AWS Is Ramping Up Its DDoS Capabilities; And Other News

AWS Is Ramping Up Its DDoS Capabilities

AWS is ramping up its DDoS capabilities, in which it details “best practices for DDoS resilience” in a white paper, aimed at enterprises with public-facing endpoints. A crucial factor in DDoS mitigation is the implementation of a network architecture that is capable of detecting and filtering excess traffic. AWS also provides elastic load balancing and elastic compute cloud (EC2), which allow clients to bolster DDoS endurance and scale up to bear unforeseen spikes in traffic volumes. Other edge services include Amazon CloudFront, AWS WAF, Amazon Route 53, and Amazon API Gateway, which allow enterprises to leverage a global edge network to enable greater fault tolerance against infrastructure and application layer attacks, as well as greater scale.

Another important provision is reducing the attack surface area: “ For example, if you do not expect an end user to directly interact with certain resources you will want to make sure that those resources are not accessible from the Internet. Similarly, if you do not expect end-users or external applications to communicate with your application on certain ports or protocols, you will want to make sure that traffic is not accepted.” This entails shielding AWS resources from the Internet and leveraging security groups and network ACL’s to create control access to AWS resources from a VPC. (A

Imperva WAF Is The Only Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2016 for Web Application Firewalls (WAF) has been released, and for the third straight year, Imperva WAF is the only vendor to make the Leader Quadrant.

The report states that “By year-end 2020, more than 70% of public web applications protected by a web application firewall (WAF) will use WAFs delivered as a cloud service or internet-hosted virtual appliance — up from less than 25% today.”

The growth in cloud-based WAF services is a trend that is borne out in Imperva’s experience; an increasing portion of its enterprise customers have been jointly deploying Imperva SecureSphere and cloud-based Incapsula WAF. SecureSphere appliances are often deployed for core applications that are strictly overseen by enterprise customers whereas Incapsula for satellite applications may not be as tightly controlled. Another commonly used variant is SecureSphere for WAF and Incapsula for DDoS prevention.

Imperva also reports that demand for IaaS security solutions is also burgeoning, with the company boasting thousands of AWS customers currently. To boost capacity, Imperva has announced integration with Azure Security Center recently.

Going forward, Imperva will also focus on creating flexible WAF solutions customers can tailor to fit their environment, choosing how and where they are deployed. This means that Imperva customers can expect security policies to be detached from security enforcement points, allowing them to manage application security from a centralized console at their leisure and to their liking.

LinkedIn’s Bots from Hell Headache

LinkedIn has just suffered a bruising run-in with bad bots on a massive scale, disclosing in publicly available court documents that such bots have been actively harvesting profile data from its platform for nearly a year. The official complaint, filed in the Northern District of California, noted that “during periods of time since December 2015, and to this day, unknown persons and/or entities employing various automated software programs (often referred to as ‘bots’) have extracted and copied data from many LinkedIn pages.”

This is a shocking and embarrassing admission on the part of LinkedIn, which has yet to reveal the amount and nature of the data that has been swiped. The company has admitted that the implications are grave, noting that should the bot attacks continue, it “will suffer ongoing and irreparable harm to its consumer goodwill and trust, which [it] has worked hard for years to earn and maintain.”

Web scraping falls in a legal grey zone, although it is an unscrupulous practice that allows entities to acquire valuable data. LinkedIn has proponed the view that such practices constitute fraud, This is damaging to LinkedIn from a financial standpoint in that such data can be used by others to build platforms and generate competitive products that are cheaper and with less overhead. Bad bots are an affliction not limited to LinkedIn however, plaguing a variety of online publishers, e-commerce platforms, social networks, etc.

F5 Releases WAF for Azure Security Center

F5 has extended its security solutions for application workloads into public cloud environments and is widely available in Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace. Its latest WAF for Azure helps enterprises ensure compliance and protect their web assets from new and existing attacks and DDoS.

“Azure Security Center discovers workloads where web application firewalls are recommended and integrates provisioning, monitoring, and alerting from leading solution providers like F5,” said Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk, General Manager for Azure Cybersecurity at Microsoft. “Our customers benefit from a unified view of security across their Azure deployments, including F5 BIG-IP appliances they have deployed, making it easy for them to bring their trusted security solutions to the cloud.

The WAF solution incorporates ICSA-certified BIG-IP Application Security Manager and Local Traffic Manager technologies as a preconfigured virtual service within Azure. Such a configuration allows IT to regain centralized data center control and customization in a public cloud environment, providing comprehensive application layer protection.

The F5 WAF solution is also a turnkey product, affording clients the leeway to calibrate protection levels to their liking.

As there are numerous benefits to be realized in adopting public cloud– including minimizing time to market, shifting CapEx to OpEx, and freeing resources to focus on core business concerns– businesses have migrated the workloads to public cloud environs. Azure has forecasted that public cloud capacity could double every 9-12 years for the next few years, resulting in nearly 30 million apps by 2017.

On the other hand, security concerns remain a major impediment to the growth of public cloud given the proliferation of volumetric, network-based attacks and an uptick in web app attacks.

Highlights from Encoding.com 2016 Global Media Report

Encoding.com has released its annual report highlighting trends for video formats in web, mobile, broadcast, and OTT distribution, based on a large dataset of over 3,000 broadcasters and content publishers. Encoding enjoyed a broader consumer base, having seen 52% growth in total encoding volume from 2014 to 2015, allowing it to cull information on “popularity rates and historic trends within the categories of video and audio codecs, closed caption formats, the latest screen ersolutions, adaptive nitrate technologies, DRM frameworks and two new categories, audio formats and cloud storage.” It also designates the most popular formats and standards today as well as forthcoming trends.

Noteworthy trends include the sizeable growth in cloud adoption rates among major media companies. Amazon and Akamai continue to lead in cloud storage market share. While Amazon represents 63% of the source and destination of the content Encoding processed last year, Akamai remained a favorite of larger media and entertainment companies. In terms of video codec, H.264 continued to lead as the codec of choice for web and mobile video, with 72% usage, whereas HEVC showed steady, if lackluster growth.

As for adaptive bitrate standards, HLS continued to be the dominant standard, usurping 71% of the company’s total ABR processing volume: “While the device landscape remains increasingly scattered, leading video publishers are targeting HLS on all major devices (iOS, Android), Browsers, and OTT players (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast).”

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