How cloud startup Aqua Security joined the unicorn club
COVID-19 and the cloud
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has added even more impetus to the move to cloud, whether in full or via hybrid solutions. With more workers than ever relying on the cloud as they work from home, the issue of cloud security has become paramount.
Enter solutions such as that offered by the Tel Aviv, Israel- and Boston, Massachusetts-based Aqua Security.
Aqua Security’s specialism is in providing a platform for securing cloud infrastructure, with features including prevention and detection of threats and the automation of responses. As companies in critical industries adopt cloud technologies, Aqua also offers regulation compliance capabilities, with five of the world’s ten largest banks as customers.
The company, which was founded in 2015, has to date raised across six funding rounds. Its latest Series E, announced yesterday, was its biggest to date, raising $135mn. The round was led by ION Crossover Partners, alongside TLV Partners, M12, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insight Partners, Greenspring Associates and Acrew Capital.
The latest unicorn
The company said it would use the funds to further develop its solutions and expand geographically.
Dror Davidoff, CEO and co-founder of Aqua Security, : "We delivered on our vision and have a clear direction forward to provide the best platform for cloud native security. We've shown that our research and development teams are ahead of the market with the launch of innovative products such as Aqua DTA, our new Kubernetes Security Posture Management, and the Aqua CSPM solution. As attacks targeting cloud native applications are now a fast-growing threat, we are here to empower our customers to protect their investment and secure their future in the cloud."
Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage
A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.
It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.
“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.
What is Fastly?
Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.
The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06.
What are CDNs?
Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.
They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times.
Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.
The Risk of CDNs
Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features.
Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray.