come, first served. The idea is that whether you have a fast or slow computer, you have an equal chance of getting a low number.” This week, Queue-it and digital infrastructure firm Akamai announced they had partnered to add virtual waiting rooms to Akamai's Vaccine Edge sign-up management platform.
March 18, 2021
Akamai Technologies launched Akamai MFA, which the vendor says is a phish-proof product that lets enterprises quickly deploy FIDO2 multi-factor authentication (MFA) without hardware security keys. Instead, the MFA product uses a smartphone app.
The reason why more enterprises don’t use MFA that requires a physical security token is because “it’s too heavy of a process for users to get behind,” said Tony Lauro, director of security technology and strategy at Akamai. “Users don’t want to carry a security token, and they may not always have their [hardware security] keys when they go to authenticate an app. So we said: what is a security token, a physical key, that everybody has in their possession and that they always have on them? Their mobile phone.”
March 17, 2021
A new phishing scam is targeting unemployed New Yorkers, stealing their driver's licenses, Social Security numbers and other personal information in order to resell it on the "dark web." Here's how it works: Victims are lured with authentic-looking text and email messages that link to a carbon copy of the New York State unemployment website. After a victim enters their username and password, the fake site asks for high-quality images of sensitive documents. That gives the cybercriminals access to the person's name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver's license number, Social Security number and email address. The phishing attack was active for several weeks, according to Steve Ragan, the security researcher at Akamai Technologies who discovered the scam. The scammers were able to remain anonymous by hiding the fake website behind a proxy server, an intermediary domain that cloaks the originating IP address.
March 15, 2021
Guest author Larry W. Cashdollar is a vulnerability researcher and the CVE Program’s first researcher CNA.
I discovered my first vulnerability in 1999. By that point, I had been involved in computer security since late 1994, working as a consultant at the now defunct netMaine consulting company. My days then consisted of tracking new vulnerabilities posted on Bugtraq and collecting exploits that we would catalog and possibly use during our penetration testing engagements. I remember talking with my co-worker about how people would find vulnerabilities; how did they know what to look for and where to look?
In 1998, better opportunities led me to apply for a UNIX Administrator position at Computer Science Corporation. This position gave me access to over 3,000 assorted UNIX systems, ranging from HP-UX to SGI IRX to IBM AIX. On my first day, my new manager took me to the SGI lab, which was a room with 8-10 SGI Indigo/2 workstations. My manager then told me he’d give me a login once I proved my worth. I knew from being in security and studying various UNIX vulnerabilities for a few years that SGI IRIX had a passwordless IP account, so I simply walked up to one of the workstations, typed IP into the login prompt, and hit enter. When my manager saw that I was able to logon to the SGI, he immediately offered me a job in security.
March 12, 2021
The much bigger issue is that the wider the password circle gets, the more risk you personally take on that your password will become compromised. And given how often people reuse passwords across multiple sites and services, that means your exposure could extend far beyond Netflix.
“Because I shared my password with you, and you got hacked, that criminal now has my password,” says Steve Ragan, a researcher at internet infrastructure company Akamai. “And if I’ve used that password anywhere else on the internet, the criminal’s going to find it, and they’re going to have access to that, too. It spreads. It’s a compounding issue.”
March 11, 2021
A new report from Akamai looks at the technology shifts and usage patterns of 2020 noting a 30 percent jump in internet traffic thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns.
It also highlights criminals taking advantage worldwide, targeting all business sectors and industries, including information technology and security.
However, Akamai's layered defenses were able to adapt to a remote work environment. Zero trust enabled the company's remote workers to do their jobs from anywhere while remaining protected.
March 10, 2021
Mani Sundaram, executive vice president and chief information officer at Akamai, a company working with local governments to make vaccine websites more efficient, told The Hill that vaccine portal sites have been “getting better” since the start of the rollout late last year.
“I think a lot of the counties and states are now realizing that they have to put some more work into their website,” said Sundaram, who previously worked with private companies to help them prepare for traffic surges around events like Black Friday sales or product launches.
“It's been a crash course for many, many public employees,” Sundaram said.
March 9, 2021
SECURITY RESEARCHERS HAVE recently discovered a botnet with a novel defense against takedowns. Normally, authorities can disable a botnet by taking over its command-and-control server. With nowhere to go for instructions, the botnet is rendered useless. But over the years, botnet designers have come up with ways to make this counterattack harder. Now the content-delivery network Akamai has reported on a new method: a botnet that uses the Bitcoin blockchain ledger. Since the blockchain is globally accessible and hard to take down, the botnet's operators appear to be safe.
March 8, 2021
Akamai, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been doing edge computing before it was called edge computing.
Akamai has built a global platform that provides content delivery and cloud infrastructure services. Its platform includes more than 240,000 servers located in more than 1,400 networks.
According to its recent earnings, Akamai’s Edge Technology Group revenue grew 4% year over year, generating $2.14 billion of the company’s 2020 revenue, which was 67% of total 2020 revenue.
At Akamai’s virtual analyst day in late February, Akamai set a goal to continue to grow its Edge Technology Group revenue at a 2%-5% compound annual growth rate over the next 3-5-years, according to the analysts at Cowen.
March 6, 2021
During the pandemic, while Americans have been spending more time at home and less time traveling, cyberthieves have increasingly targeted loyalty program miles and points, according to a recent “State of the Internet” report from Akamai Technologies, the global cybersecurity platform.
After the Covid-19 lockdowns began in early 2020, Akamai noticed an uptick in loyalty program accounts being sold on the dark web. Between July 2018 and June 2020, Akamai observed more than 100 billion credential stuffing attacks, and more than 63 billion of them targeted retail, travel, and hospitality sectors.
March 4, 2021
“An internet application is the silent killer when it comes to carbon emissions and things like that. A developer, when they’re writing a line of code, or adding an image or a third-party tag to a page, the last thing on their mind is the impact that’s going to have on energy efficiency,” said Michael Gooding, manager of solutions engineering at EMEA Akamai Technologies, a CDN company that has been investing in reducing its carbon footprint and that of its customers.
March 3, 2021
There's plenty of talk about how edge computing could eventually change the very nature of the Internet's architecture by rerouting data traffic through smaller, local computing facilities instead of massive, far-flung data centers. Doing so, according to proponents, could give Internet services cat-like response times.
Network operators, of course, are not the only ones pursuing the edge computing opportunity. Indeed, digital content delivery company Akamai has long touted its edge computing chops, and recently reorganized its media delivery, web performance and edge computing businesses into its new “Edge Technology Group.”
Akamai has touted an edge computing network spanning 300,000 servers in over 4,000 locations, a network that's sold to media, gaming and other companies. According to a recent report from the financial analysts with Cowen, the company believes its total addressable market for edge computing and related services will grow to $18 billion by 2025.
IT Business Edge
March 2, 2021
In much the same way CDNs are employed to cache Web applications at the network edge to improve the network experience, organizations are starting to employ CDNs from provider such as Akamai to provide similar capabilities to edge computing applications deployed in points-of-presence (PoP) managed by the CDN service provider.
That approach makes it possible to deliver, for example, over-the-air updates to applications residing in vehicles connected to a 5G network, says Ari Weil, vice president of product and industry marketing for Akamai.
Most organizations will not have the financial resources required to build and deploy the infrastructure required to drive latency-sensitive edge computing applications at scale so it makes more sense to leverage a service, adds Weil. “You need to be able to deliver real-time response times at the edge.”
March 1, 2021
TechRepublic's Karen Roby spoke with Mike Mattera, director of corporate sustainability for Akamai Technologies, about the benefits of edge computing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Karen Roby: In a nutshell, why is edge computing the answer?
Mike Mattera: Getting the content closer to the edge is super important. It not only helps with the environmental sustainability of it, but it also helps, I think, getting that content closer to the eyeballs. What does that mean, right? Being able to cache content at the edge really saves and effectively helps the environmental sustainability of tech operations.
February 26, 2021
Global content delivery network Akamai has released software for running vaccination registration websites, with Vaccine Edge claimed to provide the needed delivery, security and waiting room logic.
The software has been developed at a time when a number of countries, Australia included, are launching vaccination campaigns against COVID-19.
The company said in a statement the waiting room was a key feature to ensure that visitors would remain on the site.
"When a visitor navigates to the website, Vaccine Edge will determine if they need to go to the virtual waiting room based on your configurations," the company said, describing the front-end of the site.
February 24, 2021
In 2012, Akamai Technologies began to move customer-facing security functions to the edge as a response to the advent of cloud computing and the proliferation of distributed denial-of-service attacks, according to CTO Patrick Sullivan. This migration, which happened seven years before Gartner popularized the term SASE, would lay the groundwork for the company's eventual internal SASE implementation.
“We didn't use the vernacular of SASE, but the core tenets were there,” Sullivan said.
In contrast to the traditional network security model in which discrete security devices sit separately in a centralized data center, Sullivan said SASE features "a single security stack running at the edge with applications that feed off each other and answer a bunch of different questions." For instance, SASE can assess if a request is valid or malicious; the author is a human being or a bot; there are indicators of fraud; or the entity has bombarded other customers on the platform with suspicious requests.
The Xbox Hub
February 23, 2021
Over the last decades, gaming has improved so much. Who can compare Fallout 1 with Dragon Age or Witcher 3 and deny we’ve come a long way? Moreover, from single-player games that you pay once for a compact disk (yes, yes, I remember those) evolved massive multiplayer games with subscription-based monetization and micro-transactions.
What does this mean for a video game? That its value increased. You’re holding the glorious Diablo 1 CD that you paid ~$30, but your World of Warcraft account is filled with skins, mounts, and its worth is way bigger. Your Xbox account value is even higher, which makes these accounts a juicy target for cybercriminals.
The truth is that the state of cybersecurity is grim, and it affects gamers also. According to a report by Akamai, “Akamai also saw 10.6 billion web application attacks across its customers between July 2018 and June 2020, more than 152 million of which were directed toward the gaming industry.”
February 23, 2021
When hackers corral infected computers into a botnet, they take special care to ensure they don’t lose control of the server that sends commands and updates to the compromised devices. The precautions are designed to thwart security defenders who routinely dismantle botnets by taking over the command-and-control server that administers them in a process known as sinkholing.
Recently, a botnet that researchers have been following for about two years began using a new way to prevent command-and-control server takedowns: by camouflaging one of its IP addresses in the bitcoin blockchain.
“What’s different here is that typically in those cases there’s some centralized authority that’s sitting on the top,” said Chad Seaman, a researcher at Akamai, the content delivery network that made the discovery. “In this case, they’re utilizing a decentralized system. You can’t take it down. You can’t censor it. It’s there.”
February 19, 2021
One of the world’s five internet registries yesterday warned users that it suffered a failed credential stuffing attack.
RIPE NCC is the regional internet registry (RIR) for Europe, West Asia and the former Soviet Union.
It claimed in an update yesterday that its single sign-on (SSO) service was affected by an attempt to crack open accounts, causing some downtime.
A 2020 report from Akamai claimed that 60% of credential stuffing attacks detected over the previous two years were targeted at retail, travel and hospitality businesses, with the vast majority (90%+) of these related to retail brands.
February 19, 2021
Perhaps no part of industry has been stung by the scourge of ransomware over the past year than hospitals. Already overwhelmed and stretched to the breaking point by a raging pandemic, hospitals and healthcare facilities have also had to face the added chaos of locked IT systems, delayed care and substantial recovery costs.
The non-profit Center for Internet Security is seeking to lend a hand, pledging a $1 million investment to provide any private hospital with free ransomware protection in the form of malicious domain blocking and reporting services.
The services will be managed by CIS staff and a Domain Name System security platform is being provided through cybersecurity company Akamai. Moulin said after evaluating a number of different potential services, they determined that blocking and reporting malicious domains was both the easiest to implement and also proven, with over 1000 elections and state, local tribal and territorial governments already using them as members of different ISACs.
The Boston Globe
February 18, 2021
Massachusetts is a global leader in heavy-duty technology fields such as robotics and artificial intelligence, yet the state government is having a nightmarish time building a simple website to let residents easily book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
The latest and most spectacular failure occurred Thursday morning, when the state’s main vaccine scheduling site repeatedly crashed under heavy traffic from thousands of newly-eligible residents chasing the few available appointments.
“The critical thing in all of this is preparation,” said Mani Sundaram, chief information officer at Akamai Technologies, a Cambridge company that manages worldwide delivery of Internet data.
Akamai works with government agencies across the US, offering a service called Vaccine Edge to help manage vaccine distribution. And as part of its setup process, Akamai runs stress tests designed to simulate a sudden surge of traffic, whether from legitimate vaccine seekers or from bot attacks generated by online criminals. It is unclear if the Baker administration performed a similar trial, though such practices are common in technology.
February 16, 2021
We discuss edge computing in 2021, including some best practices, some of the best use cases for edge computing and why economics dictate which data is best managed at the core.
As the coronavirus forced people around the world into quarantine in early 2020, Akamai—the 22-year-old company that runs more than 300,000 servers keeping nearly 1,500 content delivery networks (CDNs) online—saw a year’s worth of capacity growth in a matter of weeks. Internet traffic levels were soaring: 75 percent higher than the February average in Italy as its stay-at-home orders were enacted, and as similar orders unfolded in the U.S. in March, peak traffic measured a third higher than February levels.
Quick thinking to repurpose preexisting capacity, lateral planning around supply chains, and some good old-fashioned luck meant Akamai was able to keep its networks—and the platforms and services it supports—online throughout the pandemic to date.
“We overbuilt so we’d have enough capacity on top, and we had safety margins of a couple of terabits left and right,” says Christian Kaufmann, vice president of network technology at Akamai.
Bloomberg Markets: The Close
February 10, 2021
Tom Leighton, chief executive officer of Akamai Technologies Inc., says the time has come to bring all of the security products together in one group.
The Boston Globe
February 10, 2021
It’s difficult enough to teach schoolchildren online during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a relentless series of hacking attacks have crippled remote learning efforts at several Massachusetts school districts, forcing them to spend thousands on security systems to fend off the vandals.
In a DDoS attack, hundreds or thousands of computers fire a massive stream of Internet data at a targeted network, overwhelming the network so that legitimate data traffic can’t get through. It’s a crude way to shut down a network, requiring little technical sophistication. There are even companies that hire out attacks, or sell software for DIYers.
As a result, “the ability to launch attacks has been democratized,” said Patrick Sullivan, chief technology officer for security strategies at AkamaiTechnologies in Cambridge, which provides services that block DDoS attacks.
February 10, 2021
Akamai recorded double-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter and claimed it set a new all-time high traffic peak.
During the company’s Tuesday earnings call, CEO Tom Leighton said that on November 10, traffic on the Akamai platform reached 181 terabits per second, 50% greater than the peak in 2019. He added that Akamai already exceeded last year's traffic peak last week, according to a Motley Fool transcript.
“We believe the pandemic has accelerated consumer usage of the Internet in areas like OTT video, gaming and e-commerce, and we believe this usage pattern will likely persist going forward,” said Leighton. “However, we expect to see traffic continue to grow in 2021 but at a rate more in line with pre-2020 historical levels.”
February 4, 2021
The edge, according to marketers, is a magical place where nearly anything is possible. But for Akamai Technologies, the $18-billion company that put content delivery networks (CDNs) on the map during the dot-com boom, the rise of edge computing and 5G networks marks a significant shift in how data and business logic will be distributed and consumed in the future.
Datanami’s recent conversation with Ari Weil, Akamai’s global VP of product and industry marketing, started innocently enough with a question that seemed perfectly reasonable at the time: What is the edge? Based on Weil’s answer, the edge actually may be a can of worms.
Retail Customer Experience
February 3, 2021
The classic saying “There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays” couldn't be truer for the 2020 holiday shopping season. The disruptions created by the pandemic have impacted every routine in normal day-to-day life and left millions of people anxious, homebound and isolated. The extent and duration of worldwide lockdowns and business closures have forced people to give up even some of their most deeply ingrained habits — whether going to a coffee shop for a midday break, spending an hour at the gym after dropping the kids off at school, driving to grocery stores on Sundays, or standing in unimaginably large queues at top retail stores on the biggest sales days of the year.
Undoubtedly, retail was one of the industries most impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic; prompting shoppers to buy more online and refrain from in-store shopping and avoiding potentially dangerous places like crowded malls and shopping centers, which as a result, led to declining foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores. This overnight change in consumer shopping behaviors led to a spike in online sales throughout the year indicating that 2020 would no doubt be a homebound holiday shopping season. These factors posed serious challenges for online retailers.
Tara Bartley, senior manager, industry marketing, and Ashitha Bhanu, industry marketing, Akamai, share Akamai data relating to the most recent holiday shopping season and the top trends in play.
February 1, 2021
Cloud services provider Akamai said Monday that it has acquired Inverse, a Montreal-based open-source consulting and integration company.
Among its portfolio of services, Akamai highlighted Inverse's technology for providing context and visibility into the IoT device landscape.
Specifically, Akamai said Inverse offers a data repository and algorithms that can identify IoT and mobile device types -- including HVAC, lighting systems, medical equipment, robotics and printers -- and provide businesses with insights into the network behaviors of those devices in order to bolster security controls.
January 27, 2021
In 2019, Gartner released a paper defining the Secure Access Service Edge as the framework that most enterprises will implement. SASE offers an elegant solution to many challenges faced by CISOs today, including maintaining security posture during rapid digital transformations, shifts in locations of workers, migrating toward a zero-trust architecture, and protecting the business while more processes shift into DevSecOps.
Long before the term SASE was coined, security controls began to shift to perform inspection closer to end users. More than a decade ago, we witnessed the migration of security for customer-facing apps out of the enterprise data center to the edge to move security inspection closer to users, rather than forcing traffic to travel to the fixed location where security appliances were deployed. Today the edge is the predominant location for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation, Web application security, and related controls for public-facing applications. This migration offers lessons as organizations now shift workforce security to the edge.
January 27, 2021
Akamai, best known as a global content delivery network (CDN) provider, and Plume, best known for its Wi-Fi software, are coming together to jointly offer smart-home and smart-business services, including security.
For Akamai and Plume, the joint offering will give them access to each other’s customers as well as sales and marketing teams.
John Arledge, software and technology general manager at Akamai, said, “In our sphere we sell software and services to carriers that they bundle under their own brand and then resell to their customers, both mobile or fixed line.” For instance, at Telstra the Akamai-based service is called Broadband Protect, and at Vodafone it’s called Secure Net.
“Akamai and Plume both have success with customers,” said Arledge. “We’ll combine the Plume technology with our sales channel and relationships. We’re also bringing technology from Akamai.”
January 27, 2021
The industry is starting to turn the tide against video pirates with improved situational awareness and “360 protection” that includes protection, detection and enforcement, according to Akamai.
Media and entertainment organizations face a “range of attack vectors every day” from pirates, Ian Munford, global video industry analyst at the company said Jan. 26 during the webinar “Marshaling Your Forces to Fight Piracy.”
During the session, he and other piracy experts at the company discussed the methods and practices being used by pirates today and some of the most recent technical developments in the fight against video piracy.
January 26, 2021
Extortion tactics have expanded beyond the ransomware attacks that popularized them. In a research paper Tuesday, Akamai Technologies detailed an increase in sizable DDoS activity throughout 2020, which included a shift to monetary motivations and a rise in extortion-based attacks. According to the research, 2020 also saw record-breaking attacks that reached 1.44 Tbps and 809 Mpps attacks against a European bank and an internet hosting customer, respectively.
While the year kicked off with a steady number of large attacks, DDoS activity really started to skyrocket when COVID-19 hit Europe and the United States, forcing almost all aspects of life online. Not only did the threat actors behind these DDoS attacks turn to extortion campaigns, they also broadened the scope of potential targets, which Akamai said is a foreshadowing of the future.
January 26, 2021
In the category of “Content Delivery Networks” Akamai won its Emmy for “excellence in engineering creativity” for its work on CDN, as a means to address the challenge of congestion on the internet.
“Akamai receiving an Emmy Award is an extraordinary honor and a testament to the relentless work and passion of countless people who helped make delivering television over the internet a reality,” said Tom Leighton, Akamai CEO and co-founder. “Recognizing CDNs with one of the television industry’s highest accolades shows how much this technology has evolved, to where watching TV over the internet is the same and often better experience as watching over the air, via satellite or through cable. This was never more evident than in 2020, when hundreds of millions of people around the world, under strict COVID-19 isolation and distancing protocols, turned to their favorite streaming services for important news and entertainment. CDN technology proved vital to helping those services withstand the sudden and massive spike in user traffic while continuing to deliver their content without interruption.”
January 20, 2021
In 2021, edge computing adoption will accelerate at a faster clip than the growth of cloud computing adoption. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of the edge—how bringing compute and applications closer to end-users improves performance by reducing latency and ensuring a secure online experience.
In addition, as developer-driven innovation moves customer experiences forward, agile processes that meld with edge compute will become more central to core delivery goals. It’s safe to say that edge computing will be a focus of application development and delivery teams in the coming year.
First off, edge computing is symbiotic with microservices. App development has seen a strong movement away from monolithic application development to one that is more microservice-driven. The benefits of this approach are well documented: Microservices can be built on best-functioning services and data structures, and their failure does not demand a significant overhaul of an entire application. Microservice-driven development will continue to grow in 2021.
January 20, 2021
US-listed Akamai Technologies has a new Akamai Partner Program that aims to expand and supports channel partners’ high-value services. Partners will migrate into the new programme over a 6-month transition period.
Akamai’s eco-systems consists of Carriers, CSPs, MSSPs and SIs. In the new program the aim is to have all partners being basic certified and more than 50% being advanced certified in one or more product categories. To increase coverage and reach in certain markets and verticals Akamai plans to add more MSSPs to its eco-system in 2021.
Year over year Akami’s revenue coming from Channel Partners is growing, it tells IT Europa. “Today, roughly a third of Akamai’s ≈$3bn annual revenue (2020 annual revenue will be released in February) comes from Channel partners. Our robust engagement and enablement focused Partner Program is designed to further accelerate the growth of Channel Partner revenues.”
January 12, 2021
The old saying "if you want something done right, do it yourself" usually isn't helpful when your problem is not having good Internet service. But for one man in rural Michigan named Jared Mauch, who happens to be a network architect, the solution to not having good broadband at home was in fact building his own fiber-Internet service provider.
"I had to start a telephone company to get [high-speed] Internet access at my house," Mauch explained in a recent presentation about his new ISP that serves his own home in Scio Township, which is next to Ann Arbor, as well as a few dozen other homes in Washtenaw County.
Mauch, a senior network architect at Akamai in his day job, moved into his house in 2002. At that point, he got a T1 line when 1.5Mbps was "a really great Internet connection," he said. As broadband technology advanced, Mauch expected that an ISP would eventually wire up his house with cable or fiber. It never happened.
January 12, 2021
Independent video software provider Synamedia has its security and watermarking solutions with edge platform specialist Akamai, to better protect streaming OTT content services, the companies announced.
Synamedia’s offerings will now detect and disrupt pirate streams in real time using Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform — instead redirecting viewers to legitimate services — thanks to the integration of Synamedia’s Streaming Piracy Disruption (SPD) managed service with Akamai’s platform.
January 11, 2021
Akamai Technologies partners are getting a new partner program that provides increased flexibility, support and financial incentives.
The Akamai Partner Program expands and supports Akamai Technologies partners’ ability to deliver high-value services to their customers. It builds upon the company’s existing channel partner program.
Akamai Technologies partners will migrate to the new program over a six-month transition period.
Akamai 2021 Predictions: Edge Computing Grows as Microservices and Multi-Cloud Environments Dominate Delivery
January 11, 2021
As we close the book on 2020, digital organizations have focused on introducing new and engaging customer experiences to remain competitive. Looking toward the post-pandemic world of 2021, organizations can expect edge computing to play a larger role in building those experiences - shifting from hype to reality. In addition, mixed multi-cloud environments as well as the implementation of "smarter" DevOps will be at the forefront of the coming year.
Edge Computing Adoption Will Skyrocket
Given the array of turn-key solutions readily available, developers will no longer grapple with whether custom code will run at the edge, but instead, be making clear decisions on which code will run at the edge. Many existing functions and microservices living on the cloud or on a local server will clearly benefit from moving computation as close as possible to their consumers. The Edge provides better performance, reduced round-trip traffic, and the reduction of sensitive data across networks. Migration is simple; existing code can seamlessly be relocated to the edge nodes of the network.
January 9, 2021
The edge is an end point where data is generated through some type of interface, device or sensor. Keep in mind that the technology is nothing new. But in light of the rapid innovations in a myriad of categories, the edge has become a major growth business.
Ari Weil, who is the Global Vice President of Product and Industry Marketing at Akamai: “Consider medical devices like pacemakers or heart rate monitors in hospitals. If they signal distress or some condition that requires immediate attention, AI processing on or near the device will mean the difference between life and death.”
January 8, 2021
Akamai has introduced a new partner program that promises to more than double margins for solution providers who deliver design and implementation services to customers.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based intelligence edge platform provider said its previous program delineated solution providers based only on revenue and certifications, meaning that demand gen or fulfillment partners were often eligible for the same margins as service delivery partners, according to Michael McCollough, global vice president, channels and alliances.
But in the new Akamai Partner Program, McCollough said solution providers who are certified to deliver advanced services can earn margins of up to 40 percent. That’s in stark contrast to demand gen partners, who McCollough said will be eligible for margins of between 15 percent and 20 percent in the new program.
“Akamai is becoming a really channel-friendly company,” McCollough told CRN exclusively. “The channel is really critical to our go-to-market model, and we want to set both parties up for success.”
ET Brand Equity
January 5, 2021
MX Player has partnered with Akamai Technologies to provide its increasing user base in India with seamless digital experience. The streaming platform found Akamai’s media delivery solution to be the right choice in order to deliver a high-quality viewing experience to their customers across different cities. The enhancement in performance and user experience was particularly pronounced in the case of MX TakaTak, the short video platform.
Vivek Jain, chief operating officer, MX Player, said, “MX Player has seen more than 7x jump in time spent on the app. Even MX TakaTak, which we recently launched, crossed 1 billion video views per day within a month from launch and has quickly become the market leading app in the short video category. We have always obsessed about best-in-class video load times. Akamai is a pioneer in Edge distribution and its presence particularly in tier II and tier III towns has helped us deliver an unmatched viewing experience for our customers across India’s mega cities as well as the hinterlands.”
January 5, 2021
Mike Mattera, Akamai's director of corporate sustainability, today published a fascinating blog post focused on what we here at Streaming Media call the Greening of Streaming. It details how the streaming behemoth stuck to its goal of using renewable energy for its east coast data center, despite the unprecedented surge in streaming media delivery demands during mid 2020.
"When you sit down to catch a movie or binge watch that latest series, do you consider the effect that streamed content has on the rest of the world?" writes Mattera. "We will continue to see an uptick in carbon emissions from the power required to serve online content: servers, network hardware, and the energy needed to keep it all cool."
Mattera notes that, even with the continued demand on Akamai Intelligent Edge throughout the pandemic, Akamai stuck to its commitment to renewable energy.
January 4, 2021
During the holiday season, with virtual learning on a break, it’s a good bet your kids spent much of their downtime playing video games. However, if you’re working remotely, online gaming could be yet another vector for a cyberattack on your home network and eventually on your company’s network and data.
In December, Check Point researchers identified four vulnerabilities in the gaming networking sockets of Steam, a popular gaming platform from Valve.
Valve isn’t the only game developer with security risks. Earlier last year, Akamai looked into the security of the gaming industry and found 152 million web application attacks and billions of incidents of credential stuffing over a two-year period.
“Criminals are launching relentless waves of attacks against games and players alike in order to compromise accounts, steal and profit from personal information and in-game assets and gain competitive advantages,” Steve Ragan, Akamai security researcher, told ComputerWeekly.
January 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everything, from the places we work to the amount of entertainment we consume. Platforms like Disney+, Netflix and any number of video games, including Among Us, have benefited from the overwhelming desire to be diverted from the horror of a mounting death toll and rising infection rates. At the same time, we've spent more hours in Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings than ever before.
Keeping all that functioning has been the work of companies like Akamai, a content delivery network provider to big companies, including large banks and big-name firms worldwide.
But to keep other companies going as they made the great migration online, Akamai had to ensure it managed to move their employees successfully to adapt to the pandemic.
"Some people who worked at home had a little home office in the basement and that's all fine and they continue.," he said. "Then other people really relied on the interaction with the team who they haven't seen in six months. They've got a small apartment that wasn't set up to work from home. So now they're working on their kitchen table and the kid is running around."