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Akamai IT Challenge - 100 apps on EAA in 100 days

About a month or so ago I shared a quick video interview with Joe DeFelice. Joe is a Sr. Director Enterprise Security & Infrastructure Engineering here at Akamai. In the video Joe outlines a few of the major initiatives he and the team are working on, including moving towards eliminating the VPN.

Since then quite a lot has happened. In particular the challenge that Joe set his team - move delivery and access of 100 Akamai enterprise applications to Enterprise Application Access, all in 100 days.

If you are not familiar with Enterprise Application Access (EAA) read more about it here. EAA is all about providing simple, secure access to enterprise applications behind the firewall.

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Enterprise Application Access is helping enterprises, including Akamai, streamline secure access while improving their security posture by providing clientless, application specific remote access.

EAA will only provide authorized, secure access to specific applications, but nothing else on the network. This helps insulate private enterprise applications and infrastructure from the Internet - which minimizes the attack surface and makes enterprise infrastructure invisible to the public.

All that is required is an HTML5 compliant web browser, the Akamai Platform, and the Akamai Enterprise Connector in the datacenter or virtual private cloud (VPC).

So why are Akamai IT, and our customers for that matter, so interested in Enterprise Application Access?

To start with EAA is delivered as a service. So there's no more appliances to deploy at the network edge, no need for network segmentation in the data center, and enterprises can be up and running in under 30 minutes. Also because Akamai IT doesn't need more appliances, they can deploy faster, and need a lot fewer, less technical people to solve a very complex problem. That ultimately means significantly lower operating expenditures.

EAA also empowers enterprises to start to close off their firewalls and to hide their applications from the Internet. That is a better security model than anything out there. Zero open inbound ports on your edge firewall and zero trust in the network.

Lastly the Akamai Enterprise Connector works in any public cloud environment, so enterprises can freely deploy enterprise apps in AWS, Azure, Google app engine, or wherever, and can consume those apps from anywhere on any device with an HTML5 compliant browser.

It is the "delivered as a service" part that was particularly interesting to Joe and Akamai IT. It allowed him to start thinking about reframing deployment timelines and who would actually implement enterprise application deployment. That resulted in his challenge - 100 enterprise applications using Enterprise Application Access in 100 days.

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To say the least the team has risen to the challenge. Stay tuned for a more technical look at the 100 apps in 100 days initiative.