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Akamai Enhances Enterprise Threat Protector to Add Secure Web Gateway Capabilities

Today, Akamai announced that it has added secure web gateway (SWG) capabilities to its Enterprise Threat Protector (ETP) service to help enterprises further accelerate their transformation to a Zero Trust security architecture. So what are the SWG enhancements and what benefits will these deliver for Akamai customers?

But briefly, before I cover the details, these enhancements build on the Enterprise Threat Protector product capabilities that we have brought to market over the past three years. Enterprise Threat Protector, alongside our Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution Enterprise Application Access (EAA), has already helped hundreds of enterprises start that Zero Trust transformation journey.

Enterprise Threat Protector leverages Akamai's 20+ years of expertise in DNS, 10 years of proven security expertise, and the global Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform. The initial release of the service  used an enterprise's DNS traffic and Akamai's real-time threat intelligence to provide a quick and simple way for enterprises to add an additional layer of proactive security. 

As it turned out, DNS was a very effective security control point that delivered immediate value. For example, because a DNS request is the very first step in a web request, blocking at that stage reduces alerts from other security solutions, which translates into less work for hard-pressed security teams. Best of all, this protection can be activated in minutes with a simple DNS configuration change.


Last year, Akamai added a cloud proxy that provided additional capabilities to look further into the traffic at the URL level and to inspect risky payloads for malicious behavior. For payload analysis, Enterprise Threat Protector uses four detection engines with multiple analysis methods to deliver outstanding protection against even the most complex zero-day threats. The approach of only sending risky traffic to the proxy provided enterprises with an alternative to the traditional SWG approach of proxying all web traffic.


However, many Akamai customers have told us that they need to have the level of security and visibility that is delivered by sending all web traffic to a proxy. And so that's exactly what we have built -- Enterprise Threat Protector is now a secure web gateway. 

In a nutshell, customers that need the highest level of security can now simply send all of their web traffic to Enterprise Threat Protector by using a lightweight client installed on endpoints or by forwarding traffic from an existing proxy. All traffic will be compared against Akamai's real-time DNS and URL threat intelligence, which can block a huge amount of malicious traffic before an IP connection is made. The inline payload analysis engines now provide offline scanning for larger files, and further dynamic analysis protection is provided with a cloud sandbox.

Historically, delivering a cloud-based SWG that provided the same level of performance and security as an on-premises appliance SWG has been problematic. In particular, latency, which can impact the end user experience, has been one of the biggest challenges. That's because you need a global cloud platform to ensure that the cloud SWGs are located close to where your users are. 

The Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform is the world's largest and most distributed cloud security platform, with more than 250,000 servers in 1,500 networks and 150 countries. It is the ideal platform to deliver a cloud SWG designed to eliminate performance challenges, and it is infinitely scalable. At launch, Akamai expects to have Enterprise Threat Protector proxy servers in 56 cities and 29 countries, with additional deployments scheduled for the remainder of 2020.

Enterprise Threat Protector can help enterprises:

  • Accelerate their Zero Trust or network transformation projects by moving web security to the cloud

  • Improve their security defenses with an SWG that can be deployed in minutes, and defense in depth that leverages Akamai's real-time threat intelligence and multiple malware detection engines to block advanced zero-day threats

  • Minimize security management time and complexity by reducing false positive security alerts, decreasing alerts from other security products, and administering security policies and updates from anywhere in seconds to protect all locations

The latest version of Enterprise Threat Protector is currently in beta and will be available at the end of March.

For more information and to sign up for a free trial of Enterprise Threat Protector, visit akamai.com/etp.