Akamai adds automation and machine learning to protect user accounts, APIs and applications

Edge platform cybersecurity enhancements are intended to increase responsiveness and augment decision-making, the company said.

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Image: Teera Konakan/Moment/Getty Images

Content delivery platform provider Akamai announced Wednesday platform security enhancements intended to increase cybersecurity protections for web applications, APIs and user accounts. Akamai said its machine learning algorithms leverage insights from a dataset of over 1.3 billion daily client interactions to automate threat detections, time-consuming tasks and security logic to help cybersecurity analysts make better decisions faster.

The company said it is taking these steps to keep up with attackers who are using AI, machine learning and automation to increase the frequency and sophistication of their attacks.

"At Akamai, our latest platform release is intended to help resolve the tension between security and ease of use, with key capabilities around automation and machine learning specifically designed to intelligently augment human decision-making," said Aparna Rayasam, Akamai's senior vice president and general manager for Application Security, in a press release. "Smart automation adds immediate value and empowers users with the right tools to generate insight and context to make faster and more trustworthy decisions ... while anticipating what attackers might do next."

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Akamai said the new machine learning security enhancements include:

The Adaptive Security Engine for Akamai's web application and API protection (WAAP) solutions, Kona Site Defender and Web Application Protector. The security engine is designed to automatically adapt protections in response to the scale and sophistication of attacks and eliminate false positives. 

The security engine combines anomaly risk scoring with threat profiling to identify attacks. It adjusts its responses based on threat intelligence automatically correlated for each customer's unique traffic. 

Audience Hijacking Protection has been added to Akamai Page Integrity Manager to detect and block malicious activity in real time from client-side attacks that use JavaScript, advertiser networks, browser plug-ins, and extensions to target web clients. It uses machine learning to identify vulnerable resources, detect suspicious behavior, and block unwanted ads, pop-ups, affiliate fraud and other malicious activities used to hijack audiences.

Bot Score and JavaScript Obfuscation have been added to Akamai Bot Manager, to improve bot management and take action against bots. Bot Score automatically learns unique traffic and bot patterns and self-tunes to improve its effectiveness. JavaScript Obfuscation dynamically changes detections to prevent bot operators from reverse engineering detections.

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The company also unveiled Akamai Account Protector, a new solution intended to proactively identify and block human fraudulent activity like account takeover attacks in real time. Using machine learning and other approaches, Account Protector evaluates login requests to determine if they are coming from a legitimate user or a bad actor, it said. The solution is integrated into the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform so it requires no changes to existing applications.

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By Allen Bernard

Now a freelance business writer and journalist, Allen Bernard is the former managing editor of CIOUpdate.com, eSecurityPlanet.com, ITSMWatch.com, and EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.com. Throughout his 20-year career, Bernard has focused on explaining the...