Akamai Technologies announced today that it has acquired Guardicore, a provider of a platform that allows IT teams to micro-increase application workloads to limit the reach of any malware infestation, for around $ 600 million.
Charlie Gero, vice president and CTO of Akamai Security Technology Group, said Guardicore offers a granular approach to microsegmentation that Akamai will use to extend its existing services to include a zero trust IT environment. The Guardicore platform limits user access to only those applications authorized to communicate with each other. As a result, the ability of malware to move sideways in application environments is greatly reduced, Gero noted.
Some organizations have even chosen to deploy Guardicore after the discovery of malware in their environment to isolate applications in a way that prevents malware from continuing to spread, Gero added.
The main problem is that once a cyber attacker breaks through a firewall, there is no way to limit the explosion radius of the malware infestation unless the workloads can be segmented. Microsegmentation at the firewall level does not provide sufficient protection, Gero noted.
Akamai’s portfolio of security tools includes Web Application Firewall (WAF), Network Access Tools, Domain Name System (DNS) Firewall, and Secure Web Gateway. The deal with Guardicore is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2021, with Akamai expecting the company to add $ 30-35 million in additional revenue in fiscal 2022.
Akamai advocates for using its service as a demilitarized zone (DMZ) that absorbs the bulk of cyber attacks in a way that protects organizations from attacks against web applications. As part of this effort, Akamai positions its content delivery network (CDN) as an application deployment platform that it will also secure. The overall goal is to accelerate the adoption of DevSecOps best practices, Gero noted.
It is not known to what extent microsegmentation in the workload could deter cybercriminals from launching attacks once they discover that the explosion radius of the attack is automatically contained. However, it may take some time before most organizations are even aware that they can apply segmentation at this granular level, so malware infestations are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Cyber security teams will still have to spend a lot of time and effort hunting down malware.
However, as microsegmentation is applied more widely, the overall cleaning effort required once the malware is activated should be drastically reduced, Gero added.
There is still a lot of natural resistance to investing in the next big security platform after seeing cybersecurity spending steadily increase over the years. Still, it’s clear that many legacy cybersecurity technologies that organizations rely on today are routinely bypassed. The opportunity now is to move the location of any cybersecurity battle to an Akamai CDN. This change creates a neutral zone between the business and cybercriminals and adds a partner with much more cybersecurity expertise who is ready to help defend themselves.
After all, once an attack occurs inside the company, there really is no such thing as winning. Instead, it really just became a matter of minimizing losses.