F5 unveils new capabilities to address enterprise security needs in an app-driven world

At its recent ASEAN Anticipate 2016 conference, F5 Networks announced new enhancements to its security capabilities that will give customers industry-leading features supporting traditional data centre, cloud and hybrid architectures.

The enhancements will enable F5 customers to more effectively ensure application security, resolve critical app protection gaps and strengthen anti-fraud defences.

"Businesses in Africa are becoming more aware of the significant risks posed by advanced cyber attacks, and with the rate of attacks on the continent on the increase, the cyber security gap must be addressed. The F5 enhancements will enable customers in Africa to more effectively ensure application security, resolve critical app protection gaps and strengthen anti-fraud defences," says Anton Jacobsz, MD at value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited – the company that distributes F5 products across 23 countries on the continent.

The proliferation of Internet-facing applications has led to pervasive threats on business-critical Web services, along with an increase in the sophistication of attacks. The announcement reflects a number of new security capabilities, with highlights including:

* The introduction of BIG-IP 12.1 software, delivering leading application services with more sophisticated security policies for on-premises and hybrid cloud environments.
* Enhancements to Web application defence via BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM) with unique, customisable bot detection methods that enable detailed analysis, and more extensive device ID tracking, to secure business-critical applications with advanced threat protection and visibility over application and location.
* Accelerated blacklisting of malicious IPs in hardware at high rates for layer 7 threats, providing coverage until feed lists are updated with BIG-IP ASM.
* Visibility into HTML 5 WebSocket connections for comprehensive policy protection where other WAFs fail. While WebSocket represents a standard for bi-directional real time communication between servers and clients, there is often a concern around security. Updates in BIG-IP ASM will address this concern and enable customers to focus on the application deployment with fewer uncertainties.
* Enhanced capabilities that automatically mitigate L3–7 attacks upstream in the ISP realm, stop evasive application use of random ports, and control SSH channel user-initiated actions with simple custom policy enforcement with BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM). Whether on-premise or in a software-defined data centre (SDDC), BIG-IP AFM mitigates threats based on more attack details than traditional network firewalls, protecting organisations from the most aggressive volumetric distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks before they can reach the data centre.
* Expanded support for Azure environments, including integrated F5 web application firewall (WAF) capabilities in Azure Security Center, to ensure the same level of services in the cloud as in the data centre.
* With the release of BIG-IP version 12.1 software, no other Application Delivery Controller (ADC) vendor offers F5's level of programmability across traditional, cloud, and hybrid architectures.

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