Akamai adds secure web gateway capabilities to threat service

Responding to customer demand, the company is bringing something new to its Enterprise Threat Protector.

Cybersecurity company Akamai has responded to consumer demand and announced on Tuesday that it was adding new tools to its Enterprise Threat Protector service that allowed customers to send all web traffic to a proxy.

Jim Black, product marketing manager for Akamai, explained in a blog post that the new secure web gateway capability would add a new level of security and visibility to the company's security offering while providing something that has historically been difficult to do. 

"In a nutshell, customers that need the highest level of security can now simply send all of their web traffic to Enterprise Threat Protector by using a lightweight client installed on endpoints or by forwarding traffic from an existing proxy," Black wrote. 

"All traffic will be compared against Akamai's real-time DNS and URL threat intelligence, which can block a huge amount of malicious traffic before an IP connection is made. The inline payload analysis engines now provide offline scanning for larger files, and further dynamic analysis protection is provided with a cloud sandbox."

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According to Black, it can be difficult for cybersecurity companies to provide enterprises with the same level of security through cloud-based secure web gateways as is capable for gateways with on-premises appliances, due mostly to latency challenges and other issues related to how close the cloud gateways are to users.

But Akamai has more than 250,000 servers in 1,500 networks and 150 countries, giving the company the ability to provide the kind of services needed to keep a cloud secure web gateway running well. 

Akamai's expectations are to have Enterprise Threat Protector proxy servers in 56 cities and 29 countries, with additional deployments scheduled for the remainder of 2020, Black added.

"These enhancements build on the Enterprise Threat Protector product capabilities that we have brought to market over the past three years. Enterprise Threat Protector, alongside our Zero Trust Network Access solution Enterprise Application Access, has already helped hundreds of enterprises start that Zero Trust transformation journey," Black wrote.

He went on to add that Akamai used its more than 20 years in the cybersecurity game to beef up the Enterprise Threat Protector with the company's expertise in DNS, 10 years of proven security expertise and the global Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform.

When Akamai first released the platform, it was able to provide customers with simple ways to add extra layers of security that were proactive in leveraging an organization's DNS traffic and the company's real-time threat intelligence capabilities. 

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"As it turned out, DNS was a very effective security control point that delivered immediate value. For example, because a DNS request is the very first step in a web request, blocking at that stage reduces alerts from other security solutions, which translates into less work for hard-pressed security teams," Black said. "Best of all, this protection can be activated in minutes with a simple DNS configuration change."

In addition to new secure web gateway capabilities, Black noted that Akamai added a cloud proxy to its services last year which gave customers more tools to examine URL traffic and investigate potentially malicious payloads. 

Akamai's Enterprise Threat Protector comes built with "four detection engines" and a variety of methods to analyze threats. 

Black also wrote that the Enterprise Threat Protector helps enterprises move security to the cloud, has multiple malware detection engines and reduces false positive security alerts.

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