Weekly Intelligence Digest – March 16, 2015

Significant Developments of the Week


1. Distil Networks Investigates Bots and Behaviors

Distil Networks, a leader in the bot mitigation field, conducts a study on CAPTCHAs and their effects on user behavioral patterns. Distil used a U.S history and politics trivia quiz via social media sites to orchestrate the study. Out of the 1,079 quizzes that were taken, around half had a CAPTCHA randomly placed at the end. Distil found that CAPTCHAs have a substantially larger effect on mobile users, as 27% of mobile users were more likely to desert the quiz than those accessing from a desktop.

BID Insight: The most interesting elements of Distil’s research are the findings regarding business impact due to the use of CAPTCHA. Businesses that incorporate CAPTCHAs on their websites experience a relatively high loss of potential leads. Approximately  12% of users are less likely to continue browsing when faced with entering a CAPTCHA, regardless of the device used to access the content. While there is a critical need to be able to differentiate bot traffic from legitimate traffic, the cost of conversion rates shouldn’t be the price, which may spur more research on new approaches for traffic differentiation and user-behavioral patterns.

2.  Aryaka Develops ExpressRoute for Azure

Aryaka announces a solution integrated with Microsoft’s Azure, titled Azure ExpressRoute, which allows for speedier and more stable access to the platform. Using Aryaka’s private WAN optimization network, clients gain access to an entirely new feature set.  Prominent features include compression, application-level intelligence, de-duplication, TCP optimization, and enhanced security levels. Additionally, aside from a new feature set, Azure customers will also experience substantial improvement in latency, performance, and security.

BID Insight: Aryaka is targeting enterprise companies to facilitate the most secure and reliable level of access to cloud.  With cloud services and tools becoming increasingly popular in the marketplace, Aryaka can dive into that sector and establish a presence working with existing cloud companies to optimize performance. With clients in 300 cities across 50 different countries, Aryaka has a strong global presence and network span that allows them to provide stable and secure access.

3.  F5 Bolsters Sales Force in China

F5 Networks appoints Jerry Huang as Managing Director of Sales for the APAC region. Huang’s main areas of focus will be Taiwan and China, and where he will oversee company expansion and growth in market leadership. Huang will aid Senior Vice President of Sales (APAC) Emmanuel Bonnassie, in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance and Enterprise markets. Huang brings a solid background to the table, particularly in the China region.  Huang has previously served as President of Unify for the Great China Region. Prior to that, he also managed the APAC region for Avaya and Nortel for 14 years.

BID Insight: F5, like so many other companies, is eager to gain traction in the highly competitive APAC market. Hiring a seasoned veteran to join the team for the Greater China region could prove a smart choice. Huang is already very familiar with the market, as he has been managing business enterprises and sales in that same marketplace for over 15 years. Huang plans on profiting from similarities in the Taiwanese and Chinese market spaces, and leveraging those conclusions to promote growth on behalf of F5.

4.  Cloudflare Rolls out Virtual DNS for Nameservers

Cloudflare announces a new feature called Virtual DNS, which applies Cloudflare’s DDoS mitigation and global distribution to DNS nameservers, resulting in an updated DNS proxy service. Cloudflare is supplementing this service with DNSSEC, which implements an encrypted authentication tool in addition to the Virtual DNS feature. Virtual DNS includes a bandwidth savings feature, which allows for storage of clients’ records on their own nameserver, as opposed to a third party. It also allows for instant DNS lookups, through caching servers and utilization of Cloudflare’s global network.

BID Insight: While DNS solutions are rapidly evolving, incumbent DNS systems can be very difficult to change. Tthird party DNS systems or hosting sites may be able to provide customers with a number of different nameservers, but do not have the accompanying performance quality or security measures to support their clients. Cloudflare is presenting a solution in the cloud, which means instant deployment and less infrastructure hassle. It also adds another layer of defense, as Virtual DNS not only implements Cloudflare’s DDoS mitigation, but also sits between the client’s DNS server and the end-user.

5. Big Switch Networks Contributes ONL to Open Compute Project

Big Switch Networks announces that the Open Compute Project has accepted their contribution of Open Network Linux (ONL). ONL is an open source network operating system that caters to bare-metal switches and brite box switches. ONL currently supports twelve open switch hardware solutions.   Big Switch is also working on OpenFlow as part of Indigo Project. ONL serves as the Linux allocation for bare-metal switches, operating under commercial platform Switch Light OS. The distribution comes prepackaged with all the necessary materials including drivers, loaders, and platform-independent requirements. ONL simplifies the process of deploying bare-metal switches to customers.

BID Insight: Bare-metal switches and open-source computing may be the next big disruptor in the tech marketplace. Given the incredibly cost effective nature of the solution, coupled with the capacity for customization and scalability, it comes as no surprise that Big Switch aims to lead the industry. ONL ultimately means less work for the user, as there will be fewer bugs, increased stability, reduced cost, and easier integration for hardware and software vendors. ONL is also compatible with L3 routing and OpenFlow agent, and Big Switch ships the product with example forwarding agent code for both.

6. Radware Optimizes WAN Connectivity

Radware introduces a new solution for optimizing WAN connectivity, both on site and in the cloud. LinkProof NG is designed to strengthen connectivity by providing level based routing of several WAN links.  This improves WAN link usage and service of applications, regardless of the medium through which they are deployed. LinkProof NG achieves this through a combination of offerings, including: link load balancing, performance optimization, end-to-end monitoring of real users, and scalability – all of which are cost-effective.

BID Insight:  Offering a service like LinkProof NG enables smoother operating, increased connectivity, and performance benefits. LinkProof also benefits users with the addition of a WAF deployment infrastructure to defend web applications. The importance of providing a 24/7 WAN connection can be seen in the effect it has on the enterprise. When deploying applications with inadequate connections, employee productivity, client satisfaction, and revenue for the organization can be negatively impacted. LinkProof NG also takes into account the importance of the application, its sensitivity to latency, and insignificant traffic, in order to achieve the most reliable and speediest performance.

7.  Signal Networks Joins the Bit9 + Carbon Black Alliance

Bit9 announces that Signal Networks, a leading IT support provider in the UK, has joined the Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect Alliance as an MSSP partner. The Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect Alliance leverages solutions from its members over four main areas: incident response, managed security services, threat intelligence, and networks/analytics/SIEM. The goal is to create a united defense against cyber threats and attack prevention. Alliance partners benefit from a reduction in total cost of ownership, faster deployment times, and enhanced security levels and support.

BID Insight: As a result of the partnership, Signal Networks can utilize Carbon Black’s services to deal with breaches and attacks. While Signal Networks is capable of identifying malicious files, they are not able to detect each endpoint and server that the malware has infected. Carbon Black allows Signal Networks to track the span of the malware attack, enabling Signal to see exactly where the attack started and its path, in order to mitigate damage more quickly and gain deeper insight into the attack.

8.  Aframe Announces Video Collaboration Platform

Aframe announces the release of its newest cloud-based video collaboration platform, which they will be demonstrating key features at NAB 2015. Aframe boasts that its next generation of software not only improves efficiency, accessibility, cost effectiveness, management, and production assets, but also expands in capabilities. The platform allows for users to upload, transcode, and store video footage in the cloud, and promotes easier content organization and global collaboration.

BID Insight: Aframe added 5 core features to its video collaboration platform to enhance and simplify user experience. The global search feature allows for a producer to search for media throughout the client’s entire account, regardless of the project or location. Media becomes a lot more accessible and usable with this feature. Another helpful feature is the module for new approvals, which allows short previews to be sent between organizers for review, approval, edits, and other feedback. The new platform includes extended format handling, meaning videos and images of the WAV, AIFF, JPEG, and TIFF formats are now supported and can be stored, edited, and managed. With a new multi-tier structure for client’s to manage team accounts, and a simplified user experience with more visibility and flexibility, Aframe’s next generation platform facilitates an easier and more efficient production experience.

9. Limelight Moves DDoS Defense to the Cloud

Limelight Networks releases a new feature, DDoS Attack Interceptor. Designed in coordinations with Limelight Orchestrate, DDoS Attack Interceptor provides customers with a full suite of DDoS-related security services: notifications of security updates or attacks, traffic scrubbing/packet inspection, and defense from traffic spikes. The solution also includes Time to Mitigation, which boosts customers’ mitigation profile.  Time to Mitigation adopts an aggressive security stance, enabling active detection and quick spin up time for scrubbing centers.

BID Insight: Limelight boosts its security portfolio with a more intelligent and progressive approach to DDoS mitigation and protection. What sets this feature apart from other competing CDNs is that the DDoS Attack Interceptor is incorporated directly into Limelight’s global CDN. In other words, while some CDNs have their DDoS capabilities operating at a basic router level, Limelight’s mitigation service operates directly in the cloud. It continuously scans for potentially harmful traffic, and leverages behavior-based detection techniques in order to more astutely distinguish harmful traffic from good traffic. In the event that an attack is detected, the compromised traffic is redirected to the most convenient scrubbing center for deep inspection before returning back to the origin

10.  Level 3 Provides Connections in the Middle East

Level 3 Communications, Inc. is selected by EarthLink Telecommunications to provide connectivity to Earthlink’s customer-base from the Middle East region. While Earthlink has over 400 PoPs worldwide, the company struggled to meet the ever-increasing demands for security and access to global markets. Earthlink decided to employ Level 3’s MPLS/IP VPN network in order to address the needs of their clients.

BID Insight: Particularly in the Middle East region, Earthlink services a lot of clients in the oil and financial industries. Since teaming up with Level 3, Earthlink has been able to reduce total costs, and provide a secure, private, and reliable network to their customers. Earthlink has already experienced progress since implementing Level 3’s network, and has already signed a new contract with a major oil company in the area. Level 3 benefits by extending its global footprint, and by expanding deeper into resource rich markets.

Resources

  1. http://investors.limelightnetworks.com/press-release/limelight-launches-distributed-denial-service-ddos-attack-detection-and-mitigation
  2. http://www.aryaka.com/aryaka-provide-global-enterprises-faster-private-connection-microsoft-azure/
  3. https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-virtual-dns-ddos-mitigation-and-global-distribution-for-dns-traffic/
  4. http://www.radware.com/newsevents/pressreleases/radware-introduces-linkproof-ng/?page=1
  5. https://f5.com/about-us/news/press-releases/f5-appoints-jerry-huang-to-spearhead-market-leadership-across-greater-china
  6. http://ir.chinacache.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=900720
  7. http://aframe.com/blog/2015/03/aframe-advances-cloud-based-video-collaboration-with-spring-2015-release/
  8. http://www.bigswitch.com/press-releases/2015/03/10/open-compute-project-ocp-formally-accepts-open-network-linux-onl
  9. http://cumulusnetworks.com/press_releases/detail/2015039-cumulus-networks-extends-server-standard-to-networking-for-radically-faster-integration-of-switches-with-network-os/
  10. https://www.bit9.com/company/news/press-releases/signal-networks-joins-bit9-carbon-black-connect-alliance-program-managed-services-security-provider-mssp-partner/
  11. http://investors.level3.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2015/EarthLink-Telecommunications-Chooses-Level-3-to-Provide-Secure-Global-Connectivity-to-its-Customers/default.aspx
  12. http://www.distilnetworks.com/distil-networks-study-captchas-negative-impact-on-web-traffic/
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