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May 2018 Archives

Tailoring YouTube for Your Requirements

Did you know around 300 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day? That's a staggering amount of content.

Akamai CEO and co-founder Tom Leighton discusses the company's cybersecurity and data protection business. He speaks with Caroline Hyde from the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art on Bloomberg Technology. (Source: Bloomberg)

Are VPNs a thing of the past?

Attention world: In 2018, we officially surpassed 4 billion internet users[1] - and there are no signs of adoption rate slowing down. Yet the Internet as we know it has only been around since the 1990s. Along with it, different iterations of virtual private networks (VPNs) have been created and utilized. Why have end users used this technology to connect remotely to private networks on a gigantic scale? Simply, they are seen to be efficient and can enhance productivity in a variety of ways, but (and there is always a "but"), the assumption is they are completely secure. Unfortunately, both unscrupulous individuals and organized crime groups have proven VPNs aren't the panacea that organizations think they are.

Akamai's global platform is comprised of 240,000 servers in 3,750 locations within 134 countries. Additionally, our platform interacts with 1.3 billion client devices every day and we ingest 2.5 exabytes of data a year. So why are these stats important?   

Yin and Yang of the Zero Trust Model

ATB1.pngIt may seem strange to apply concepts from Chinese philosophy to an IT security model, but representing complex ideas in simple terms can be a powerful tool for understanding and communicating. By viewing zero trust through the lens of Yin and Yang, we see that to be complete, the scope of the model must include how users and devices access all resources. This includes not just our own applications and data, but also resources we don't control... on the Internet. 

Election Readiness 2018

2018 is a pivotal year for the integrity of our electoral process.  The threat to the digital infrastructure of our elections is proliferating to a level that has not been seen before.  Officials are working tirelessly to protect your vote by proactively identifying vulnerabilities and targeting threats that may compromise our process.  Cloud Security provider Akamai has been actively working to provide various State, Local and Federal level threat reporting.  As a follow-up from our previous State-level election threat report, Akamai is offering interested electoral bodies the ability to preemptively safeguard their infrastructure during this year's elections at no cost to them.* 

It's springtime, and the only people with the holidays on their minds are in the retail business. This holiday season was a record-breaking one, with combined revenue for Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone exceeding $11.5 billion. To build on that momentum, smart retailers will take a closer look at the key drivers for growth in 2017 to adopt retail strategies that position their companies for success in 2018.

The second Sunday in May is a special day for everyone because it's Mother's Day. It's also a special day for retailers, as it represents another peak period and serves as the halfway point between the prior year's Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) and the upcoming year's retail holidays. The retail spending during Mother's Day provides a pulse on how the spending will be during the major holidays at the end of the year. This year, it's predicted that retail spending during Mother's Day will exceed $23 billion. That's a big deal, because Mother's Day spending has, during the last 15 years, exceeded the $23 billion mark on just two occasions, and it sets the stage for bigger holidays later in the year.

Using our mPulse technology to capture real user data and correlate web and mobile performance to user behavior, we analyzed the data for Mother's Day and would like to share some key trends with you:

Your Users Have Left the Building: Now What?

The dramatic growth of mobile devices, the widespread availability of always-on fast wireless networks, and the rapid adoption of cloud applications have transformed the viability of remote working. Employers are increasingly adopting flex schedules, implementing work from home options, and otherwise enabling their employees to work "off the grid". Here at Akamai, my coworkers can be found all over the globe - setting up shop in places like hotels, coffee shops, airports and their own homes. We are not alone in this practice.

Akamai's John Summers, VP & CTO, spoke at the recent Evanta Global CIO Executive Summit, a gathering of 75 major organization CIOs. His session was titled, "Cloud Security - Adopt Zero Trust and Put Asset-Level Safeguards in Place." Here are some of the key questions he addressed.

Make Application Access IT-Friendly

More and more companies are looking at alternatives to VPNs due to the security risks associated with network level access.  And increasingly, the goal is to eliminate network trust through a zero trust architecture - which is one of the primary reasons many of these organizations are deploying Akamai's Enterprise Application Access (EAA) and Enterprise Threat Protector solutions.  However, for EAA in particular, another key driver and unique differentiator is the simplicity and flexibility that the cloud service provides when compared to alternative access technologies.

Zero Trust and the Identity

Digital transformation is occurring faster than most people realize, and is impacting every component of the IT organization. Some of the many catalysts include users and applications moving outside the traditional perimeter, users accessing applications that are anywhere, and utilizing many different types of devices.  IT organizations are now challenged to keep pace with this transformation, while simultaneously ensuring critical resources are protected. 

Phishing is an extremely common attack vector that has been used for many years, and the potential impact and risks involved are well known to most Internet users. Despite this, phishing is still a highly relevant attack method being used in the wild, affecting many people. The question is, how can a security threat continue to have a significant impact, even though many Internet users know about the risks and potential impact? Akamai's Enterprise Threat Research team decided to dive deeper into several recent phishing scams to provide insights into the modern phishing scam landscape and what makes these campaigns an effective and an ongoing security threat.

 A common misconception I've heard in the field is that a tradeoff exists between easy access for applications and network security. For example, companies want to allow their sales team, partners, and prospects access into demo environments. With traditional access solutions, there is a question of who gets what level of access. Issues like intellectual property exposure, open attack surfaces, and multiple untracked users add to the complication. Beyond demo access, demo creation and support is challenging to keep under control - platforms move swiftly from one release to the next and environments are moved around on-prem or into the cloud. Naturally, my response to all of this is: Akamai has the solution! Enterprise Application Access (EAA) supports all the above scenarios, allows visibility, and (for our EU friends) is GDPR compliant.