Kona Site Defender

Comprehensive Web Application and API Protection

As an industry-leading web application firewall (WAF) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection solution, Kona Site Defender guards your online applications against the largest and most sophisticated attacks. Kona Site Defender delivers proprietary rule sets and detection logic honed from Akamai’s experience and investment in defending against the latest cyberattacks. Kona Site Defender provides complete control over protection for every business and application.

Real Time Web Attack Monitor

Real Time Web Attack Monitor

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Achieve higher accuracy

Kona Site Defender is designed to deliver the lowest false positives and false negatives to ensure access to legitimate users while keeping out threats. Higher accuracy is driven by over 300 security research experts and the latest machine learning algorithms analyzing several petabytes of current threat data.

Evolve defenses to stay ahead of threats

Akamai interacts with 1.3 billion devices and harvests 130 TB of threat data every day, discovering new threats, following them as they evolve, and continuously updating WAF rules accordingly. Kona Site Defender detection logic is so advanced that it often catches zero-day attacks.

Protect your entire application

Focus your staff-resources on securing the most valuable assets, and let automated protection cover the rest. Kona Site Defender is designed to protect your entire application footprint with a single solution, interface, and platform to ensure no part of your attack surface is left open.

Secure applications anywhere

Kona Site Defender protects applications regardless of location ― on premises, in the cloud, or across multiple cloud providers ― using a single security solution. With Kona Site Defender, you can protect applications wherever they reside, without having to manage multiple security solutions.

Manage your WAF your way

Kona Site Defender provides you with total flexibility ― integrating into change control, automating protections, providing powerful APIs for your development toolchain, and offering managed services that offload security management, monitoring, and mitigation to Akamai experts 24/7.

Realize a unified view of security posture

A user-friendly online portal based on a decade of real-world experience makes it easy to view and configure security settings. With the same configuration processes across all Akamai security solutions, it’s easy to change rules and monitor activity as you increase your security posture.

Zero-second DDoS Mitigation SLA

Kona Site Defender automatically drops network-layer DDoS attacks at the edge — and is backed by an industry-leading time-to-mitigate SLA.


How It Works

KSD Reference Architecure

Kona Site Defender runs on the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform of more than 240,000 servers across more than 2,300 points of presence around the world, providing the resiliency and availability for you to deliver superior online experiences, even when under attack. Online traffic connects to your web application through the most optimal Akamai edge server, which drops network-layer DDoS attacks instantly.

Automated rate controls block application traffic that exceeds your defined thresholds to defend against application-layer DDoS attacks. Kona Site Defender inspects web traffic and API requests using proprietary WAF rules with high accuracy. Optional Client Reputation Service allows you to increase the level of protection by blocking traffic originating from clients with recent malicious behavior, and you can add domain name system (DNS) layer protection with Fast DNS.



Customizable and automated protection

Kona Site Defender provides customized-customizable and automated protection in one solution. Expert-curated rule sets allow you to tailor protection for accuracy in the most challenging environments. Automated protection extends security across your entire application without taxing resources.

Advanced API security

From automated to focused protection, Kona Site Defender secures your APIs. Fully automated API security inspects all requests for threats using a negative security model, while a positive security model only allows traffic within predefined specifications.

Application DDoS protection

Kona Site Defender protects your applications from the largest DDoS threats, automatically dropping network-layer attacks at the edge and responding to application-layer attacks within seconds — minimizing any potential downtime.

Highest accuracy

Akamai serves up to 30% of all Internet traffic, sees 178 billion WAF rule triggers a day, and conducts live rule testing on the world’s largest test bed — tremendous visibility that shapes Kona Site Defender protections for the lowest false positives and false negatives.

Availability and scale

With a network of over 240,000 servers in more than 2,300 points of presence worldwide, Akamai provides unmatched scale and availability to your business. Kona Site Defender is designed to defend against the largest attacks with 100% uptime and no performance degradation.

Detailed reporting

Executive-level dashboards and in-depth security analytics allow you to examine security events more closely. Integration with other security solutions and security information and event management (SIEM) provides a unified view of security posture.

Client reputation intelligence

Leveraging Akamai’s visibility into prior malicious behavior on its Intelligent Edge Platform, the optional Client Reputation service alerts you of traffic coming from known malicious clients. It provides a risk score in four different categories, tailored to your organization, so you can take appropriate action.

Managed security services

If your organization doesn’t have the resources or expertise to manage your WAF, Akamai provides managed security services to augment your team, from regular configuration tuning to 24/7 monitoring and live attack response.



Use Cases

Hybrid cloud security

Security teams responsible for protecting applications deployed across multiple cloud environments can leverage a single set of controls to maintain a consistent security posture. Akamai security makes it easy for you to scale resources to quickly meet your business demands.
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Comprehensive application coverage

With a growing number of applications, you must focus on fortifying high-value properties, but you cannot leave any vulnerabilities unprotected. Automated attack groups are designed to automatically secure the entire application from all attack vectors with a single management interface requiring minimal overhead.

DDoS defense

Built on a platform delivering more than 82 Tbps of traffic, Kona Site Defender is designed to deliver always-on protection from the largest, most aggressive DDoS attacks, respond to network-layer attacks instantaneously, and protect against application-layer attacks within seconds.

API protection

Kona Site Defender uses positive and negative security models for increased protection of APIs from malicious calls and DDoS attacks. You define the types of requests allowed, and Kona Site Defender will inspect the JSON and XML content in the API request body and path for any risks.

Virtual patching

Kona Site Defender provides a virtual patch for your applications, protecting against a broad range of known vulnerabilities out of the box, and offering custom rules to quickly secure any new exposures or tailor protection for your website traffic.

DevOps integration

Embracing cloud, automation, and DevOps practices also requires security integration. Kona Site Defender includes management APIs that let you programmatically update security controls within agile development processes.



Akamai Insights

1The Forrester Wave™ is copyrighted by Forrester Research, Inc. Forrester and Forrester Wave are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. The Forrester Wave is a graphical representation of Forrester’s call on a market and is plotted using a detailed spreadsheet with exposed scores, weightings, and comments. Forrester does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in the Forrester Wave. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgement at the time and are subject to change.

2Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Web Application Firewalls, Jeremy D'Hoinne | Adam Hils | Ayal Tirosh | Claudio Neiva, 29 August 2018.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Akamai.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.