Executive View

Akamai Zero Trust Security

Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform offers a broad range of access management, threat protection, and application security services that will support you in your journey to Zero Trust, making it safe, scalable and easy to manage – delivered entirely from the cloud.

Alexei Balaganski

ab@kuppingercole.com

1 Introduction

Akamai Technologies is a content delivery network and cloud service provider headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Founded in 1998, the company is one of the veteran players on the market, providing a broad range of performance-, security- and even productivity-related services through their content delivery network (CDN), one of the world’s largest distributed computing platforms. Spanning over 250.000 servers and 1600 networks across 137 countries, the company’s Intelligent Edge Platform is within direct reach of over 90% Internet users around the world. With this global footprint, Akamai can serve numerous large enterprise customers of all industries, including such demanding technology giants as Microsoft, Apple or Facebook.

Although the company’s history predates even the very notion of “cloud”, over the last two decades Akamai’s platform has evolved from a traditional CDN to a full-featured Intelligent Edge Platform that not just competes with established cloud providers in multiple areas like web and mobile application delivery, enterprise security, and strategic services, but in fact complements them with a unified layer of defense for all IT systems, applications and services regardless of their location or platform, as well as with a universal integration platform for hybrid multi-cloud architectures.

As organizations continue embracing the digital transformation, trends such as mobility, the proliferation of SaaS applications and cloud infrastructure are driving up the number of connected entities and devices increasing the attack surface. A traditional corporate security perimeter has all but disappeared, and more and more people, applications, and sensitive data are moving outside of the “trusted network”. The Zero Trust paradigm is rapidly gaining popularity as a modern alternative to the traditional perimeter-based security, which can no longer provide sufficient protection against external and internal advanced cyberthreats. An IT infrastructure designed around this model treats every user, application or data source as untrusted and enforces strict security, access control, and comprehensive auditing to ensure visibility and accountability of all user activities.

Like many other popular security buzzwords, the notion of “Zero Trust” has many conflicting interpretations among experts, software vendors, and customers. Perhaps the biggest misconception is that the Zero Trust model can be purchased on a turn-key basis, instantly transforming a legacy network into a “next-generation perimeter”. This, of course, cannot be further from the truth.

Going Zero Trust is a transformational process that requires organizations to radically rethink not just their IT architectures and security policies, but to adapt their entire business processes for the modern mobile workforce where there no longer is a notion of a trusted “inside”. This includes implementing a fine-grained least-privilege, default deny access model for applications and data sources; designing a multilayered cyberthreat defense that works anywhere, not just behind the corporate firewall; dismantling the very notion of “the Intranet zone” to ensure consistent experience across all devices and locations; and, last but not least, avoid making your IT infrastructure unbearably complex.

And even though you still cannot simply “buy Zero Trust”, Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform offers a broad range of access management, threat protection, and application security services that will support you in your journey to Zero Trust, making it safe, scalable and easy to manage – delivered entirely from the cloud.


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