Akamai Expands Security, Compliance Features

Akamai’s content delivery network now has features designed to help customers fend off DDoS attacks

Akamai Technologies has introduced new products designed to simplify compliance management and protect organisations from cyber-attacks.

The Akamai DDoS Defender is designed to help customers fight off distributed denial-of-service attacks and the Akamai Compliance Management Modules will help customers meet the challenges of ensuring they are compliant with information security standards and regulations. The products were announced at the content delivery network provider’s customer conference Akamai Edge in Boston on 13 October.

Fine avoidance

The new anti-DDoS service and compliance management system will be bundled as part of the Akamai Intelligent Platform. The two offerings are “designed to help customers avoid the potential of millions of dollars in fines and other related costs”, Akamai said. Customers can expect “exceptional availability” of their websites and the ability to meet “strict data compliance requirements” for data privacy with the Intelligent Platform, according to Akamai.

“Our ability to protect our customers from DDoS attacks is a major differentiator for Akamai,” said Andy Ellis, chief security officer for Akamai.

As for the compliance management tool, Ellis said it was “designed to help our customers simplify the process of meeting these often arduous information security reporting and auditing requirements.”

There has been a “significant increase” in the number, size and sophistication of distributed denial-of-service attacks and customers struggle to keep sites available during these incidents, Ellis said. The impact of the attacks goes beyond the “immediate loss of revenue, resources and productivity” to damage to the brand and the loss of customer trust, according to Ellis.

The Akamai DDoS Defender is designed to “meet assaults” close to their point of origin and absorb malicious traffic long before it reaches the network and impacts the site, Ellis said.

The Akamai Compliance Management Modules consist of five modules designed to help organisations streamline compliance initiatives for regulations for health care data, credit card processing and data security.

Sophisticated attacks

The modules address the requirements defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), International Organisation for Standardisation Code of Practice for Information Security Management (ISO 27001/27002) and the Financial Services Roundtable Technology Policy Division’s BITS standard.

“With the increasingly sophisticated and malicious attempts to breach IT security, industry standards and regulatory statutes to protect data have become more complex, making the compliance process much more demanding,” said Ellis.

Akamai announced other plans for the future of its content delivery services at its Akamai Edge conference. The company is working on a new set of technologies to optimise content for the right device at the right time. Five years ago, Akamai delivered 3TB of mobile data per day and has been delivering 520TB per day in 2011, Akamai said at the conference. The company projects that it will deliver 91 petabytes of mobile data, or 91,000TB, per day by 2016.

Akamai also announced a partnership with NetBiscuits to help developers build mobile device-friendly content. The resulting technology will optimise websites for smaller screens, to reduce the load on the network as well as the impact on performance.