Akamai and Bell: Securing and accelerating content
Tony Lauro is Director, Security Technology and Strategy at Akamai Technologies - the world’s first content delivery network upon its founding in 1998. “The co-founders of Akamai said that as the internet starts to grow, it will be almost impossible to have a single or even a cluster of servers handle the traffic from multi-millions of connections coming in. The solution was edge servers, and we've deployed over 250,000 of them geographically dispersed around the world closest to where the pockets of internet users are.”
“We see about 25 to 30% of the world's web traffic every day come across our platform,” says Lauro. “There's major insights there that we can take to let us say this is bad traffic based on X, Y and Z. Over the years, we've expanded into protecting businesses from downtime against cyberattacks as well as enterprise services to make sure that employees working from home can do so securely.”
The company’s relationship with Bell Canada extends back to 2016, with the partnership highlighting the key competencies of both businesses. “Some of the things we've been doing include accelerating content,” says Lauro. “We deliver live streaming services for Bell Raptors content. The Akamai platform is able to accelerate that content and make sure it's highly available for all the devices that want to stream it.” Like many companies, its customers want more content, on more devices, anywhere and at any time. “We're helping support that mission of Bell Canada and also supporting the needs of the internet at large.”
Akamai’s solutions for remote working involve expanding a Zero Trust methodology. “That’s a SASE model which effectively says, as you connect from the outside and you come to the inside to an application, you're not going from untrusted to trusted. Everything is considered untrusted. So instead of providing network connectivity to access an internal application, you're just providing an application experience.”
Lauro sees that change to remote work as being a continuing trend for the Akamai-Bell partnership to respond to. “Companies are asking: how do you securely monitor the user experience that users are having while they work remotely? How do you monitor security on those devices to make sure that any corporate data is not compromised? The remote work model, alongside the digital transformation of all the other services that organisations are already trying to, is going to continue to grow and be a key driver in the year ahead.”
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.