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Movin' On Up (The OSI Stack)

For months now, those of us working to protect Akamai's customers have been trumpeting the same theme: in the same way that companies, technology and applications are moving "Up the Stack" to the web layer, attackers have followed. For the first time since the inaugural "State of the Internet Report" was published in Q1 2008, we saw solid statistical proof to date that the threat landscape has changed:  As of Q2 2013, Port 443 (SSL [HTTPS], 17 percent) and Port 80 (WWW [HTTP], 24 percent) are the most targeted ports on the internet.

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Akamai has been delivering and securing internet traffic for the better part of 15 years. The breadth and scale of the Akamai Intelligent Platform is second to no other content delivery network: Akamai delivers traffic for the Top 30 Media and Entertainment companies, all Top 20 global eCommerce sites, and all of the top Internet portals, and 9 of the top 10 largest newspapers. At any given time, we see 15 - 30 percent of the world's web traffic.  

This scale and breadth gives us unusual visibility into attack traffic.  As we've grown with the internet, our ability to track attack trends has matured.  Today we combine the human intelligence of our CSIRT team with security analytics provided by our "big security data" team.  We have seen this day coming:  More and more, hackers are attacking the web layers.  We talked about it in our pieces on Account Checkers here, here, and here.  And now we are seeing our predictions born out in the latest State of the Internet report.  The attackers are moving up the stack.  The attacker's shift to the web layer was as inevitable, as is Akamai's response.  Look for more information on how we are improving our Kona Site Defender product through Big Data that improves our security intelligence and informs our Web Application Firewall rules in the coming days and weeks.

Dan Shugrue is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Akamai