We entered 2014 on a fillip. Frost & Sullivan had just named us the vendor leading WAF market in Asia Pacific and Japan. The Frost Industry Quotient, put F5 and nine other companies under their analytical magnifying glass, examining our market performance for CY 2012 as well as key business strategies. They left no strategy unturned it would seem. Product and service strategy, people and skills strategy, business and even the ecosystem strategy were all held up to scrutiny.
But the real scoop wasn’t that we were No 1 but that Frost IQ had discerned developments in the market that point towards WAF being integrated with application delivery. The researchers noted that the convergence would lead to a more intelligent and holistic way for organizations to protect their web applications.
The market is validating what we said a year ago when we launched BIG-IP Advanced firewall Manager, the first in the industry to unify a network firewall with traffic management, application security, user access management and DNS security capabilities within an intelligent services framework.
Every day, publicly known or otherwise, organizations grapple with attacks that target their applications in addition to those that threaten the network. Because F5 solutions occupy strategic points of control within the infrastructure, they are ideally suited to combine traditional application delivery with firewall capabilities and other advanced security services. The bell tolls for the traditional firewall. Eventually it will be replaced by intelligent security.
F5’s integrated approach to security is key in mitigating DDoS attacks, helping to identify malicious actions, prioritize how requests from specific locations are handled and focus on addressing properly qualified requests.
Enabling security services on our ADCs makes it possible to consolidate multiple security appliances into one single device. This consolidation includes a WAF that analyses traffic and can propose rules to automatically protect the enterprise.
I caught up quickly with Christian Hentschel, SVP Asia Pacific and Japan, on his views of the new accolade. Aside from being very proud to be recognized as the leading WAF vendor in APJ, a testimony of our strategy and the team’s focus, he noted that customers view traditional firewall less relevant with the sophistication in cyber-attacks on layer 4-7 today.